Every November 1st for the majority of my later childhood, my mother would go to Boston Pizza and collect the hundreds of decorative pumpkins they had had out for Halloween. Then she would scoop out their guts, roast, peel and mash them. Then the pie making extravaganza would begin. She’d spend a whole weekend, from early in the morning Saturday to very early in the morning Sunday baking pies. Then she’d freeze them and slowly gift them to whoever she felt like giving a pie to. Too bad I didn’t like pumpkin pie when I was kid!
As an adult, it’s still not my favourite texture but I do revel in the joy a homemade pumpkin pie brings people. So, here’s my simple recipe. I’m experimenting with a fancier recipe, but that’s just for fun. Not much to this one, but there’s also nothing missing. Pumpkin pie is always better after sitting for a while, so make it a day ahead of time. Make sure you’re using silken tofu and not just a soft or a medium tofu because they’re actually made in entirely different ways. Silken tofu is shelf stable, but you’ll still find it in the fridge next to the other tofu, depending on the grocery store.
I like well-spiced pumpkin dishes, and I have a couple of special ingredients that make my pumpkin pie rich, especially warm and I suggest serving it with a coconut whipped cream, but I can’t because there are two dinner guests who are allergic to coconut at my dinner. Rice whipped cream, it is.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Makes 1 – 9 inch pie
2 cups mashed pumpkin
340 ml firm silken tofu (extra firm silken tofu will do just as well)
2 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons cooking molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, ground pretty finely
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 – 9 inch pie shell, unbaked (My pate brisee recipe + tips for better gluten-free pastry are here)
Non-dairy milk, for brushing the edges of your pastry
Add the pumpkin and tofu to a blender or food processor and pulse until it is smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse again until smooth. Preheat oven to 425 F. Add the filling to your pie shell. Brush with non-dairy milk. Bake in the lower third of your oven for 15 minutes, before turning the heat down to 350 F. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling feels set and the crust is golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack and serve, at whatever temperature you like, the next day.