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Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Posted Nov 17 2008 11:50pm

I have never been much of a pie baker, so when I found out Emily's class was having pumpkin pie for their fall festival I was a little nervous. I went online looking for a recipe but I couldn't find one that had (or rather DIDN'T have) everything I needed. I did, however, find a fabulous vegan pumpkin pie filling at Vegan Spoonful. Ok, battle half over...now for the crust. This is a conglomeration of 3 different recipes plus my own experiences in gluten free baking. When you look at this recipe your first reaction may be "are all those flours really necessary?". In my opinion...yes. Each and every flour brings something special to the table:
RICE FLOUR adds body but is almost always gritty when used alone.
SORGHUM FLOUR looks and tastes the most like wheat but is very heavy.
POTATO STARCH lightens the blend, adds softness, and helps retain moisture.
SWEET RICE FLOUR adds pliability and is less gritty than normal rice flour, however too much will cause toughness.
TAPIOCA STARCH lightens the blend, binds and adds pliability, and helps baked goods to brown. If too much is used the product will be tough and sometimes doughy in the middle.

There are many more GF flours that I have not covered because they are not in this recipe, but I just wanted to add that high protein flours such as quinoa flour and bean flours help to hold the structure in cakes and such. If you have problems with your baked goods collapsing try adding a high protein flour, but in very small amounts as they have strong flavors.

One last note I also wanted to make is that I did find one recipe online that would have worked for us but it had a buckwheat crust and I don't have any buckwheat flour. It is one of the very few flours that I have never tried. If you are a fan of buckwheat then you may want to check out this pumpkin (there is also an apple) pie recipe at Mom's Food Allergy Diner.

CRUST:
1/3 c plus 1 T Chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 c Rice flour
1/4 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Potato starch
1/8 c Sweet rice flour
1/8 c Tapioca starch
1 1/2 t Dry Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 t Salt
2 t Sugar
2 to 3 T Ice water

In a large bowl with a wire whisk blend all dry ingredients. Cut in vegetable shortening until particles are the size of small peas (most recipes say to use a pastry cutter or two knives, I actually use my whisk in a potato masher sort of way, alternating between stirring and mashing until the desired consistancy is reached). Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry dough holds together when shaped into a ball with hands (1 to 2 teaspoons additional water can be added if necessary). Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Place disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted pie plate. Try to control the rolling pin and move from the center out. Don't use the rolling pin to go back and forth. You want the crust as evenly rolled as you can. Peel off top layer of parchment paper and lay pie dish over the dough. Flip over and allow the pie crust to sag into the dish. There may be a lot of patching required at this point, but the good news is that I found this dough to patch very easily. Roll the edges under and do the knuckle crimp around the top edge. If you are a novice like me this crimped edge instructional video may help. I have not had a need to use foil to prevent burning with this pie.

FILLING:
1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin
1 c Vanilla soy milk
3/4 c Sugar
3 T Cornstarch
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Ground ginger
1/8 t Ground nutmeg
1/8 t Ground cloves
1/2 t Salt

Combine canned pumpkin, soy milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and spices in a large bowl, and mix very well with an electric mixer, about 1 minute on medium speed (alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in a blender).

PIE:
Preheat oven to 350. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell, and bake for about 60 minutes. The pie will still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven, but it will firm up as it cools. Cool completely on a cooling rack, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
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