I'm sharing today a recipe - no, a solution - to a problem presented to me by my husband, known as The Hubster to Shona Skye readers. Maybe you are making a lifestyle change or need to accommodate someone who is, or you need a gluten-free solution. Quick background: My husband recently lost 100 lbs. by changing his eating habits and switching to The Primal Diet, which is really a change in what you eat, not counting calories or having tiny portions. Basically, he doesn't eat "white" - no white flour, white sugar, pastas, etc. He snacks, he eats regular man-size portions, just not processed white products! And it has worked like crazy, I have to admit. But, Thanksgiving is coming and I make a killer scratch pumpkin pie! It's not Thanksgiving without it. And, being a good and supportive wife (who doesn't like to share pumpkin pie anyway), I want to support him and help him stay on track where I can. Dinners were easy, but desserts? Well, I did some research and it's not as tough as you might think! Your basic baking substitutions are as follows:
- white flour -> switch to almond or coconut flour
- shortening -> switch to coconut oil
- sugar -> switch to organic local honey or maple flakes
- evaporated milk -> switch to coconut milk (if you need a true paleo primal recipe. My husband hasn't taken diary out of his diet, so I use the regular evaporated milk)
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (you can sub regular salt)
- 4-6 tbsp. cold water
NOTE: Be really stingy with the water. Simply use a spoon and add a little bit at a time until your flour is holding together, but still dry feeling. I think the coconut oil adds more moisture than they realize. Just my guess. Put your dough on a sheet of floured waxed paper. Cover with another sheet and roll out from the center, like the spokes of a wheel, until you have a circle to cover your pie dish beyond the edge. I made mine a little thicker than 1/8", just to hold together better.
Take off the top sheet of waxed paper and transfer the dough into the pie dish, pressing into the bottom, using the bottom sheet of paper. Trim the excess and either fork-press or finger-press your edge. TIP: At this point, I put all pie crusts I make into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. I don't know why, but it makes them bake up flakier! This was a tip I got my mother and grandmother and it does work! While you are freezing your spiffy brand new healthy pie crust, go ahead and preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grab your filling ingredients. (Remember, this is primal, but not paleo, so I will be using eggs and dairy.)
- 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (or 2 cups of canned 100% pure pumpkin works fine, too)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (scanty)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple flakes)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/3 tsp. nutmeg
Pour the filling into your pie crust and pop into the oven. You are going to let it bake for 45-50 minutes. To check to be sure it's done, insert a butter knife in the filling towards the side. If it comes out clean, you are done!
This tastes almost exactly like my own great-grandmother's pie recipe and we were really happy with it. The crust cooks a little darker than a regular pie crust and it is definitely more crumbly, but the taste is nearly identical to a traditional crust! Now The Hubster can have his Thanksgiving pie and, hey, if I go healthy, I can have it too. Or I can pick up his slack on the regular pie I'm baking...by sneaking what would have been his portion and hiding someplace my kids can't find me...maybe the bathroom...
I hope you'll come visit me at Shona Skye Creations, where you will find some great tutorials like turning an Ugly Lamp to Steampunk Perfection, to great tips like Free Picture Matting, and even pet items, like Pets Steps Fit For A Princess!
Thanks again to Mandy for letting me come and hang out with you guys today! Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!