Sarah’s Rap: Eeek, Christmas Day is almost upon us! Where did this month go?! For me, travelling, work and a cold-turned-sinus-infection have kept me busy on top of the usual holiday fanfare. But not too busy, which is a first for me at Christmastime. I have mastered the art of saying “no” this month and not trying to take on more than I can handle. My long-overdue haircut can wait until after Christmas, as can some friendly get-togethers, and I will be sending New Year’s cards with the dubious mailing date of “sometime in 2017” in lieu of Christmas cards. Instead, I’ve tried to maximize fun time with my husband and sons, as well as ensuring I set aside time for some self-care. Sorry folks, that also meant less time worked on the blog, social media and writing this month, but you’re all hopefully doing the same! Melissa and I are excited for our blog plans for next month so stay-tuned on that.
On top of the busy calendars, the holidays also can be one of the toughest times (after happy hour) for those of us that cannot have alcohol, sugar, grains or dairy. Most, if not all, traditional desserts have one or all of those ingredients. I cannot eat most Paleo desserts either due to an intolerance to even natural sugars like honey, fruit and maple syrup. This year I was determined to develop a recipe for a dessert I can eat, is tasty and won’t leave me depressed as I watch my fellow holiday revelers chowing down on their own sweet treats. Hence my pumpkin and chocolate pie recipes are born. Thanks to multiple test runs while I perfected the recipes, I’ve enjoyed a month straight of pie. And even better news folks… I can say that I haven’t put on a pound! I didn’t lose any either, but that’s what January is for! 🙂
These recipes, below, are my holiday gift to you, along with my deepest thanks for your support these past few months as Melissa and I have embarked on a new journey together. I hope you enjoy these recipes as well as the blog!
Below you will find links to both my Paleo pumpkin and chocolate pie recipes. The pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving and the chocolate pie will be my Christmas treat. Both use the same pie crust and are topped with whipped coconut cream, recipes also included. Although I made these for the holidays, they’d be good dessert options year-round!
Both pies are stevia-sweetened, but there is a maple syrup version for those that can tolerate it and prefer it to stevia.
Stevia note: If you use stevia, be sure to use Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops or other liquid brand that does not contain other additives other than water. I like the taste of Sweet Leaf and find it does not have that strange aftertaste that other brands do.
For those allergic to nuts: The pie crust recipe uses almond flour, but you can substitute with a GF 1-to-1 blend or tigernut flour if you prefer. I did not try this, however in the past I have had good luck with these substitutions in other recipes.
For those allergic to coconut: The key ingredient is coconut milk in both pies, so if you suffer from a coconut allergy, this recipe may work with another DF milk but it’s not something I played with. Let me know if you find substitutions that work for you!
Paleo Pie Crust
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 4 dry ingredients to blend. Add oil, beaten egg and vanilla extract to dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. The dough will not hold together to be rolled, as normal pie crust would. Instead, press dough into an 8″ pie plate, ensuring bottoms and sides are covered and pressed flat.
Use tines of fork to poke several holes in the bottom of the crust and to make a decorative edge around dough.
Cover edges with foil strips and bake for 5 mins.
If using a cooked crust (i.e. chocolate pie), remove foil carefully and bake an additional 8 minutes. When golden, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack
If using a partially cooked crust (i.e. pumpkin pie recipe), leave the foil strips on and remove crust from oven. Set aside to cool on wire rack until ready to add filling and bake further.
Paleo Chocolate Dream Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream
Ingredients:1 pre-cooked pie crust, see above
2 cans full-fat coconut milk, divided
6 Tbsp raw cacao
1 teaspoon + 15 drops liquid stevia (see sweetener note above), divided
(OR 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, divided)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon gelatin (Great Lakes brand)
In saucepan, whisk over medium heat 1 can coconut milk, cacao, 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or 6 tablespoons maple syrup), 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and sea salt until smooth and only slightly warm, 2-3 minutes.
Puree 2nd can of coconut milk in a blender. Measure out 1 cup and pour into a small bowl, leaving the rest in the blender for later. Add gelatin to the 1 cup of coconut milk and stir until smooth. Gradually whisk gelatin/coconut milk mixture into coconut-chocolate mixture in the saucepan. Whisk well so lumps don’t form. Heat 6-8 minutes over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until warm and smooth. Do not boil.
Pour into prepared pre-baked pie crust. Let pie cool until room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate until cold and set, approximately 3 hours. (If have any extra filling, put into a small bowl, chill 3 hours and voila you have pudding!)
Prepare whipped coconut cream while pie is chilling, at least 2 hours before serving (see below).
Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped coconut cream, skimming the thickened cream off the top.
Another option is to spread the thick, whipped coconut cream over the top of the entire pie and garnish when ready to serve. Optional garnishes that would go well atop the coconut cream on each slice of pie are fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, sprinkle of cocoa nibs, toasted shredded coconut, banana slices and/or dark chocolate shavings.
Whipped Coconut Cream Directions:
Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 15 drops stevia (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup) to the remaining coconut milk in the blender. Puree briefly to mix. Pour into a small bowl or a quart-size mason jar. Cover and chill 2-3 hours until thick.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Coconut CreamIngredients:
Partially-baked pie crust, cooled (Use same crust above, but only partially bake for 5 minutes, leaving the foil along edges, then set aside to cool.)
1 can organic pumpkin purée
2 large eggs
1 can full-fat coconut milk, divided
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
30 drops liquid stevia, divided (Sweet Leaf recommended)
(OR 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Puree coconut milk in a blender until smooth. Measure out 1 cup and pour into a large bowl, leaving the rest in the blender for later.
Add pumpkin puree, eggs, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, sea salt and 15 drops of stevia (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup) to the coconut milk in the bowl. Whisk to combine well. Pour into partially-baked crust and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil strips from edges of crust and continue to bake another 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
While baking, prepare whipped coconut cream, see below.
Remove pie from oven and cool completely on wire rack, 1-2 hours. Serve immediately once cooled or cover and refrigerate. Top with thick, whipped coconut cream when serving.
NOTE: I prefer my pumpkin pie to be less sweet than my chocolate. If you prefer a sweeter pie, you can increase the sweetener proportions.
Whipped Coconut Cream Directions:
Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and remaining 15 drops stevia (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup) to the remaining coconut milk in the blender. Puree briefly to mix. Pour into a small bowl or a quart-size mason jar. Cover and chill 2-3 hours until thick.