Desert on Thanksgiving HAS to be pumpkin pie… for me, nothing else will do. A few days before this Thanksgiving, C came to me and plaintively said “Can we have pumpkin pie please?”
To be honest, I was actually planning to make pumpkin pie anyway – just a paleo version.
Part of the problem with non-paleo pumpkin pie recipes is that they have a crust that contains wheat. Then, they usually contain cream, which, while it is a primal ingredient, is not paleo. And finally, they usually contain quite a lot of sugar.
My challenge was to adapt a standard non-paleo recipe to using paleo ingredients. This is what I came up with, and I have to say, it was very tasty and just like a “real” pumpkin pie. It was rich, silky smooth and just what was wanted after the turkey dinner.
I used a pecan and hazelnut (filbert) based crust for this recipe, and because I didn’t want to use too many nuts, I made it “cheesecake-style” with only the crust on the base, and not up the sides. The cream was replaced by coconut milk and the sugar by raw-honey. I also made it deeper than a regular pumpkin pie so that it was more “cheesecake-like” and so that there was more of that delicious pumpkin filling (honestly, I think that is the best part!)
I served this with whipped coconut cream instead of whipped cream, but if you are primal you could use the regular whipped cream.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie
For the crust:
- 1 cup hazelnuts (filberts)
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (you could also use butter or ghee if you use dairy products)
- pinch of sea salt
For the pie filling
- 1 x 28oz can pumpkin puree (read the label to ensure that it contains nothing but pumpkin)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (read the label on the can to ensure that it contains nothing but coconut and water – there are brands out there that do)
- 16 whole Pecan halves to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Put both the hazelnuts/filberts and pecans in the food processor and grind to a coarse meal. Melt the coconut oil (or butter/ghee if using) and pour it into the food processor while it is running along with the salt. Once a paste like consistency has formed turn the dough out into a 12″ spring-form cake pan. Spread the dough out into a thin even layer on the base.
Place the crust into the preheated oven and allow to bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the filling.
Put all of the pie-filling ingredients (except for the pecan halves) into a large bowl and whisk well, ensuring that the honey is evenly distributed. Raw honey is often very thick and does not dissolve well, so mix a few extra times to make sure that there are no stray lumps of honey.
Once the crust has baked, pour the filling into the pan and arrange the pecan halves in an attractive pattern.
Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until set. Check after 45.
I then chilled this in the fridge.
I made this pie on the day before Thanksgiving, and plated it while cold the next day.
Serve cut in slices with a dollop of whipped cream – your choice if you want to use dairy or coconut cream
This to my mind was the perfect Thanksgiving desert – tasty, slightly sweet, but not cloyingly so. And so very, very seasonal. It would be fantastic as a fall desert as well… and would even work at Christmas if you wanted to avoid the traditional Christmas Pud.