At this point, it really is no big deal to make a delicious dairy free pumpkin pie filling and a suitably delicious gluten free crust. Old news. But when making my first trial pie, I made a mistake by doubling the water in the pastry recipe--the dough was pasty and weird--but I forged ahead with the experiment. What came of it was a crust that walks the line between chewy and crunchy, along with, of course, the delicate saltiness and coconut undertones of the original GF DF pastry crust. My kitchen bystanders loved it, and I did too; I found myself at times mining a trial pie or or three just for the crust.
So, yes, the crust is something pretty stellar (as long as it's fully cooked, I've learned) but I mention it without meaning to detract from the filling, which is fabulous on its own: spicy, lightly sweet and very compact in flavor. I think it's best to think of this filling and pastry as a tart rather than a pie. Don't expect a flaky, buttery crust and a plethoric, custardy filling, which would be consistent with pie. Instead, ready yourself for a dainty few bites, consisting of a compact, spicy filling in a chewy cookie-like shell--a tart!
Here's how to do it at home:
Stunning Pumpkin Tart (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 cups roasted squash
1 3/4 cups almond milk (or any kind of milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons fresh ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
In a small heat-safe bowl or pan, gently heat the coconut oil. (I like to heat the oil in a stainless steel measuring cup in the oven, but I suppose a small pot on the stove over gentle heat would work too) While the oil is heating, combine the squash, eggs, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a big ol' mixing bowl. Into the warmed oil, add the spices and stir to make sure there are no air bubbles. Whisk the spice and oil mixture into the squash until fully incorporated.* Set this filling mixture aside while you prepare the pastry.
*Most likely, the coconut oil will harden when it comes in contact with the cool ingredients in the pumpkin mixture, so our goal is to have it harden in small droplets that are evenly distributed in the batter.
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
Start off by soaking the ground flax seeds in the water and set aside. Combine the flours and salt in a heavy mixing bowl, then cut in the solid (room temperature) coconut oil with a couple opposing knives or a pastry cutter. Press out the biggest chunks with a fork against the side of the bowl, so that the flour and oil mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal. Add the water and gently incorporate it into the flours until you draw the mess together into a ball of dough.
This is where you'll start to doubt your measuring, or my recipe--it may be very sticky, perhaps unlike any other pastry dough you've made. It's ok though; do your best to gently mix the dough into a uniform texture and then paint/spread it thinly onto the inside of tart tins or tart ceramics or, if you must, pie plates.
Fill the tarts until there is just 1/8 of an inch of exposed pastry, pop 'em in the oven and bake at 375 ˚F until the exposed pastry becomes golden, about 30-55 minutes, depending on the size, shape and material of your baking dish.