Sunday, 1 December 2013

Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Crust

So as those of you who see my Facebook page will know, on Saturday we celebrated (belatedly) the wonderful Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law is American and has bought this wonderful tradition to our family, and now it has very much become a part of our lead up to Christmas. As with Christmas though, it is a very hot time of year to be cooking a massive feast and so this year we 'kiwified' it - we had a BBQ with an assortment of meats and seafood, and as an 'ode to turkey' I instead made turkey meatballs with a cranberry dipping sauce. Instead of green bean casserole, we had a fresh, crisp broccoli and asparagus salad, and in place of the traditional sweet potato dish, we had roasted new potatoes and carrots in ginger. Dessert was a little more traditional - pumpkin pie and apple pie…YUM! It wouldn't be thanksgiving without these two staples, and they were delicious served with cinnamon spice ice-cream and coconut raspberry ice-cream - all made clean of course! Here are a couple of pics of some of the delicious food that we feasted on…

 Broccoli, Asparagus, Spinach and Avocado Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds

 Roasted Paprika Potatoes and Chunky Zucchini

 Fresh Green Salad with Mesclun, Capsicum, and Cherry Tomatoes

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry and Orange Sauce

Glazed Carrots with Ginger and Parsley

 Apple Pie in Walnut and Almond Pastry

Creamy Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Crust

This fantastic pumpkin pie recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and free of refined sugar. Traditional pumpkin pie has loads of cream or cream cheese and a pastry shell, but this clean version has a very simple filling made from pumpkin and coconut milk, and is served in a pecan crust. Divine!

Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Crust

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar


2 cups whole raw pecans
1 cup desiccated coconut
8 medjool dates (or 10 dried dates soaked in 2 tbsp boiling water for 10 minutes)
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)

1 cup pumpkin puree (you can make you own from fresh butternut pumpkin, or use canned - see note below)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup (you can use half a cup if you prefer a sweeter taste)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see note below)
2 eggs


To make crust…
1. In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients until well ground and sticky. It will take a few minutes for the stickiness to form - if you take it out too soon the mixture will be too dry and will not hold its shape well. If you find that it is not coming together, you can add another couple of dates or a couple more tablespoons of coconut oil to bring a little more moisture to the mix, but be careful not to make it too moist.
2. Once mixture has formed, press it into a pie tin with a removable base. Cover, and refrigerate for a few hours until firm. Once chilled, preheat oven to 150C. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make filling…
1. In a blender, add all ingredients (pumpkin, coconut milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and eggs).
2. Blend until well combined.

To assemble pie…
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Pour the pumpkin pie mixture into the cooled crust. Smooth the top.
2. Cover with foil (make a little tent so the foil doesn't stick to the top like mine did as you can see in the picture!
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until filling has firmed (it does not have to be fully set, just no longer liquid)
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
5. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow filling to set completely.

Serve with you favorite ice-cream (try this dairy free coconut one) or just on its own! For our thanksgiving dinner, I used the recipe for the coconut ice-cream the I just linked to, and added 1 tsp ground cinnamon and half a tsp ground ginger to make a cinnamon spice version which works very well with the pumpkin pie and apple pie.

- If you prefer to use canned pumpkin, I recommend the Libby's brand from America. In Auckland I get it from Marthas Backyard, but I'm not entirely sure where you can get it elsewhere).
- To make pumpkin pie spice, I used this yummy blend from My Baking Addiction

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice

1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Store in a small airtight container in the pantry and use as needed