Monday, January 31, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

I knew I was making a nutty crust for our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, but what nuts to use? Well, I solved that problem by looking in the top shelf of my refrigerator. I had several partial containers of nuts just asking to be eaten. For this recipe, you can use whatever nuts you have on hand. I am a nut freak (yes, it's a problem!), so we always have a ton of nuts in stock. The dates add a little sweetness in addition to working with the butter to help the dough hold together. I used maple syrup for the first time in paleo baking, which turns it into a primal treat. Use honey if you prefer. This pie is delicious! My dad especially loved it! Since you will have leftover filling, pour it into ramekins and bake it along with the pies. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days of pumpkin pudding treats.

Pie filling recipe adapted from

Makes one 9-inch pie, with leftover filling.

Make-ahead tip: Pie can be made up to a day in advance.

2 1/2 cups raw mixed nuts (I used a combination of cashews, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts)
1/2 cup chilled pitted dates
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, liquid poured off OR the equivalent amount of fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
generous pinch of sea salt
3 Tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
3 eggs, room temperature, whisked

Baked crust should be lightly browned.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place nuts in food processor and process until finely ground.
  3. Add remaining crust ingredients and pulse several times until dates are finely chopped, all ingredients are well integrated, and the nut dough can be pressed together. (Be sure not to go too long or you will end up with nut butter. Tasty, yes, but not what we're going for here!)
  4. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish or tart pan. Press the dough firmly on the bottom and sides to form a crust. You may have just a little left over.
  5. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Monitor closely. If the edges appear to be close to burning, loosely wrap foil around the edges until the bottom is cooked. Remove from oven.
  6. To make filling, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined.
  7. Pour into baked pie crust. Be careful not to overfill.
    NOTE: You will have extra pie filling. I suggest pouring it into ramekins and making pumpkin pudding.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is firm with just a slight jiggle in the center if you shake it. Again, closely monitor the crust and lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly.
  9. Let cool completely before serving.
    NOTE: This pie is great garnished with paleo candied pecans.
Wrap edges lightly with foil to avoid burning.

Pour leftover filling into ramekins and bake.


  1. How long do you bake the ramekins for?

    1. The ramekins should be ready a little bit before the pie--check them at about 40 minutes. Cook until just firm.

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  3. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups mixed nuts, and I bought nuts that are already chopped. Does this make a difference in the measurement? It seems that 2 1/2 cups chopped would be more than 2 1/2 whole.