By Amy Crawford
For years I've gazed at pumpkin pie lovingly, from afar. In fact for years I've known that I would absolutely bloody love pumpkin pie, yet it's remained unmade and untasted. Why it's taken this long I've no idea but I can assure you, now that I have, it'll become my dessert 'go-to'. Friends and family you've been warned.
How did I finally make it to this monumental occasion? We'll blame teff. I discovered it, researched it, made some cookies with it and then, (thank my lucky stars), the rather clever Dr Leandra Brady-Walker AKA the Cosmopolitan Hippy, happened to say hello on Instagram, mentioning that she'd just designed a paleo pumpkin pie incorporating teff!
The universe, it works in wondrous ways does it not? For within 24 hours I'd purchased my pumpkin and was well on my way to pumpkin pie HEAVEN (gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free pumpkin pie heaven, no less).
So thank you Leandra (ye of exceptional pumpkin-pie-creation-talent), for popping my pumpkin pie cherry; my girth may forever frown upon you but my taste buds will always applaud you.
Let's make the crust:
1 cup teff flour
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cold water (or just enough to bind the pastry)
Pinch of sea salt
Let's make the filling:
1kg of diced pumpkin (any type, diced small)
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut cream (just the solid part, pop the rest in a smoothie)
1/2 grated nutmeg, or 1/2 teaspoon ground
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon vanilla (ground)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
15cm - 17cm spring form cake tin
Food processor or thermomix
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.
Spread your diced pumpkin on a baking tray and into the oven to roast for about 15-20 minutes or until it's soft and golden and forming caramelised edges.
Next, place all of your crust ingredients excluding the water into a food processor and blitz until it resembles a fine crumb. Add a little water at a time until it comes together in clumps. The more you blitz the better the oils will release from the walnuts.
Press the pie crust firmly into the cake tin to form an even shell. Dock the pastry (i.e. stab it with a fork a little) and place it into the oven with the pumpkin for 10-15 minutes. It should be starting to darken around the edges and the base should be firm and dry to the touch, but not cracked. Remove the pumpkin when it's ready.
After wiping the bowl of your food processor, combine the cooked pumpkin and other filling ingredients until it is very smooth. This may take a minute in a thermomix, more in a less powerful device.
Once your pie crust is cooked, remove it from the oven and turn your oven down to 160 degree celsius. Pour the pumpkin mix into the crust, filling it to the very top. If there is too much filling, simply pour the remaining mixture into a small ramekin dish and bake alongside your pie. (I ate my extra dish hot from the oven FYI).
Carefully place your pie into the oven. Bake for 40-45 min and assess. The pumpkin filling should be solid to the touch with a very slight wobble. If need be pop it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes more. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then remove the pie from the tin and place into the fridge to cool completely - at least 4 hours or overnight.
This pie is best served at room temperature and pairs beautifully with coconut yoghurt. Rumour has it that it also pairs rather deliciously (and decadently) with bacon and maple syrup.
Ok folks, if this recipe is responsible for popping your pumpkin pie cherry, or even if it's not, please do let Leandra and I know what you think, in the comments below. Any and all feedback is hugely appreciated, as ever.