THIS PIE IS AMAZING. I like this more than regular pumpkin pie. My whole family and some of my friends tried it, and they all said it was totally bangin'. Even my put-a-pound-of-butter-in-everything grandma loved it. How can a egg free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, sugar free pumpkin pie win over a crowd? Magic and a pinch of love. Okay, okay, and some good recipes to work from.
The whole foods/gluten free/vegan/allergy blogosphere is bursting at the seams right now with pumpkin recipes. 'Tis the season, after all. Ali from Whole Foods Nutrition just posted a recipe for Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, Nancy from The Sensitive Pantry shared her Spiced Pumpkin Cider Smoothie recipe , Gluten Free Goddess Karina posted a Pumpkin Pie Bread recipe that makes me drool at the thought of it, Naomi at Straight Into Bed CakeFree and Dried posted a recipe for Stuffed Tiny Pumpkins a while back that looks lovely, Susan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen posted a recipe for Fat Free Pumpkin Raisin Biscuits that I want to make GF, and Stephanie at Gluten Free by Nature offered up some delectable-looking dairy-free Pumpkin Ice Cream that I want to try making without eggs. And that's just the beginning! Whew. My reader has been full of pumpkin. And I, like all of you, REALLY wanted something pumpkiny/squashy last weekend.
I wanted pumpkin pie.
Actually, no, I wanted butternut pie. I love butternuts in pie instead of pumpkin, because they are sweeter and just darn tasty. My family was in town, we were having Sunday afternoon dinner, and I wanted those homegrown butternuts in my pantry to be served in pie form. But given my decision to return to the ACD plan, I knew I had some obstacles when embarking on this pie mission. On top of all my other allergy restrictions, I could only use stevia to sweeten, and I needed a lower carb crust. Hmn.
Not easily intimidated, I jumped in headlong, and set to work researching in my big collection of cookbooks. I found inspiration in two standbys: the pie filling is adapted from Myra Kornfield's The Voluptous Vegan, and the crust is adapted from Jeanne Marie Martin's Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook. Kornfield's book is great, whether you are vegan or not - her recipes are innovative and always delectable. I've had this cookbook for years, and have always loved everything from it (her chocolate cake is incredible). I love this filling recipe because it is soy free, unlike many vegan pumpkin pie recipes. It is creamy and dense, with a great mouth feel, and took to my little tweaks very very well! Best yet, it is incredibly easy to make - if you can use a blender, you can make this pie. The most complicated part is finding agar agar powder instead of flakes (according to Myra's recipe notes, the recipe will absolutely not work with flakes). I used a combination of mesquite flour, allspice, and cardamom to season it, since I am still avoiding all those tasty traditional pumpkin pie spices due to some allergies. But I included Myra's original spice combination below as well. The crust is made of high protein flour and ground nuts and seeds, and also worked well with my little tweaks. Martin's Candida guidebook has a ton of great recipe suggestions (as well as great Candida treatment recommendations), and I've tried many of them over the last year or so. This crust is especially awesome, and totally ACD approved: it bakes up crunchy, has a great flavor, and actually holds together better than a lot of gluten-containing crusts I've seen! Last but not least, the cashew cream is born of my own mind, and is rich, thick, quite addictive, and absolutely perfect for dolloping on a big slice.
If you have nut and seed allergies, give this crust a try, substituting coconut oil or shortening for the ghee if you don't tolerate it. Otherwise, try going totally crustless, baking the filling in a greased pie pan for a tasty pumpkin custard! I'm going to give that a try it this weekend, and think it will be just as delicious. The pie will last for 4-5 days in the fridge, and slices can be frozen and thawed. Trust me, I tried both, and those slices of leftover pie were just as good as the fresh ones.
pie filling adapted from Myra Kornfield's Voluptuous Vegan
yields 1 9" pie
Heat oven to 400º F.
Prepare Crunchy Crust or another pie crust recipe, and put in prepared 9" pie pan.
Make puree by placing cooked squash/pumpkin in a food processor/blender, and pureeing until totally smooth.
Add milk, oil, stevia, arrowroot, agar agar powder, salt, vanilla, liquid sweetener (if using) and spices to blender, and blend again until totally smooth and well incorporated. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.
crust adapted from Jeanne Marie Martin's Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook
yield 1 9" crust
Heat oven to 400* F and oil a 9" pie pan.
Grind nuts and seeds in a blender/food processer until finely ground (a few chunks are okay). Mix together ground nuts/seeds, arrowroot, teff, mesquite/cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Add coconut oil, and toss to evenly coat mixture with oil. Add water bit by bit, until a coarse, dry dough forms. If it seems really dry and won't stick together, add a little more cold water.
Pat into prepared pie tin into a crust about 1/4" thick, and then place in the oven for about 7-8 minutes.
Remove crust from the oven, and let cool slightly in pan on wire rack before filling with pumpkin mixture.
yield about 3/4 c
Sprinkle agar agar powder over 1/2 c of non-dairy milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking until powder is totally dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add to blender with cashews, additional 1/4 c milk, vanilla, and salt. Add water as needed to get things flowing! Once smooth, add stevia powder to taste.
Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours, mixture will firm up.
I updated the quantities of stevia due to comments from a reader and recent experiments in my kitchen. I think that these quantities make a better tasting pie! xoxo