It’s the fall season which means all things pumpkin, from pies to lattes, ravioli to smoothies. Grocery stores are stocked to the rafters with orange covered boxes and cans. This is also the time of year I purchase sugar pie pumpkins, cut them open, gut them, and roast them to make a pumpkin puree to last throughout the year. I love all things from this festive squash that saved the pilgrims who came to America.
Here’s the least complicated way to process pumpkin:
- Set an oven to 375 degrees.
- Using a large sharp knife, cut the pumpkins in half. Scoop out the guts (seeds and stringy pulp). You can then cut the pumpkin half so you have quartered pumpkin pieces.
- Place the pumpkin in a shallow baking dish. Pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Cook pumpkin in the oven for half an hour or until the squash is soft when you poke it with a fork.
- Remove pumpkin from the oven and the pan. Place quarters onto a cookie sheet and let the squash cool down.
- Clean the skin off the pumpkin. Place in a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Place in freezer bags and store for up to a year.
- Use whenever you want to make pumpkin soup, cake, cookies, or add to your oatmeal.
So what is my favorite food to make with this pumpkin? Pie, of course! I love pie and while there are many places to procure vegan and gluten free pie where I live, pie is better made by my own hands with ingredients I’ve chosen myself.
Here’s a fabulous recipe that I found on VegWeb a long, long time ago, before food blogging exploded and took over Pinterest. I’ve adapted the recipe, swapping out corn starch for arrowroot because I’m allergic to corn, and corn starch really isn’t that great for you. Arrowroot is easier to find these days. If it isn’t supplied where you shop, just ask your grocer. I’m sure they’ll order it for you.
I found the crust recipe over at Simply Gluten Free. It was easy to make and a no-fail crust (I am still shaky when it comes to baking gluten free, but fast losing my fear).
- ½ cup unsalted margarine (use something like Earth Balance or Smart Balance)
- 2-4 tbsp cold water
- 1 ¼ cups gluten free flour of your choice (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Blend all the ingredients with a pastry cutter or, as my grandmother taught me, use two table knives to “cut” the pastry.
- Once blended, knead for 1-2 minutes. Then let the dough rest for at least ten minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the water. The original recipe says rest for one hour. 10 minutes worked just fine.
- Knead the dough a few more times, until soft and pliable.
- Roll out onto a pastry board until it reaches 9 inches or a little over. Pie shells have a tendency to shrink during the baking process.
- Carefully place the pie shell into the pie pan. Gently pat the dough down into the pan. This requires a bit of a light touch. If the dough rips that’s OK. You can repair it with the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan.
- Crimp the edges of the crust. Use a fork to flute the edges.
- Fill the pie with your favorite filling and follow the baking instructions below.
- If this is going to be a crust for a no-bake pie then the pie needs to be cooked (blind bake). There’s a process that involves pie weights and parchment paper. See the original recipe for these instructions.
- 15 ounces of pumpkin puree (fresh is better, but use canned if you must)
- ¾ cup sugar (I use the Whole Food’s brand vegan sugar)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (I make my own)
- ¼ tsp jalapeno powder
- ¼ tsp vanilla (please use real vanilla not imitation)
- 4 tbsp arrowroot
- 12 ounces silken soft tofu
- 1 9 inch pie shell
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Blend all the ingredients together, either by hand, a food processor, or use your stand mixer. Pour into crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for another 60 minutes. While this is not a quick bake recipe, it is certainly well worth the wait.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. Serve with coconut whip or vegan ice cream.
- This recipe is for one pie, the link provided is for 2 pies.