Pumpkin Cream Pie (gluten and dairy free)

A pie from back in September, when pumpkins were at the market! This is an adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe, but I’ve rewritten it a bit because my first run didn’t set right, so I served oozy puddles of pumpkin glop.  It still tasted pretty good, but you couldn’t rightly call it a pie. I changed the instructions to cook the custard longer, which made the pie set up nice-as-could-be.

A note about making coconut milk whipped cream. You’ve gotta buy the full-fat cans, and you must handle them very carefully. Try not to shake them in the store or on the way home, and don’t be an asshole about it, but try to make sure they’re kept upright when they’re being bagged. If you don’t take care with these steps then when you refrigerate the cans instead of opening up to find a deliciously thick layer of cream, you’ll find a more homogeneous liquidy mixture which won’t fluff up and get stiff like regular ole whipped cream. It’ll still taste good, though, so you could declare it a creme anglaise and serve the pie on a happy puddle of it instead of using it as a topping.

Pumpkin Cream Pie
adapted from Martha Stewart

For the Gingersnap Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups ground gluten and dairy free gingersnaps (If you’re in Austin, I used Lucy’s, which you can purchase at Wheatsville)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), melted and slightly cooled

For the Pumpkin Cream Filling

  • 2 cups coconut milk (from 1 can plus 1/4 cup stolen from one of the two other cans you’ll use for the topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (from a 15 oz can, or follow this technique to make your own- it’s easy!)
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance (or butter)
For the Topping:
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk, handled carefully and refrigerated overnight
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish
Make the Crust:
Make the gingersnap crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingersnaps, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in melted earth balance. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Make the Pumpkin Cream Filling: 

Bring coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.

Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup milk mixture into yolk mixture. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens up like a good custard, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately whisk in pumpkin. Whisk in 1 tablespoon earth balance.

Strain filling through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Pour into gingersnap crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. 

Make Topping:
When ready to serve, scoop out all the thick and solid creamy part of the remaining two coconut milk cans (leaving the separated transparent watery part behind) and put in a medium bowl, along with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Whip with a handheld mixer until stiffer and creamy. Put a dollop on each slice of pie and garnish with nutmeg.

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