Thursday, November 28, 2013

(white bean) Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving! For me this is an exciting Thanksgiving, my first as a full vegetarian, but also a sad one. It's my first Thanksgiving that I'm not able to spend in Pennsylvania with my family. While I will have to work through the weekend to finish an application, I am lucky that I am not spending the holiday alone... both of my roommates and my fiance are also over burdened with work and have thus been circumstantially forced to spend Thanksgiving in Cambridge. So this year, I am especially thankful for them! I hope your company is just as good this holiday!

Today I'm sharing a twist on the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert... pumpkin pie. I love the standard pumpkin pie, made with eggs, white sugar, and condensed milk, but I worry for my friends who are allergic to milk and eggs... they are missing out! For them, there are vegan versions, but most rely on tofu to get their creaminess. And for some of us, it's best to avoid soy as well. In addition to avoiding allergens, this recipe is also cost effective. My bag of white beans costs $0.99 (and I only need 1/3), which is way less than tofu, condensed milk, or eggs! While maybe it's best to stick with the original on Turkey day, this version is really great during the holiday season, when you're hankering for something sweet, but want something less decadent. The white beans stabilize your blood sugar as well as pack in some filling fiber and high quality complete protein, so this can make a great snack!

(white bean) Pumpkin Pie


1c wheat flour or Gluten Free Pantry gluten free all purpose flour
2t baking powder
1/3c warm tap water
2T vegetable oil

Combine dry ingredients, then add the wet. Mix until everything is just wet. Kneed just a few times (do not overwork), then roll out on a floured surface. Transfer to a greased 9 inch pie pan. Cut off any excess dough, leaving a generous 1 inch margin around the edge, to fold under and flute the edges. This recipe is designed for a larger pan, so that you should have plenty of extra to work with.

Note: This crust isn't my favorite, but it's pretty good and easy to roll. My family's standard is a shortening crust which is earth-shatteringly good, but I'm trying to come up with something without the weird synthetic oils.

Pumpkin Filling

1 can pumpkin puree (~1.5c)
1 3/4c white beans (or 1 can)
1/2c dark brown sugar
1/4c maple syrup
1T cornstarch
1t baking soda
2T pumpkin pie spice
1T cinnamon

Food process white beans until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and keep processing until you're sure all of the bean evidence is gone.

Note 2: My pumpkin pie is a bit darker than conventional because of my dark brown sugar. Use light brown or even white sugar if this offends you. Although, you would need less of the white to avoid making it too sweet!

Put it together: Preheat oven to 425F, then turn down to 350F. (If you're making everything else at 350, you can cook this at 350F too, without the 425 step. It works just as well.) Add the pumpkin filling to the pie pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a fork comes out clean. If you notice the crust getting too brown, you can cover the crust edges with a "hollowed out" piece of aluminum foil to keep them from burning. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy! You can always pair the pumpkin pie with some pumpkin sorbet like we did.

You can also make "pumpkin cups" by omitting the crust and adding the filling directly to cupcake tins (silicone like the ones I use here works best.) Bake these little guys for 30 minutes.

Hope you're getting to enjoy some good food and spend some time with the ones you love this holiday!
And a happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!

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