Boy, I need a crash course in photography.
Some more photos from yesterday:
Anyhow, as not to overwhelm anyone with too many recipes in one post, today we are going to discuss the Pumpkin Pie. I thought it was a success (some in the group thought that it was superior to traditional pumpkin pie), but Mike didn’t like the texture of the crust.
As I mentioned the other day, I had some idea of where I wanted to go with this pie and how I wanted to get there.
Let’s start with the filling: I had a feeling that the dairy component of traditional pie could easily be subbed out with full-fat coconut milk (I was right), and that the brown sugar could be swapped for maple syrup. Since the sugar component for the pie is a liquid, I compensated by adding less coconut milk than I might have if I had added a crystallized sugar. I kept the spices well within the range of “normal”, whisked a couple of eggs in, and used homemade pumpkin puree that we had hanging around in the chest freezer. (Man, this chest freezer of mine sure does get a lot of action!). The raw filling (yeah, I ate a little raw egg. I’m still with the living) tasted perfect- in fact, I could not taste the coconut milk at all. I’m not sure I would have minded if I did- but my goal was to create a pie that does not call attention to itself with being “different”.
The crust: This may be a work in progress for the actual pie for Thanksgiving- but I am going to share this with all of you anyhow- since I liked it. There are a solid number of non-grain flours out there these days- various nut flours, coconut flour, etc- I decided to go with almond flour. Unlike traditional pie or tart dough, where butter is cut into the flour (and smeared between your fingertips to create uber flaky layers)- and typically no binder is used (my pate brise contains no eggs) the dough for this crust more closely resembles a cookie. I used an egg to bind the almond flour together, added a touch of salt, and for added sweetness- and because by golly I like my crusts to taste AWESOME- a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup. I always add a little more sugar to my pie crusts because I like mine to be more like a shortbread cookie than cardboard flavored filling holder.
What I loved:
The filling was really perfect. Creamy, just sweet enough. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to the recipe, but I used my 10″ square tart pan for this pie and it sliced into squares really beautifully. This is going to be especially useful for Thanksgiving when everyone wants a little bite of each thing.
The crust held together like a champ. I was nervous that it might be too crumbly- but the egg did its job and in fact you could hold an edge piece with your hands and eat it like a bar cookie. Score!
What others thought: Kristen, dear friend and test subject also loved the creamy filling and was a bit fan of the nutty crust. Mike didn’t like the grainy texture of the crust and was looking for a more traditional mouthfeel. The cats were neutral, except on the subject of whipped cream. They love fatty dairy products (as do I).
- 2½ Cups Almond Flour
- 1 egg
- 2-3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbsp Coconut oil, mostly melted
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)- homemade or canned.
- 1 Small Can (5.5 oz) Coconut Milk - full fat. I used Thai Kitchen
- 2 Eggs
- 2-3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground Ginger
- ⅛ Tsp Ground Cloves
- Pinch of Salt
- Combine almond flour, maple syrup, egg, and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Using a fork (or your hands) mix until all of the ingredients have formed a cohesive mass. If it feels too wet, add a touch more flour. The texture of my dough was slightly sticky, but it held together nicely.
- Grease your pan! As I mentioned, I used my tart pan, but this would fit nicely into an 8" pie pan.
- Press the dough into the pan, making sure that the crust is even and that there are no holes for filling to leak out.
- Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling. It is going to help it become crispy!
- Whisk together the pumpkin and coconut milk. If your coconut milk has tons of solids that won't combine, zap the mixture in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt the fat in the coconut milk.
- Whisk in the eggs, add the maple syrup, and all of the spices.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the filling has set in the center.