Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

You read that right - DAIRY FREE PUMPKIN PIE.

First, though, happy almost Thanksgiving and happy Hanukkah to all my friends for whom tomorrow will be Thanksgivikkah.

Everyone in my family loves pumpkin pie. Of course, we can no longer eat it here, what with Em's dairy allergy. A couple of years ago I made one with soy milk. One word: yuck. Soy milk just doesn't bake well - it gets sweet, plus it has a weird, slightly plastic after-taste no amount of ginger and cinnamon was able to cover. We did not love it. I don't know what happened last year - I think I was just too busy to bake, but this morning, as I was sitting around thinking about how much I missed pumpkin pie, I had a thought: rice milk.

Good idea, yeah? Except the rice milk you can buy at whole foods and other such places is produced in a factory that also produces almond and hazelnut milk. Guess what else my daughter is allergic to? Yep, you got it.

But, as I was thinking about it, it occurred to me that it would be pretty easy to make my own rice milk.

Which is what I did:

It's not that hard, actually. Never occurred to me before. Here's how you do it (this makes quite a bit):

2 Cups of long grain white rice
8 cups of water
1 tsp table salt

Get out you Dutch Oven or a stock pot and heat it up on the stove. When it's hot, toast your rice in the pot until it becomes fragrant, but before it browns - about 1-2 minutes. Then, add your 8 cups of water and bring it all to a boil. Put a lid on it, turn it down and let it simmer for 15 minutes, then turn the whole thing off and let it sit another 10 minutes. 

This is what it looked like when it was
finished blending
Remove the lid and give it a stir. It should be pretty watery. Put two cups of this rice into a blender, I have a Vitamix knock-off which does a pretty good job of whirring things up - add another 1/2 cup to a full cup of water if your rice is too thick to blend - but it will make your rice milk taste a little watery. Add 1/4 cup of honey to this and blend again. A lot of websites suggest you strain this mixture, however, I felt like it was all nice and thick the way a can of condensed milk would be. Put this batch aside, and then repeat the process with the remaining rice. Put all in a container in a fridge except  about 1 of cup which you'll use for the pie. The rice milk should last a week or so. Not sure if you can freeze, but I don't actually see why not. I'll experiment and let you know.
OK, now for the PIE.

 Here's what you need:

For the crust:
2 Cups finely ground ginger snaps*
4 TBLSP grape seed oil
1 TBLSP honey
*(do this in your food processor - the number of snaps you'll need will vary by the size of the snap - I used vegan snaps from Whole Foods - but most ginger snaps are vegan - and you can get packages of them from the grocery)

For the filling:
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of cinnamon (you can use 1/2 a tsp if you don't like your pies too cinnamon)
1/2 tsp table salt
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of rice milk
1/2 cup of maple syrup

Here's what you do:

This first part is for the crust - 

Place your gingersnaps, oil and honey in a food processor and whir it up. Turn the mixture out into a pie plate and press into place.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Then, in a large bowl, stir the pumpkin, spices, salt and sugar together. Whisk in your eggs, then whisk in the rice milk followed by the maple syrup. Pour all into your prepared pie crust. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn your oven down to 350 and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. 
While it's baking clean your kitchen: 

Dear Lord, what a mess.
After 40 or so minutes, check the pie, if it's really jiggly, give it another 5 - if it's not, take it out and let it cool. Once my pie is cooled off, I'm putting my pie in the fridge because we will be eating it tomorrow, on Thanksgiving. 

Enjoy - Happy Turkey Day!