Saturday, December 6, 2014

How about a delicious nutritious low-gluten, no-sugar pumpkin pie. Trust want this!

It's late October and pumpkins are everywhere. Seeing them all, my mother reminisced to me about her own grandmother’s delicious pumpkin pie.   My mom was part of a large midwestern family and pumpkin pie was their most favored dessert for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. 

It got me thinking...pumpkin is such a healthy food, couldn't we make pumpkin pie into something that is entirely healthy?  Well, we rolled up our sleeves and got to cookin' and we came up with a delicious pie that is healthy enough that just about anyone can eat it. In fact, we started with my great-grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe. But we've removed the gluten, the sugar and the milk and cream.  

What's left?  Only pure simple, all-American goodness.  This is not a weird, fringed-out, only for extremists and kooks "health food".

This is a pumpkin pie. It smells like a pumpkin pie. It looks like a pumpkin pie.  It tastes like a pumpkin pie.  After all, isn't this exactly what we all want?  Delicious healthy food that keeps our bodies operating at the highest level?

This pie uses einkorn flour, an ancient grain that has a low gluten content.  The sweeteners are a healthy, low-glycemic coconut nectar and stevia powder.  Of course, pumpkin is a very nutritious vegetable (see below) and using organic grass-fed butter ups the inflammation reducing omega-3 content.  Yippee--butter is good for you!

It's nice to know all that, but honestly, it really all comes down to taste factor, doesn't it. Is it tasty and pleasure-ful enough to make it worth the time and trouble to make?  You tell us...

Einkorn Pie Pumpkin Pie

This einkorn pie crust is flavorful, crunchy as opposed to flaky, and slightly nutty.  Very good and easy to handle.

For the crust (double crust):
4-1/2 c Einkorn flour*
2 t kosher salt
12 oz UNSALTED butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
½ c ice water
2 T vodka

Hand Method-- Whisk flour and salt. Rub or cut bits of butter into flour until it looks like sand.  Sprinkle vodka and water over.  Combine into a thick ball barely holding together, adding water as needed.  Shape into a flat circle and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill 30 min.

Food Processor Method-- Put 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse ten times.  Add remaining 2 cups of flour and pulse 5 times.  Add the liquid 1 T at a time, pulsing for 1 second between each tablespoon.  Combine into two balls barely holding together, adding water if needed.  Shape into a flat circles and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes.  

Roll dough into 10 in rounds ¼ inch thick and place in a 9 in. pie plate lined with parchment paper and weights.  Crimp edges.  Chill 20 min.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Remove parchment and weights.  Bake 10 minutes more until pie dough is just cooked but not browned.

Pumpkin Filling:  
1 c pumpkin (any canned organic variety will work)
3 T Coconut Crystals
1/3 c  coconut nectar
1/4 t ginger
½ t cinnamon
4 T melted butter
2 eggs
1 c unsweetened almond milk  (use a rich variety of almond milk, if possible, such as Califia or So Delicious 5x protein).  

Beat eggs well and add stevia, coconut nectar, spices, pumpkin and almond milk. Pour pumpkin mixture into the baked crust and bake at 350 degrees until done, about an hour.  Starting at 50 minutes, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the pie.  The pie is done when the toothpick pulls out clean.

Whipped Cream Topping Options:  Some people with dairy sensitivities can tolerate goat milk (and goat milk is anti-inflammation).  Goat milk ice cream, especially the Laloo's brand, is absolutely delicious.  For more information on dairy intolerances and goat milk, go here.  

*Notes about baking with einkorn flour:  Einkorn is a delicious ancient wheat flour, first used by man 10,000 years ago.  It's gluten content is significantly lower than the flour you would normally buy at the supermarket.  It's protein content is much higher, too.  Einkorn flour is slightly different to work with.  In recipes, it uses 1/3 less liquid than normal wheat flour and einkorn doughs can be stickier.  If you add too much water, the dough will become too soft and sticky to stand up to rolling.  Also, in bread baking, einkorn requires significantly less kneading than regular wheat dough.  

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