Pumpkin Season

Pumpkin is officially the staple of fall. From pumpkin flavored lattes to pumpkin scented candles- everything is gourd themed. With long shadows painting sepia landscapes and squeals of insects acting like the symphony of sunshine. Fall encompasses jackets, spice, and everything nice.

The greatest part of fall is the constant golden hour (usually the best for selfies and new profile photos). The time when everything glows with a shimmer of metallic, delicately painted, and sparkling as bright as the ocean on a bright summer day.. Deep greens outlined in a glistening aura as the trees turn orange before your eyes. Blink and it’s gone. Poof. The chilly, windy air stripping the fiery trees naked and barren to prepare for the anticipated snow fall.

This time of year, the dusty fall and winter clothes come out from the darkest closet corners and boots shed their boxes. This is the time of year where sweaters and shorts can be worn and layers become a must. Waking up to a chilly morning sun and transitioning to midday layer shed is a daily occurrence. Lunching in the nearly summer sun. As the long shadows approach when noontime passes, the layers get added. Leaving work at nearly a winter’s degree. Mixing and matching seasons like spinning plates.

The light jacket. Booties. Sunglasses. A pumpkin enchilada. Equalling the fall combination.

For the fall eaters (like myself) – everything orange and delicious.  
What Keeps the Pumpkin Together (or crust ) (this or buy one from Harris Teeter – there is a vegan, gluten free pre made graham cracker crust)
  • 6 Tbsp chilled coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water
The Pumpkin Filling 
  • 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (~1 1/2 15-ounce cans)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (real)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (this worked out wonderfully)
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or sub mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 (or 3 Tbsp) molasses (darkens the pie but tastes great!)
  • A dash of vanilla
  1. To prepare crust, add gluten-free flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slice or dollop the chilled coconut oil in and work gently with a fork or pastry cutter to cut it in.
  2. Next add ice cold water a little at a time and use a wooden spoon to stir. Only add as much water as you need to help it come together.
  3. Once a loose dough is formed, transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and work gently with your hands to form a 1/2 inch thick disc. Wrap firmly and refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 days. Just let it warm back up a little before using. You don’t want it too warm or it can get too soft to handle.
  4. Once your dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and prepare pie filling.
  5. Add all pie ingredients to a blender (or hand blend) and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  6. To roll out the crust, unwrap the disc and place it between two sizable layers of wax paper (plastic wrap will work OK, but is a little more difficult to work with). Use a rolling pin to gently roll it into the shape of your pie pan. If it cracks, don’t stress – you can reform it with your hands once you get it in the pan. But try and be gentle.
  7. To transfer the crust, remove the top layer of wax paper and gently lay the pie dish face down on top of the crust and use the support of the wax paper to quickly but carefully invert it. Don’t overthink it – just do it.
  8. Once you get the crust inverted, gently use your hands to form it into the pan, working the crust up along the sides. It can be a little tricky but it bakes beautifully, so it’s worth the effort! Just try not to overwork the dough in the process – it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to perfect the shape. Any holes or cracks can be mended with a little excess dough and the heat of your hand.
  9. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 58-65 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Or eat warm and toasty!
Note: very liquidy when trying to eat right from the oven – messy but delicious!


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