Jump to the Paleo Friendly Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts of all time. I grew up on canned pumpkin puree baked into pies on the three yearly holidays when we had family gatherings. As an adult I quickly switched to home made to avoid the additives, preservatives and toxic chemicals found in canned goods. Pumpkins, like a lot of autumn and winter squashes, have a great shelf life and can be stored and cooked all winter for a boost of nutrition during the months when not too much is naturally growing. I managed to pick one up at the market a couple months ago, but it has been living in my cabinet while I recover from foot surgery. I planned to chop it up for a soup or curry, but I got a craving for pumpkin pie to lift me out of my late winter doldrums. I wanted it to be very low in sugar and sodium, and free of grain products and gluten. While we don’t adhere to a paleo lifestyle in my home, I do find a lot of paleo-themed recipes help force me to find better sources of calories and vitamins than the artificially enriched simple starches that I relied upon heavily in the past. I ended up baking a simple pie filling in an almond flour crust, which turned out to be one of the best pumpkin pies I have ever tasted.
- Two cups of almond flour or almond meal
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 heaping tablespoon of virgin coconut oil
- 1 egg
You can leave the sea salt for reduced sodium or add a teaspoon of honey for a sweeter crust.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a stand mixer or with a wooden spoon briefly mix together your salt and almond meal. Add the egg and coconut oil and mix until a doughy ball forms. Press the crust evenly into a pie pan and bake it for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
To press the dough in an even layer, use the heel of your hand rather than your fingers to smoosh the dough toward the edges of the pie plate. When the bottom is smooth, use your fingers to press the dough at the edges up the sides of the pan and form any extra at the top into a small ridge. For good measure, use your fingertips to press small divots into the bottom of the pie crust, then prick it with a toothpick to allow steam to escape when you bake it.
- Two cups of pumpkin puree
- Two eggs
- Two cups of homemade sweetened condensed milk
- Two tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 tablespoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, finely ground.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat together with a fork. Pour into a prepared pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, or until a clean knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Making pumpkin puree is super easy, and even a fairly small sugar pumpkin gives up 4-5 cups of puree. To make your own pumpkin puree, skin a small sugar pumpkin and remove the stem and seeds. Chop the pumpkin into large chunks and put them in a pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the pumpkin is completely soft. Mash it with a fork or potato masher, or puree it with a food processor or immersion blender. You can save any extra pumpkin puree in the fridge for a couple weeks and add it to everything from yogurt to soup to dog treats for extra fiber, minerals and vitamins.