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Pumpkin Pie With Macadamia + Coconut Shortcrust

PUMPKIN PIE WITH MACADAMIA + COCONUT SHORTCRUST

What I love about this pie is the simplicity of the macadamia nut crust and how it marries effortlessly with coconut and vanilla bean. I’ve used jap pumpkin to make this pie as it’s so naturally sweet, so it doesn’t require much work when it comes to sweetness. I also wanted to keep this pie very whole food and  plant based so I’ve used agar agar in place of the traditional eggs that are used to set most pumpkin pies. A little goes a long way and only small delicate portions are needed to satisfy.  My pumpkin pie keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.  It’s delicious on it’s own or dressed with coconut cream or lush organic yoghurt.  You can also serve with a side of lime infused pineapple, mango or papaya.

WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT:

Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and help to support a healthy immune system. Pumpkin is also low GI, a good source of fibre that will fill you up without blowing you out. The potassium content of pumpkin ROCKS ! so it makes a perfect pre and post workout recovery fuel for the body.  Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes and supports heart and muscle function. A touch of spice like cinnamon helps stabilise blood sugar levels as well as helps to boost brain function. Ginger will aid digestion and gastric motility and turmeric works as anti-inflammatory. Macadamias are a delicious source of heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats and naturally contain antioxidants like manganese, vitamin E and zinc which neutralise substances called free radicals that would otherwise damage cells. Dates give a lovely natural sweetness and  are  high in the minerals, potassium, chromium, magnesium and iron. Chia seed is a delicious source of omega 3 EFA’s (essential fatty acids) which are critical for good health.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (Makes 1 pie. )

Crust
2 cups (180 g/ 6 1/4 oz)  raw unsalted macadamia nuts
1 cup (80 g/ 2 3/4 oz) desiccated / shredded coconut
1 tablespoon chia seed
3 fresh pitted dates
2 tablespoons coconut butter or cold pressed coconut oil ( see notes )
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract / paste

Pumpkin filling
450 g (2 cups / 15 3/4 oz) roasted jap pumpkin (see how to roast pumpkin here)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch sea salt
3 fresh pitted dates
1 cup (250 ml / 8 3/4 fl oz) organic coconut milk or cream
1/2 cup (125 ml / 4 1/2 fl oz) water or extra coconut milk
2 teaspoons agar agar powder (see notes)

method

Stage 1

1. Combine macadamia nuts, chia and coconut into a food processor until crumbly.
2. Add dates and sea salt and process again until the dates have combined through the nuts.
3. Add 2 tablespoons coconut butter and vanilla then process again until the raw macadamia nut crust has combined.
4. Press the crust into a 20 cm pie dish making sure to spread the mixture out evenly over the base and sides of the dish.
5. Your base is now ready for filling, so set aside and prepare the filling.

Stage 2
6. Combine pumpkin , vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, dates and 1 cup of coconut milk into a high performance blender or food processor like a Vitamix.
7. Blend until silky smooth and creamy.
8. Combine the agar agar with water or the extra coconut cream in a small pot set over medium heat.
9. Mix through for 3 minutes or until agar agar has dissolved though the liquid.  Make sure to keep stirring as agar agar tends to stick to the base of the pot.
10. Pour the agar agar into the pumpkin pie filling the blend through again until combined.
11. Spoon the filling into the raw macadamia nut pie shell and set in the fridge for at least 2 – 3 hours.
12. Cut small delicate slices and serve alone or with whipped coconut cream or lush organic yoghurt.

+ notes & inspiration +

Agar Agar is also known as Kanten in japan.  It’s basically a vegan gelatine made from sea vegetables that works as an anti-inflammatory and is high in calcium and iron. Agar agar can be bought as a powder from most grocers or health food stores.

The difference between the Coconut Butter and the coconut Oil is actually the fibre content. Coconut Butter is the pureed meat of mature coconuts.  It is roughly 60% oil, but it also has the fibre from the meat in it.  It is solid at room temperature, a creamy white colour, creamy and smooth. Coconut Oil has no fibre.  The oil has been separated from the meat of the coconut.  It is solid at room temperature and translucent.  If you see it solid it will look like it has florets or snowflakes in it.  When warmed up is becomes liquid and completely clear.  It can be used for higher temperature cooking such as sautéing, or frying.

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