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Thanksgiving for the Hard-to-Please

A Thanksgiving feast—hold the dairy, wheat, and (barring the turkey) meat.

The full Thanksgiving spread

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Mixology by the bowl

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Serious stuffing and not a breadcrumb in sight

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Brussels sprouts to love, sans bacon

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Pillowy, butter-free puree

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Bourbon-spiked sauce

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Gluten-free bread that actually tastes good

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The road to pie nirvana is paved with coconut butter

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A bird that lived well

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Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Pie with Gingersnap Crust

“Coconut butter makes the pie dairy-free, but the flavor doesn’t scream coconut. You taste all the nostalgic autumn flavors: maple, pecans, and ginger.” —Anna Derivi-Castellanos, Co-Owner, Three Babes Bakeshop

The ladies of Three Babes Bakeshop recommend purchasing gluten-free gingersnaps to make the crust for this coconut-laced maple pecan pie. Both Rainbow Grocery and Whole Foods stock their three favorite brands: Mary’s Gone Crackers Organic Ginger Snaps, Annie’s Homegrown Ginger Snap Bunny Cookies, and Mi-Del Ginger Snaps. Serves 8

For the Gingersnap Crust:
11⁄2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)
4 Tbsp. coconut butter, melted

For the Custard Filling:
2 Tbsp. coconut butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
3⁄4 cup brown rice syrup
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. bourbon
11⁄2 cups pecan halves, toasted at 375° for 12 minutes

First make the crust. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse gingersnaps in a food processor until they become fine crumbs. Remove crumbs, measure, and place in a large bowl. Add melted coconut butter and mix until combined. Place prepared crust mixture in a 9-inch pie tin and use your fingers to press the crust into place, creating an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan. Place in freezer until crust is frozen solid (approximately 1 hour). Bake frozen gingersnap crust on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 12 minutes, until aromatic. Now make the filling. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, cream coconut butter. Add brown sugar and salt and mix until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Blend in brown rice and maple syrups, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and bourbon, scraping the sides of the bowl again to insure that all ingredients are well incorporated. Add pecans to pie shell and slowly pour custard over pecans, filling shell until custard just meets the edge of the crust. Bake in a 350° oven for 40 to 45 minutes, turning once midway through baking. The pie should be dark and golden brown, the filling completely set. Allow to cool thoroughly before serving.


And Now for the Easy Part: A Flying Turkey

You can proudly tell your animal rights friends that during its happy life, your heritage turkey from Bill and Nicolette Niman's BN Ranch could actually fly (unlike its modern relations, which are bred to be earthbound). It was also fed a natural, vegetarian diet. Dark-meat enthusiasts will relish its rich flavor. Cooking this bird is the easiest thing in the world. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season with salt and pepper. Soak a clean kitchen towel in 1 pound of melted butter, until it's saturated. Drape the towel over the turkey and roast for two to three  hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 150°. Remove the bird and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove the towel and serve. See for a full list of where to buy turkeys. Call ahead for available varieties and prices.


Food Stylist: Robyn Valarik Prop Stylist: Nissa Quanstrom/Aubri Baik Inc.

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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