Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homemade Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie...
From a Real Pumpkin!

A few weeks ago on Halloween, my young son and his daddy went to a real pumpkin patch for a school field trip and brought home one small pie pumpkin. We had already carved two Jack O’Lanterns for the big night, so the adorable pumpkin sat for a few days on our dining room table while I wondered what we could make with it.

At last, I found a recipe for creating the softened pumpkin for pumpkin pie from scratch – complete with photos showing how to do it. I’d never made anything like this before, and it seemed like a really fun cooking challenge. Following the steps to create the soft pumpkin filling turned out to be easy, and from there I improvised my own pie recipe.

I know that canned pumpkin is a whole lot more user friendly for most chefs… and I’m pretty sure this recipe will taste just as yummy using gluten free pumpkin from a can. So if you’re considering trying out my pie recipe and just don’t have the time to steam, skin and mash a fresh pumpkin – simply skip the first steps!

Baking this pie is the perfect activity for a rainy or dreary day... its cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice smell so warm, cozy and inviting that by the time you are done putting it in the warm oven you will feel as though your kitchen is hugging you.

The pie itself, when cooked and cooled, is very tasty. It is important to note though that soft pumpkin from a patch - even a pie pumpkin - is not inherently as sweet as the kind you will typically find in a can, so if you don't want a natural taste you may wish to add more sweetener than my recipe calls for.

It was a real joy to bake this pie with my small son, who loved that we were using his special pumpkin to make a sweet dessert. I can now say in all honesty, "It is delicious and even a preschooler can make it!" Happy Holidays!

Homemade Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie... From A Real Pumpkin!

What You’ll Need:

For Crust...
1 pkg Authentic Foods pie crust mix
(or your own homemade gluten free crust)

For Filling...
2 cups of pumpkin puree (see this recipe for steps…)
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Z Sweet
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice

For Topping...
Sprinkle of Z sweet
Heavy Whipping Cream
Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

How It Works:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash your pumpkin with warm water and dry well.

Next, carefully slice your pumpkin in half lengthwise, using a sharp serrated knife. With a sturdy metal spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop out all of the pumpkin seeds and "glop", keeping only the actual pumpkin shell.

Next, carefully slice the shell into several smaller pieces that will fit into a stovetop or microwave steamer. I used a microwave steamer and steamed each of the batches of pumpkin shell for approximately 7 minutes. There are great directions on how to steam your pumpkin using a stovetop steamer here.

Once you have steamed your pumpkin and cooled it slightly you should be able to easily remove the rind from the flesh with a butter knife or even your hands. Discard the rind, and place the softened pumpkin flesh into a food processor or blender. I use a Cuisinart.

Blend your steamed pumpkin until it is extremely smooth and supple, with no “threads” or lumps. Measure out two full cups of your pumpkin blend, and set aside to use when creating your pie filling.

If you are using the Authentic Foods pie crust, now is the moment to put it together and pre-bake it for five minutes in a greased pie pan.

You can also use your own homemade gluten free pie crust, or any other crust that you particularly enjoy.

When your crust has pre-baked and is ready to fill, mix together the pureed pumpkin, eggs, heavy cream, Z Sweet, xanthan gum, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. You can do this by hand but for best results I would recommend a mixer of some sort to make sure that your filling is smooth and well blended.

Pour filling into the crust and cover the crusts with tin foil. Bake in oven with crusts covered for approximately 20 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for approximately 30 – 40 minutes more, until the center comes out clean when a knife or toothpick is inserted.

Before serving, dust the top of your pie lightly with Z sweet - or for those who can have dairy this is wonderful served with freshly whipped cream and/or vanilla bean ice cream.

The sprinkles you see here on top are Z Sweet and cinnamon... yum!

Serves 8 – 10.


The Organized Dreamer said...

I made my pumpkin puree by slicing into quarter sections, scooping out the seeds and strands, baking it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, peeling the the rind off, and putting chunks into my food processor with a bit of water. Just another idea :)

Glad it came out so well! You should try pumpkin cheese cake next time with gluten free (?) graham cracker crust. YUM

strivingChef said...

Oooh, that sounds delicious! I have a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe I've been anxious to adapt, I'll have to try it out for Thanksgiving!