Fall is an exciting time of year. The mornings are crisp, the leaves start to turn color, and from this month forward we have one fun holiday each month for the next 6 months! Woohoo! What can I say, I like to celebrate– I’m young at heart and I love the holidays!
What I love most about the holidays is the time spent with my family and close friends, and of course, the comforting and nostalgic foods that come with the season. When I first spotted pumpkins, squash and persimmon at the market, I couldn’t help but grab a few and take them home with me! Although I would love to keep them on my dining table as a gorgeous Fall centerpiece, I would also like to enjoy the tastes of the season. I can always replenish my supply!
Tomorrow I’m headed to Playa del Carmen (Mexico) for a week, and before leaving I wanted to make as many culinary creations with pumpkin and squash as possible. So far, I made yellow Thai vegetable curry with squash; spaghetti squash, spinach and cilantro fritters; and I tested a pumpkin pie recipe. Since I’m the only one in my family that makes pumpkin pies, I will be the one busy making them come Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year’s pumpkin pie will be everyone’s first vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie, and to be honest, I doubt they’ll be able to tell the difference.
For the pumpkin pie, I simply took my go-to pumpkin pie recipe that I’ve used for years, veganized it and made it gluten-free! It turned out to be a success. Only thing is, you will need some time to prepare in advance. You will have to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours or overnight, and it does take some patience to freeze the pie, thaw it, slice into, then thaw it some more. Believe me, the time is worth it and no worries, the directions are simple and straightforward; they’re all written out for you. All you have to do is follow the directions and voila! This pie tastes just like the pumpkin pie I grew up with, only better and it’s better for you!
In my pre-vegan days, I would frost my pumpkin pie slice like a piece of cake, slathering it all over with whipped cream. With this recipe, interestingly, it almost tastes like the whipped cream is built into it. When you take a bite into this, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices. It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full off of one slice. You can add whipped cream, like I did, but whipped cream is not necessary. If you’d like to make coconut whipped cream, check out my coconut whipped cream recipe. I like to spice it up my coconut whipped cream with some cinnamon and sometimes with a little nutmeg and cloves.
I am so happy about my gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie recipe! It’s super-satisfying and tastes just like the pumpkin pie they sell at stores, only it’s vegan and gluten-free. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Lastly, as I wrote this post, I had my Spotify radio channel tuned to my Mozart radio station. Here’s a piece that sounded so much like October that I want to share it with you. It’s called “The Moldau” or “Die Moldau”, by Bedrich Smetana. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTKsHwqaIr4. Enjoy and happy Fall to you all!
Time: 5 hours
Brief: When you take a bite into a slice of this pumpkin pie, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices. It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full off of just one slice.
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF
1/4 cup ice-cold filtered water*
3/4 cup oat flour, gluten-free
1/4 cup coconut flour
¼ tsp xanthan gum, optional**
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 tsp coconut nectar
6 Tbsp raw coconut oil, melted
*I measure out the water and stick the measuring cup in the freezer while I get the rest of the ingredients.
**I don’t always use xanthan gum, as pictured. If you use it, your crust will not be as crumbly.
1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight
2 cups pumpkin puree*
1/3 cup raw coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp coconut palm nectar (or maple syrup)
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
15 oz. of canned pumpkin puree will work. I bake my pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees F for 1.5 hours.
1. Set separate racks in the center and lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Spray the pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt and sugar, and mix to combine. Add the melted coconut oil and mix together with a fork, scraping the sides with a spatula. Add the cold water and mix together thoroughly with a fork. The coconut oil will then start to harden and the coconut flour may absorb all the water. You may need to add 2-4 more tablespoons of water to get the dough to come together.
4. Press the dough into the pie dish using the palm of your hand and fingers to press the dough flush into the pie dish. Try to make the crust as even throughout. If it helps, use a large spoon to smoothen out the dough evenly.
5. Place a large piece of parchment paper over the pie shell, just enough to hold pie weights, and fill the shell with dried beans or pie weights. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake on the center rack, until the shell is light brown, about 15 minutes.
6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the pie shell. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. The crust might crack a little if over-baked or too dry, but that’s fine. Mine cracked a little and was still fine. (Remember, I didn’t use xanthan gum. If I had used xanthan gum, it shouldn’t have cracked.)
7. Cool the crust and prepare the filling.
1. Soak cashews overnight or for at least 3 hours in about 2 cups of water.
2. Place all of the filling ingredients into the blender then blend on high until very smooth. Stop the blender and scrape the sides to ensure everything is getting blended. Taste and sweeten to taste, if you like it sweeter. If you do add more coconut nectar, blend until completely incorporated.
3. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust, scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Using an off-set spatula or knife, spread the filling into the crust evenly.
4. Place in the freezer to set. It should set within 3-4 hours, but set best overnight.
5. Hours before serving the pie, if it is completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and onto your kitchen counter. Let it sit for about 25 minutes. Using a large sharp knife, cut slices. After you slice it, if you’re not going to serve it right away, place it in the refrigerator. Remove the pie from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving so it can fully defrost.
6. If you over-defrost the pie, just place it back in the refrigerator to let it set a bit.
7. Carefully plate the pieces of pie on dessert plates and top with whipped “cream.”Share on Facebook