Award-Winning Pumpkin Caramel Pie

Finally! An exclusive recipe from my kitchen to yours. I entered this pie in yesterday’s Lululemon Paleo Cook-Off held here in Colorado Springs (yes, it’s Paleo – sweet Paleo, considering all the dates). It won Best Sweet Treat, and it was eaten so quickly that I never even had a bite. But I took home some awesome Lulu gear, so I consider it a win-win all around! Chock full of pumpkin, nuts, spices, coconut milk and dates, this pie will not only entice you with its decadence, but it’s grain-, dairy-, and sugar-free as well. So vegans can dig it too. Make it for Thanksgiving and I bet people won’t even notice it lacks flour. Love it!

PUMPKIN CARAMEL PIE

No Bake Crust

2/3 cup walnuts
1 cup almond butter
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp coconut butter
3 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 30 min. and pitted
pinch salt

Put walnuts in food processor and process until they turn to meal. Add all other ingredients and process until you get a dough ball. Push dough into pie plate, using spatula to smooth it out. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until set. NOTE: The crust recipe is borrowed from PaleOMG and modified to exclude honey. You can swap out the dates for 1 tbsp raw honey.

Pumpkin Caramel Filling

1 cup unroasted cashews
½ cup coconut oil, melted
6 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 30 min. and pitted
4 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
pinch of salt

Wipe remaining crust remnants from food processor – you don’t need to wash it out, just wipe it. Put cashews into food processor and process until they turn to meal. Add additional ingredients. You will now have a thick pumpkin filling. NOTE: You can moderate the sweetness by using less or more dates. I recommend six. Take crust out of freezer, it should be firm by now. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until set. You can certainly consume the pie as-is, or if you want to up the decadence a notch, check out the Optional Caramel “Icing” recipe below.

Optional Caramel “Icing”

12 dates, soaked in water for 30 min. and pitted
6 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
3 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla

Again, wipe remaining crust remnants from food processor – you don’t need to wash it out, just wipe it. Put dates in food processor. With the food processor on and processing, add the coconut milk tablespoon by tablespoon. Same with the water. Add the vanilla. Take pie out of fridge. Smear a think layer of delicious “icing” on top. Keep leftovers (if there are any!) in the fridge.

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