23 Dec Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust (Gluten Free)
This luscious pumpkin pie is all natural, contains no refined white sugar and is gluten free. Plus it’s delicious! I made the crust by grinding up walnuts (pecans would be awesome too – they’re just more expensive) with coconut sugar (find it in the sugar section at your local market or Whole Foods) in my food processor and mixing in an egg white plus a touch of butter until it forms a nutty dough. If you don’t have a food processor, I highly suggest one. Especially if you hate wasting time in the kitchen chopping like me! You can chop the nuts by hand of course or use any chopping equipment you own like the “chopper.”
The filling is a rich combo of pure pumpkin, coconut sugar, real maple syrup, mascarpone cheese (an Italian cream cheese found in the specialty cheese section or cream cheese section at your local market), eggs and spices. No artificial anything. Just real food at its finest. Yum.
Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust (Gluten Free)
Makes 8 servings
For the crust:
- All natural cooking spray
- 2 ¼ cups walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
For the pumpkin pie filling:
- 3 eggs
- 1 can pure pumpkin (preferably organic)
- ½ heaping cup mascarpone cheese (find in the cream cheese or specialty cheese section)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup pure (not imitation) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Big pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse nuts, coconut sugar and salt in a food processor until just ground (about 10 to 13 pulses) making sure not to over pulse. Or chop the nuts until they are almost ground and then stir in the coconut sugar and salt. Add egg and melted butter and pulse again a few times or just until the dough comes together.
- Generously spray the bottom, sides and top of pie plate with cooking spray. This will help the crust to not stick to the pan (make sure to the get the top of the pie plate too.) Gently press walnut crust on the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, making sure to press the dough so it’s evenly dispersed in all areas.
- To help prevent the edges of the pie from burning, make a pie shield. Here’s how (I borrowed these instructions from the Reynolds Wrap site): To make a foil shield, fold a 12-inch foil square into quarters. With scissors, cut out the center and round off edges to leave a 2-inch-wide ring. Unfold the ring and place over your pie. Wrap the edges of the tinfoil under the pie plate.
- Bake crust with pie shield for 20 minutes on the middle rack in the oven.
- In the meantime, make the filling. Beat eggs in a bowl. Add remaining pumpkin pie filling ingredients to the bowl and beat just until smooth. Note: You can add more or less cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg if you’d like.
- Remove the pie crust from the oven. Carefully remove the shield. Pour the filling into the crust and carefully replace the pie shield.
- Bake for approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until pie is set, making sure to remove the pie shield the last 15 minutes of cooking so the edges get golden. Let the pie rest for about 1 hour (it’s awesome cold too!) Enjoy!
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
This recipe is mostly carbohydrates and fat. There are a few ways to indulge in dessert while keeping your waist line in check: have a light dinner of lean protein like grilled chicken or shrimp for example, plus some green veggies (low in carbs.) Then follow the meal with pie for dessert. The balance of protein, fat and carbs is a good thing and will prevent blood sugar from spiking! Or be weird like me and eat some egg whites or a protein shake (just mix up protein powder and water and gulp it down) first and then dive into the pie (I’ve done this for breakfast before!) Serving protein alongside the pie will prevent a blood sugar spike and minimize fat storage and cravings later on. Or just have it as it is when you want as a healthy splurge.