The food traditionally eaten on Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) in Western Christian societies is mostly vegetarian as it was encouraged to abstain from eating meat due to meat’s flesh-like qualities on a day where the dead are remembered. So, naturally, I have crafted Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and even grain-free alternative to the classic pumpkin pie. This version is also in fact nut-free, however you could easily top it with some pecans for some nutty goodness.
Pumpkin is a serious superfood being incredibly nutritious yet naturally sweet. Immune-boosting pumpkin contains the incredible antioxidant beta-carotene, and is also packed full of potassium – in fact it 1 cup of cooked pumpkin has 560mg of potassium compared to a banana’s 422mg – making it a fabulous post-workout food. A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.
The crust contains arrowroot starch which is a perfectly natural way of binding it together. You can buy this cheaply in most supermarkets – both organic and regular kinds – and it’s a fantastic addition to your baking ingredients cupboard as can be used to thicken or bind many cookies, cakes and generally gluten-free home-bakes.
So treat yourself to a slice of this warming, spiced deliciousness on Halloween – it’s terrifyingly good!
For the Crust
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon maple sugar or date sugar (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup cold water
- ¾ cup coconut oil (solid)
For the Filling
- 1 (15oz) can organic pumpkin purée (or use homemade but ensure it’s a thick consistency)
- ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp arrowroot starch
- 4 tsp vanilla extract teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract)
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Refrigerate the coconut oil for at least 20 minutes to ensure it’s until well-chilled. In a large bowl, combine the flour and arrowroot starch, add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and mix again.
- Add the coconut oil and mash together with your hands – or better with a fork or in a food processor if possible, to stop it melting – until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 C while the dough is chilling.
- As this dough is better for pressing into the pie tin rather than rolling, wet your hands and break the chilled dough into small pieces and press it into 9-inch pie or tart pan, pressing down to cover the bottom and sides.
- I like to pre-bake the crust and so pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes on a middle shelf.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you work on the filling. (Keep the oven on).
- Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a spoon or hand blender. Then tip the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and smooth until level.
- Place in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for about 30 minutes until the pie is firm to the touch. As this is a grain-free crust it won’t brown too much. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the pie is somewhat firm to the touch (it will get firmer as it cools). This is a grain-free crust, so it won’t brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 25 minutes, and then keep in the fridge as it’s best served chilled.
- Devour with a dollop of coconut yogurt and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
By Amelia Stewart of Cook First. For more of Amelia’s delightful recipes, please visit www.cookfirst.co.uk/samplerecipes.