Every year our son Eric asks, dreamily, wistfully, for the pumpkin pie I used to make when he was a teenager: Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie with Olive Oil Crust. And most years I have some reason not to make it, like I’m craving something creamier and richer, or I think some guest wants a more traditional pie. But I no longer eat pie, so what I crave doesn’t count, and it’s all family this year, so I’m granting Eric’s wish.
This pie, although not rich with cream, is truly excellent. I spent years perfecting the exact spice balance, because it’s made from fresh pumpkin it has a special sweetness and texture, and you can serve it to all of your lactose-intolerant friend, who will beg you for the recipe. The filling can be made in advance and frozen, as I’ve already done, and the crust takes all of 5 minutes to prepare, with no chilling of the dough.
I don’t vouch for this made with canned pumpkin, although you’re welcome to try. The real deal is to get a small sugar pie pumpkin or two – you’ll need two cups of pumpkin altogether, so how many depends on the size of your pumpkins. Heat your oven to 350° and set a Silpat or a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet. Cut your pumpkin in half around the equator and scoop out the seeds and stringy goo. Save the seeds for roasting, and set the pumpkins cut side down on the tray. Bake until the pumpkin collapses when you poke it, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin. Scoop out the cooked pumpkin and set it in a fine mesh strainer for an hour or so. You’ll be surprised at how much water drains out of it, even after roasting. Okay, now we’re ready to make pie.
Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie with Olive Oil Crust
For the crust
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
5 T olive oil (I use a very light one like Bertolli Light)
3 T rice, soy, almond, or coconut milk
1 tsp sugar.
For the filling
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup rice, soy, almond, or coconut milk
2 T molasses
1/4 cup white sugar
6 T brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375°
In a medium bowl mix all of the crust ingredients together with a fork. You will have a soft dough, but it won’t be sticky. Roll it out on a lightly floured board and set it in a 9″ pie pan.
Make the filling in the food processor. Whiz the pumpkin until smooth, then add the eggs and get it all smooth again. Add the rest of the ingredients and whiz it this time until it’s really velvety. Pour it into the crust. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350° and bake for 40 more minutes.
You’ll find this surprisingly delicious, if Eric does say so himself.