“Mom, Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie”
Those four words are all that needed to be said from my sweet girl. First, she started her sentence with “Mom”, the three letter word that will always be one of my very favorites! It will get my attention most every time! Second, she said Thanksgiving! We had an ice breaker session at our team meeting a couple weeks ago: ‘what is your favorite holiday?’ Mine is Thanksgiving; mostly because of my childhood memories. This is the holiday that is solely about spending time with family, watching the infamous parade, eating food made with love, enjoying amazing conversation and maybe even a welldeserved nap over a football game.
I appreciate the focus on family and have never been a Black Friday person, so, in my mind, this is the holiday about family. Lastly, Pumpkin Pie! For a child with autism who is still a pretty selective eater and Gluten/Casein free to boot, this is a perfect challenge for me. I intend to make her the best Pumpkin Pie ever that she can enjoy, her FIRST pumpkin pie, how cool is that!! Following is the recipe I found that I intend to make into our own:
1 unbaked Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
15 ounces unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk (or rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk beverage, etc.…)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Whisk all of the ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl until well blended.
Pour filling into the prepared unbaked pie shell and bake in a preheated 400 degree (F) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (F) and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes. The pie is completely cooked through when a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before serving.
Instructions for the crust:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
Cut in the palm shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the apple cider vinegar and water, and stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
To roll the dough, lay a piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lightly sprinkle with flour. Place the disk of dough in the middle of the parchment paper, sprinkle the disk with flour, and roll the dough into an 11-12 inch round starting from the middle and working out towards the edges. Keep sprinkling the dough with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
Using your rolling pin (as pictured above) to aid in moving the dough, carefully ease the crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Or use the bottom layer of parchment paper to invert the entire pie crust over the top of the pie plate (say a little prayer) and gently peel off the parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan (if there are any tears in the crust, simply wet your fingers and try to smooth them out as best as you can).
Trim down the edges of the pie crust leaving about 1/2 an inch of excess dough. Fold the excess dough underneath and crimp the edges.
Fill and bake as desired.
To Pre-Bake the Crust without Filling:
Preheat oven to 375 and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust bottom with coffee filters or parchment paper and fill with a single layer of dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie crust begins to change color around the edges. Remove the coffee filter or parchment paper and the beans. Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and dried out. Cool completely before filling.
I will report back how it all went; however, I am telling you, hearing the words, “Mom; Thanksgiving; Pumpkin Pie” are better than the taste of any pumpkin pie. Blessings to you all for an amazing holiday, with a focus on the important things in life. We may have special needs in our families which require a new “normal” for every day; however, our blessings are numerous and our differences only make us stronger and more appreciative human beings!
Happy Thanksgiving from one special needs Mom to another!