LynnH of ColorJoy has generously shared her gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving. The following is part of her new online book – click her to order a copy. (And make sure to scroll down far enough to read her hints on rolling out the allergy-friendly crust.)
LynnHâ€™s No-Nothinâ€™ Pumpkin Pie
No Egg, Wheat/Gluten, Dairy, Tree Nut, Potato, Yeast, or Corn
2 Unbaked Pie Crusts in 9â€³ pans (pie crust recipe follows)
3-1/2 cups (2 small cans or 1 lg can) Pumpkin-NOT Pie Mix (Libbyâ€™s has less water in it than generic, cooks faster)
1/2 cup Bobâ€™s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal
2 cups Brown sugar
1 Tbsp Tapioca flour/starch (can substitute Arrowroot starch)
1/2 tsp Salt
1-3/4 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (check ingredients: soy & water only. I use Westsoy Organic Unsweetened)
Any or all of the following spices:
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
Preheat oven to 375F.
If you are making your own crusts, make them. If you purchased frozen crusts, pull them out and separate them before they melt together.
Measure soy milk into small bowl. Slowly whisk in flaxseed meal (I use a wire whisk). Make sure it is well mixed, and leave to thicken.
In large bowl, place all other ingredients. Add milk/flax mixture and blend thoroughly with whisk.
Fill unbaked pie crusts with filling. Do not overfill, as the pumpkin mixture will boil in the oven. If you are using a rice-based crust, cover edges with foil for the first 45 minutes in the oven.
Bake. Depending on the moisture content of your ingredients, it will take no less than 50 minutes and easily an hour or more. Watch the pies, and when the very center of the pie filling is boiling consistently, it is done. Do not be too eager, itâ€™s better if you let the center truly cook through.
My pie pans are glass/pyrex. You may find your baking times will be different than mine if your pans are a different material.
If you take a clean wet butter knife and insert in the center of the pie, it should mostly come out clean.
LET THE PIE COOL. This pie will manage significantly better if you serve it cold. Refrigerating will make it cut perfectly.
I never made piecrust in my life, until I became sensitive to standard western foods. It seemed every non-wheat crust (mix or frozen) included corn, xanthan gum or potato starch, meaning that I was stuck. I was thrown into a long learning curve.
Crust requires a lot of tricks I did not know, and experimenting with it at the same time I was working with alternative/touchy flours, meant I made a lot of mistakes. My first attempt literally would not cut, even with a serrated knife!
When I finally hit this combination, my pie-aficionado husband announced: “this is rather amazing, really.” I knew I was ready to share the results of my piecrust journey with others. Best of all, it’s good enough for the whole crowd, even those with no limitations!
1 cup Sweet White Rice flour (I use Bobâ€™s Red Millâ€“must be SWEET rice, no substitute)
3/4 cup Oat flour (Bobâ€™s Red Mill sells both regular and gluten-free varieties)
1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour (starch, not granules)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Butter or other solid fat â€“ margarine, lard or shortening
Approx. 10 Tbsp Iced water
Makes two 9″ pie crusts
Refrigerate bowl and pastry blender for 5 minutes before starting.
Blend dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add half the fat (if sticks, cut into “pats” before adding), keeping remaining fat in refrigerator. Blend with pastry blender by hand. Work in the fat rather thoroughly, until the largest fat crumbs are smaller than a pea.
Add remaining fat, also in slices/pats if stick form. Cut in more coarsely, where new fat crumbs are pebble sized. STOP before you mix too much– if it is mixed too thoroughly you will not get a flaky crust!
From a small bowl of water and ice cubes, add 1-3 Tbsp of water at a time, blending into dry ingredients lightly with a fork. I needed 10 Tbsp by the time I was done. You will end up with soft blobs of dough about the size of hard candy. You should not have remaining dry flour mixture, but stop before things get sticky.
With a light touch, press dough together lightly into two equal balls. The goal is to keep from melting the fat or mixing it in too much, and at the same time to allow water to soak into all of the flour mixture. This makes it easy to roll.
Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Do not skip this step. Rice flour needs time to absorb the water, or it will not handle well and you will have a mess. Trust me!
Make the filling for your pie or pasties, while you refrigerate the crust.
Roll out crust. It will be thicker than a wheat crust and more fragile to handle. Use lots of sweet rice flour to keep it from sticking to the counter, and use a cookie sheet or thin cutting surface to help you move it into the pan.
Edges can’t be pinched like a wheat crustâ€¦ the less handling, the better. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off any edge which hangs more than 1/2″ from the edge of the pan. Where there is excess hanging, tuck it underneath the edge gently.
If you want a hand-crafted edge treatment, VERY LIGHTLY use a fork to make dents in the top of your crust surface. If you do this too much it can mangle the edge or melt the butter in the dough and make a mess.
Bake with foil covering edges until the last 15-20 minutes to prevent burning. Remove foil and bake again until filling is done.
And then: Enjoy! I worked hard, made uncounted experiments while on the journey to this recipe. You get to start with my victory, no disappointments necessary. Happy pie-eating!
Hints For Rolling Out Allergy-Friendly Crust
When crust has cooled sufficiently, prepare a table or counter by spreading out sweet rice flour on the surface about a foot in diameter. Keep the rice flour handy, you will need more as you work.
Lightly manipulate the ball of crust into a flatter shape by hand (keep hands cool by running under cold water, if necessary), placing in the middle of the floured area. Press a bit on top to flatten, then press in a bit on edges to rejoin large cracks which will appear.
Turn over the piece, re-spreading the flour on the surface so you always have flour between crust and table/counter. Again press down lightly, and gently encourage the edge cracks to bond together as best you can.
Continue to turn onto re-floured surface, press, round edges. Do this many times gently, rather than doing it very intensely at any one time. Be sure to always spread new flour on the surface before flipping the crust. You do not want the dough to stick to your counter.
When the crust ball is about 6″ across, you can start rolling it, gently, from its middle to its edge. Gentle is the name of the game. Roll up, then down, then left/right sides, gently. Continue to be sure the crust is not sticking to your surface; slide to one side so you can add more flour underneath, then slide it back.
When your crust is big enough to cover the pie pan, use a thin, flat item such as a cookie sheet or very thin plastic cutting surface, to scoot (be decisive, not timid) under your crust on the front edge. If you are lucky, it will scoot under at least half of your crust. Hold that steady with one hand, and scoot the pie pan under that (also decisively) until the crust is on the pan. Pull away the cookie sheet.
Your crust will need gentle hands from this point on. Tease it into place as best you can, knowing that a poke or a tug might separate the crust from itself. The edges will hang at different distances from the edge, and some may not cover fully.
Use scissors to cut any crust more than 3/4 of an inch from pan. Tuck under excess crust, handling gently.