Pumpkin Pie Recipe! Quick! Quick!

The title of this post is not intentionally misleading.  The pie itself is time-consuming, as is all pie, but I managed to have time to bake it and read forty or so pages of American literature for class tomorrow.  Now I’m writing this and listening to the strange turn my Rammstein channel on Pandora has taken, featuring classical arrangements of alternative songs.  I may eat this pie for breakfast since I have yet to make lunch and breakfast for tomorrow.

I realised I’ve been using a 9 1/4-inch pie plate, hence why my crusts seemed short on the sides.  Oh well.  Life goes on.

The crust will turn out fine if it freezes in the back of the fridge, as mine did since I made it on Sunday.  This crust—due to lack of time, space, or initiative—also works well as a “press crust.”  Break it up into small chunks in a greased pie plate, and with your fingers and a fork, flatten it in the bottom of the pan and up the sides.  Alternately, you could wait for it to defrost.

As I worked with these ingredients, I pondered the idea that cooking and messing around in the kitchen goes hand-in-oven mitt with making platitudes.  I can’t tell you how many times I make up sayings or soothe myself by taking an ultimate perspective when some dish or new spice doesn’t quite work out. 

Pumpkin Pie
Crust modified from Robertson, Robin.  1,000 Vegan Recipes.  462-3.
Filling and instructions modified from Vegetarian Times' recipe

Makes one 9” round pie

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine, cut into small pieces OR 1/2 cup organic palmfruit shortening OR 2 tablespoons margarine plus 6 tablespoons shortening
2-3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (If you use shortening, you will probably use the lesser amount of water.)

2 cups or 1 16-ounce can pureed pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened or plain or vanilla non-dairy milk (soy, rice, almond, coconut, but probably not hemp since hemp has a distinctly “woody” taste)
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (or tapioca starch or arrowroot powder)
1-2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Crust: Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut in the shortening or margarine or combination of both until the mixture forms pebble-sized clumps.  Cut in the water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture coheres in one big ball.  Shape the crust into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large measuring cup—does it really matter what kind of bowl you use?  No, I just measured the pumpkin first and poured everything on top of it—whisk together the filling ingredients.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray.

Flour your work surface with a little brown rice flour and roll the crust out to an 11-inch diameter circle.  Fit the piecrust into the pan and fix up the edges however you desire.  Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes or until the centre is set (id est, doesn’t jiggle).  Cool completely on a rack before chilling in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.  Ideally, the pie should be chilled overnight before serving.

Here’s a twist on the ingredients for the pie I made today:
only shortening in the crust

1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 teaspoon cayenne
zest of 1 orange

I may eat it for breakfast, but we’ll see about that.  I tend not to eat dessert for breakfast these days because the sugar crash brings back bad memories of when I reached for sweets before breakfast.  Not fun times.  However, I did not use much sugar, so this could be OK.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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