Because sometimes I don’t want to share my pie with anyone but myself.
It’s pumpkin season, everybody. Pie pumpkins are in season and can be found everywhere here. We even got them in our CSA last week. I figured it’s about time I tried making a pie from a real, whole pumpkin rather than canned. It seemed intimidating at first, but it turns out it’s not actually hard at all! All I had to do was cook the pumpkin just like I would any other squash and then use that for the pies! If you do want to use canned or don’t live somewhere where pumpkins grow (I feel for you), then you can definitely used canned pumpkin in this recipe as well. This recipe is particularly awesome for me because it’s a baked good, and I am usually not a baker at all. I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised when they came out of the oven looking like cute little edible pastries and then they tasted AMAZING.
Now, I do not follow the Paleo diet (obvious from other blog posts), but I have cut back on a lot of grains recently due to ongoing stomach problems. I was strictly Paleo for a while, but I found it difficult to get enough carbohydrates in my diet. My diet definitely tends to lean more Paleo though, since I can’t tolerate much grains and can’t eat beans at all. Anyway, this recipe is great because it has no grains, no refined sugar, no fruit (which is important for me and maybe some of you too!), and, of course, is free of gluten.
Side note: it’s so interesting how nature gives us what our bodies need. If you think about all the foods available to us by nature in each season, it all makes so much sense! In the spring and summer we are given greens, fruits, and vegetables high in water content and that are naturally cooling to the body. In the fall and winter we are given delicious root veggies and squashes that are high in carbohydrate content which our body craves for energy in the cold! Something I just noticed and read about recently since we’ve been eating more seasonally and locally. It really is amazing!
The crust for these is the most simple crust ever. Two ingredient crust (plus salt if you want). You will definitely want to make sure these are cooled before moving them though, otherwise they will crumble.
The maple pecan topping is optional, but I recommend it for texture and flavor!
How to bake a pie pumpkin:
For a small pie pumpkin (used in this recipe): Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse off the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. (Save the seeds to roast and eat!) Place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet or pan. Add water to the sheet or pan until the bottom of the pan is covered with water. Place in the preheated oven and roast for about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh to use for your recipe and discard the skin.
For the pie filling:
- flesh of 1 small cooked pie pumpkin at room temperature (about 2 1/2 cups of cooked pumpkin flesh, see above for cooking instructions)
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 T raw honey
For the crust:
- 3 T clarified butter/ghee
- 12 T almond meal flour
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt (optional, but recommended)
For the pecan topping (optional):
- 1 tsp clarified butter/ghee, melted
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
For the pie filling:
- Add all pie filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. You will need to use a fork to really mix up the pumpkin and get rid of any big chunks. The end mixture may still be a bit lumpy, but should not have any large chunks. Set aside.
For the crust:
- Add the ingredients to a bowl. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until ingredients are well mixed and you have a dough-like mixture. Set aside.
For the pecan topping:
- Add all ingredients together in a bowl and mix well to coat pecans. Set aside.
Now for the pies!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease a muffin pan. I used clarified butter.
- Take 2 tsp of crust mixture and add to one of the muffin pan slots. Using your fingers, press the crust into the pan so that it is even. It may go up the sides a bit. Repeat with the remaining crust mixture util all 8 slots have crust.
- Add 1/3 cup of pie mixture to each muffin pan slot on top of the crust.
- Top each mini pie with pecan topping.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Allow to cool in pan.
- Once cooled, carefully remove pies from the pan. I did this by placing a flat baking sheet on top of the pies and slowly flipping the muffin pan over so that the pies fall out upside down. Carefully flip them over.
- Enjoy! Store in the refrigerator (if they last that long!). Makes about 8 mini pies.