This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s a time for family, food, crunchy orange leaves and pumpkin patches, and of course, the most integral part of the Thanksgiving meal (for me anyway); pumpkin pie.
I love pumpkins. I love everything about them, the taste of them, their seeds, their beautiful orange colour, their curly foliage, and the autumnal, Halloween feelings they stir in me. They are magnificent. It is in fact, one of my greatest dreams to some day have a pumpkin patch of my own.
Pumpkin pie is beautiful. Crispy pastry encasing a creamy spiced pumpkin custard filling. Delicious. My Mummy has always made heavenly pumpkin pie from this recipe she’s had for my entire life that’s kept on a piece of paper in the front of this old recipe book about meat. The making of the pie was a serious labour of love. She tends to find the making of the pie a touch stressful (Part of the thanksgiving tradition in our house involved fleeing in terror while the pie making occurred. Even the dog would hide under the table. I think that the ancient piece of paper with the traditional pie recipe on it disappeared a few years ago…very suspect…). She’s also allergic to half of the main ingredients in the pie including wheat and milk. And yet despite all of this she never failed to produce incredible pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving meal.
So what am I thankful for?
I am thankful to have the best, most supportive and inspiring Mother in the world who would make us pie despite not really being able to eat it herself (and despite the pie-rage). I am thankful for my two incredible sisters, and to have a husband who makes me truly happy, is loving, kind and with whom I can laugh heartily. I’m thankful for my two beautiful, healthy boys, and to have true friends who know and love me for all of the good stuff and the weird (and the same in return). I’m thankful for our lovely Reef Dog, and for all of the comfort and safety that I too often take for granted. I’m thankful for books, language, and for the freedom to express myself as I choose to.
I am thankful that I can spend this weekend with my boys eating pie.
So even though it may not be Thanksgiving this weekend in your tradition, why not take a minute to have some good food with the people that make you the happiest.
- 100g oats (be sure they're gluten free if that's a concern for you)
- 100g brown rice flour
- 5-6 dates, chopped (or 3 if using medjool)
- 1Tbsp coconut oil
- 80mL hot water
- 450g pumpkin flesh, roasted without oil until very soft (or butternut squash)
- 50mL maple syrup
- 4 eggs, 3 of them lightly beaten.
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground allspice
- 1/4tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4tsp ground clove
- 100g coconut cream
- 60mL milk of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and lightly grease a 22cm tin, or pie plate.
- Place the dates in a small jug or bowl and pour the hot water over the top. Leave them to soak for 10 minutes and then blitz until quite smooth.
- To make the crust blitz the oats until they’re fine flour. Stir in the rice flour until evenly combined. Add the oil and the date water and stir well, and then knead it with your hands until it comes together into a dough.
- The dough will not roll out, so rather crumble it into your prepared tin and press it together and up the sides with your fingers. Pay special attention to the corner of the tin as you don’t want to end up with a very thick corner, so be sure to press it well in. Trim off any excess at the rim with a sharp knife to leave a neat edge.
- Place the crust in the oven and leave to bake for 5 minutes, until it has started to dry out. Meanwhile separate one of the eggs reserving the yolk and lightly beating the white. Remove the crust from the oven after its 5 minutes and immediately brush it well with the egg white.
- To make the filling, place the pumpkin flesh on a dish towel in a colander. Squeeze out as much of its water as you can.
- Tip the squeezed pumpkin into a large bowl, add the maple syrup and whisk. Add the remaining ingredients including the reserved egg yolk and whisk well until the mixture is very smooth. Tip it into the pie crust and smooth out the top.
- Place the pie in the oven and leave to bake for 35-40 minutes. Some cracks may develop in the top which is fine. Remove it from the oven when it’s set with a very slight wobble in the center.
- Allow it to cool on a wire rack, removing it from its tin after about 15 minutes if you can. Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt or whipped coconut cream if you’d like, or allow it to cool completely and chill it in the fridge for use the following day.