Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Pie for Special Diets! (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

With Canadian Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'm sure everyone is looking forward to enjoying a big slice of pumpkin pie! I've already blogged the recipe for my family's favourite pumpkin pie that my mom makes for our Thanksgiving dinner every year, so this year I wanted to blog a recipe that caters to those individuals at the dinner table with special dietary restrictions (my best friend happens to be one of them and this pie got his seal of approval!). Just because you are gluten-free, vegan, or lactose-intolerant doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy this delicious seasonal dessert, and I'm confident that this pie will be devoured even by those without any dietary restrictions. The gluten-free crust manages to be flaky, and almost buttery-tasting even though it's only made using three simple ingredients. It is the perfect base for the creamy pumpkin filling and sweet coconut milk whipped cream.

No matter the type of pie (or other dessert) you will be enjoying this weekend, I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. I am so thankful for my blog for giving me the opportunity to share what I love, and to my blog readers who take the time to send nice messages my way. May we all have stuffed, happy bellies by the end of this holiday!

Gluten-free Pie Crust:

2 cups raw, blanched almonds or 2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
3 fresh dates, pits removed


Place the blanched almonds in a large food processor and process on high until they are the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. You don't want any large chunks of almond, but also be careful not to process it too long that it starts turning into almond butter. If you already have almond meal then skip this step.

Add the agave or maple syrup and the dates to the food processor and continue to process for approximately 1-3 minutes until it all starts to stick together. If it looks a little dry or crumbly then add in a bit more agave or maple syrup. 

Remove the crust mixture from the processor bowl and press it into a 6-8" pie plate. Use the heel of your hand to evenly distribute the crust over the bottom of the plate and up the sides to create an outer crust.

This is an extremely versatile, no-bake pie crust that you could use as the base for many different pie recipes! 

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Combine all pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Scoop into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top evenly with a spatula or knife. Place the pie in the refrigerator or the freezer for at least 2 hours to allow the filling to set. If you freeze the pie then allow it to sit out at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving so that it can thaw.

Top the pie with coconut milk whipped cream (recipe below), slice and serve.

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream:

1 400mL can full-fat coconut milk
3-4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, so that the coconut cream inside can get firm enough to whip. 

When you are ready to make the whipped cream the next day, chill a medium-sized metal mixing bowl and your beaters in the freezer for about 5 minutes before you begin. 

Remove the chilled can of coconut milk from the fridge and turn it upside down. This is so that the liquid part that doesn't freeze will be at the top of the can and the hardened coconut cream will be at the bottom. Open the can and pour out the liquid - you can save the liquid for other uses or just discard it. Scoop the thick coconut cream at the bottom of the can into the chilled mixing bowl.

Whip the cream with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in the sugar and vanilla, taste, and adjust to your preference. Use as a topping anywhere you would use whipped cream! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1.5-2 weeks.

*Gluten-free crust and pumpkin pie recipe adapted from Love Veggies and Yoga

*Coconut whipped cream recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

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