November 21, 2016

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

I’d never had pumpkin pie, or celebrated Thanksgiving until I was 20 and first came to the States.  I never dreamed I’d still be here almost 10 years later, let alone raising a child here. But I love it.  Being English with a half American son makes me really want him to have the absolute best of both cultures and feel part of both.  So for his first real thanksgiving (he was 6 days old on the last one!) I want him to have the all American experience.  This year we’ll be Turkey Trotting and then heading to our dear friends’ house for a big cooking fest, turkey, sports, family, wine, new babies, a gorgeous long table, a feast with all the trimming… and pie.

This is a pie for everyone, gluten, dairy, grain free, you can sub maple for the honey if you want it suitable for the under one’s, or omit it totally for a less sweet but still delicious version!

The crust is a really good substitute for tradition white flour pastry, it’s crispy at the edges but if you cook it right it doesn’t get tough, and holds up a slice well.  Just cover the edges with foil or a pie crust protector while you bake it to keep them from burning.

You will have a little bit of pastry left over with a standard pie tin size and I use them to decorate with little leaves using THESE cutters!

For the crust:

2 1/2 -3 cups blanched almond flour

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp raw honey

pinch salt

Mix everything together in a food processor until it just comes together in a ball.  You may need to scrape up a few crumbs with your fingers and roll it into a bowl out of the food processor – that’s ok!  I recommend you start with 2 1/2 cups and add in more nut meal until its a dough consistency.  Place it on a sheet of parchment paper and cover it with a second sheet.  Roll it out until it’s about 1/4-1/3″ thick.  Remove one sheet of parchment paper and lay the pie crust face down over a 7″ pie tin.  Peel away the other sheet and then work it into the pie tin so it covers the whole thing. (You’ll nee to cut and add bits and bobs around the edges to make it perfect, and you’ll have a little left over for decorating.) When you’re done, pinch the edges between your fingers to give it a clean, decorative finish. Then place it in the fridge.

For the filling:

You’ll need 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin flesh. You can use canned but I prefer everything real! (Cut the pumpkin in half and place it cut side down in a dish with a little water.  Bake on 350F for about an hour and then scoop out the seeds and flesh separately but keep the seeds.  Pop the flesh in a blender and blend till smooth.  Ideally let it sit for an hour after blending and some water might separate out which you can scoop off and discard.)

1 cup soft pitted dates

3/4 cup coconut cream

3 eggs

1/3 cup raw local honey

1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

If the dates are not really soft, start by soaking them in a little hot water for an hour.  Then blend the pumpkin with the softened pitted dates until smooth.

Add the pumpkin pie spice, honey and coconut cream to the blender and mix until it’s all well combined.  Scrape the mixture out into a large mixing bowl and crack the eggs in one by one and whisk them in. Keep whisking until it’s really smooth and well combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared crust.

If you have a thin disposable pie tin place it on a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 370F for 45 minutes.

If you have made cut outs from leftover pastry, cook them separately on a parchment paper lined sheet tray for about 10 minutes or until they just begin to turn golden brown.

Something to try: If you roast your own pumpkin, try mixing the removed and cleaned seeds with 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp almond butter, a little salt and cinnamon and roasted them for 20 mins turning every 5 and used them to top the pie and add some crunch.

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