A Killer Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust

 photo :: glutenfreegoddess.com

photo :: glutenfreegoddess.com

This pie is killer.  I mean it.  The last two Thanksgivings that I made it, the pie disappeared in an instant, even before any of the other desserts were touched.  In fact, this Thanksgiving it has been demanded {yes, demanded} that I bake two pies instead of one.  Just call me Betty Crocker {although I feel that I should have an apron for that role…}

{The recipe is vegan, but I use real butter when making it myself}

The key to this pumpkin pie is the cashew cream.  It thickens the pumpkin custard filling without eggs.

The trick is to make it ahead of time to give the pie a chance to chill thoroughly.

Here we go….

Prepare a 9-inch Springform pan by lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.  DO NOT use a smaller pan -- the recipe is calculated for a nice deep pie and if you use a traditional pie plate you’ll end up with way too much of the crust mixture and a lot of extra  filling.  Luckily, my stepfather was more than happy to help me out with the disposal of the excess filling.

First, make the crust.

Crust Ingredients ::

  • 1 cup flaked unsweetened organic coconut

  • 1 cup pecan pieces

  • ½ cup all purpose gluten-free flour blend {Bob’s Red Mill has a good one.}

  • ½ cup organic light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinammon

  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter {as I said above, I use real butter instead}

Instructions ::

Preheat oven to 350 deg F

Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor or bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.  Add in the butter and pulse several times in short bursts until the crumbs are moist and begin to fall away from the sides of the bowl.

Dump the crumbs into the cake pan and spread them evenly.  Using your fingers, gently press the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides -- about ⅔ of the way up.

Bake in the oven for about 7 minutes to set.

Remove the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile… make your filling.

Ingredients ::

  • 2 14-oz cans organic pumpkin purée

  • 1-¼ cups thick cashew cream {see below for instructions}

  • 1-¼ cups organic light brown sugar

  • ½ cup coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons molasses

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or orange juice

  • 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

  • 2 tablespoons xanthan gum

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1-½ teaspoons ground cinammon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions ::

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using a whisk attachment {if you have one -- if not, use standard beaters} beat the ingredients on medium-high until you have a smooth, creamy custard texture.

Pour the pumpkin custard into the Springform pan and smooth it out evenly.  Your pan should be quite full, leaving about 1-2 inches from the top.  Place the pan into the center of the preheated 350 F degree oven.  Bake for one hour until set and up to 70 minutes or so, if necessary.  For instance, if the cashew cream was really cold you’ll need to bake it longer.  If the cashew cream is room temp, the pie will set sooner.

Check the pie at about 50 minutes to make sure the top is not over-browning {some ovens may run hotter than others.}  If the top gets too brown too soon, tent it with a piece of foil.

The pie should look set and slightly firm, though it will still shimmy a little if you shake the pan {not too hard, ok?}  You want the center firmness to match the firmness of the outer edges.  The pie will firm up further when chilled.  It is the chilling of the cashew cream that replaces the eggs in this recipe.

Cool the pie on a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle.  Place a piece of parchment paper across the top and a dinner plate to keep it in place.  Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.  It will slice best when thoroughly chilled.

Before serving, remove the outer ring of the Springform pan.  Top the pie with Pecan-Pumpkin Seed Praline.

Pumpkin Pie Praline

Ingredients ::

  • 2 tablespoons butter {vegan or otherwise}

  • A couple shakes of cinammon

  • A pinch of sea salt

  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans

  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

  • 2 tablespoons organic light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free brown rice syrup or maple syrup

Instructions ::

Grease a baking sheet and set aside.  Heat a well-seasoned, lightly oiled iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter, cinnamon, sea salt, pecan, pumpkin seeds and brown sugar.  Stir for a minute or two to toast the seeds and pecans.d  Add the brown rice syrup and stir until bubbly and sticky.

Remove from heat; spoon and spread the praline mixture onto a greased baking sheet to cool.  Break the praline into pieces for garnishing the top of the pie.  Top the pie with the praline {warm or chilled -- I find it easier to break it up when it’s chilled and less sticky.}

Aaannnndddd -- Pumpkin pie bliss will ensue!  You can thank me later.

{Here's a photo of my pie from last year... in the too shallow pan as previously mentioned.}

photo :: brett valenstein

How to make Cashew Cream ::

Ingredients ::

  • 2 cups organic raw cashews

  • Fresh filtered water

Instructions ::

Rinse the cashews in a colander and place them in a glass container or ceramic bowl.  Cover them with fresh, filtered water.  Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let them soak for two hours.

Drain the cashews and pour them into a blender {or Vita-Mix or whatever super-mutant-blender you have}.

Add ::

  • A small pinch of sea salt

  • A small splash of full fat coconut milk, maybe 2 tablespoons

Process the cashews for a minute or two until they form a paste, adding a tiny bit more coconut milk, if necessary, to create a thick, rich, cream. Don’t thin it too much -- you want it really thick for the pie filling.

Use immediately or store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Yields roughly two cups of cashew cream.

{Recipe Source :: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com}