Pumpkin pie

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I don’t care about your back story, just take me to the recipe.

I had my first encounter with pumpkin pie when Mr S and I were in New York last year for the marathon. It wasn’t quite Thanksgiving, but there were pumpkins everywhere and pumpkin pie on most menus so we gave it a go. I only had a little scoop of the filling (as it had cream in it) but liked it and vowed to make my own gluten and dairy free version for the follow year’s “Thanksgiving”.

Above: Pumpkins for sale in New York City, November 2011.

Being an American event, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but the last few years on Twitter have opened up my world to it (as it turns out that I follow a lot of Americans).

While I haven’t researched and understood its beginnings, I really like the tradition of taking time to be with loved ones and recognising what you are thankful for.

Clearly I’m thankful for the Internet, as it allows me to follow incredible people and learn interesting things and find recipes for gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie…

There are an abundance of recipes out there. I ended up selecting this one from the Gluten Free Goddess blog as:

  1. Her pie got the response: “This might be the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever eaten.”
  2. It’s crustless. Which is a huge plus for me as I find gluten and dairy free pastry crumbly, dry, difficult to work with and generally painful. Not things I like when cooking.

We shared the pumpkin pie with some friends who were over for dinner who gave it the thumbs up. I think we were still all a bit… “this is different” mainly because we had never had it before and had no point of reference or “history” for it.

Even our friend Adam appeared to like it, which I’ll take as a compliment as his wife warned me: “Adam doesn’t really like vegetables or desserts, so a dessert made from vegetables could be a push…”*

*That was the general gist of it, I cant’ remember exactly.

Gluten and dairy free crustless pumpkin pie

Ingredients:

For the pie

  • 450ml cooked and pureed pumpkin (I’m not sure how much this is in pumpkin weight… I roasted a whole heap then pureed what I needed and used the rest in a salad)
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (or you can substitute soy or almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla (I used regular vanilla, but I want to find some of this “bourbon vanilla”!)
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, or to make it vegan, substitute the eggs with 1 tablespoon egg replacer
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, or other gluten free flour (best to have one with a bit of substance though)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For serving

  • Strawberries or berries
  • Yoghurt or thickened cream (depending on your lactardiness)

Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into pieces and roas. You could probably steam it, but I like the roasted flavour. I actually didn’t think about it going into a sweet dish and still seasoned it like I normally would, but it still worked! Cooking time will depend on your oven (ours is slooow) but maybe 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on how much pumpkin, 180˙C or until a skewer easily goes through the pumpkin pieces.
  2. Grease and line a pie tray or round cake tin with baking paper.
  3. And if you don’t still have the oven on from roasting the pumpkin, pre heat your oven to 180˙C.
  4. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor. I know I tend to go on about my “hand held blitzy thingy”, well this is what I’m actually talking about, it’s rad. The blending container also has measurements on it, so you can tell exactly how much pumpkin you have.
  5. Combine with all other ingredients until smooth, then fill the prepared pie tray or tin.
  6. Place in oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until the pie is firm but still has a little give in the centre.
  7. Cool (in tin) on wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from tin, place on place and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  9. Serve with strawberries, yoghurt or other desired accompaniments.

Below: The pumpkin pie making process (and my first experiment with Diptic).

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8 (well, 7) hour pulled pork with cherry and peach salsa

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Skip the jibber jabber, take me straight to the recipe!

Some people hate photos of food shared on social media channels.

I love them.

I love getting inspiration for new places to go, dishes to order and recipes to make.

So when my Interwebz friend @flooziemagoo posted:

I thought “hellz yeah! I want me some of that edible air!” and promptly copied her and made the same dish. Well, it wasn’t really prompt as it was the next day, and I also started later than I planned to, hence the 7 hours rather than the recommended 8…

The recipe is from this awesome site Iowa Girl Eats. It’s namesake – Kristin – loves cooking and eating and running as well (the latter to counteract the former) so I think we’ld get along famously.

While the pork does take time to make, it has relatively few, and fairly simple ingredients, and one surprising one. The main liquid used by Kristin in the original recipe is Dr Pepper. Yes, the soft drink (or soda). I substituted sarsparilla. It’s quite similar, and it’s what @flooziemagoo used, so clearly I’m going to copy her.

The recipe also calls for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I couldn’t find these at my local Foodland, so used chillies and made some adobo sauce. I’ve included the recipe below. You can probably find them at a gourmet grocer or specialty shop though.

The other neat trick I learnt is with the meat itself (shout out to my local butcher!). The pork cut is pork shoulder. Most pork roats are actually pork shoulder, but they have the thick layer of fat that is used for crackling. This recipe doesn’t require the fat, so you can cut this off and if not using immediately, roll it up, seal in cling wrap and freeze it. You can then either cook crackling on its own another time, or wrap it around another roast – even a lamb or beef roast – to give it extra moisture. Pretty cool, huh?

8 Hour Pulled Pork with Cherry and Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

For the pork

  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2kg pork shoulder, excess fat removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 600ml sarsparilla

For the salsa

  • 1 cup chopped cherries (stones removed)
  • 1 cup chopped peaches (yellow or white, stones removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 minced jalapeño
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • dash of salt

For serving

  • Gluten free tortillas or brown rice (cooked to directions) or as one of many dishes in your Mexican feast!

Method:

  1. Slice the onion into quarters, separate the layers and place over the bottom of your slow cooker (oh, did I mention it’s a slow cooker recipe? If you don’t have one, you can also use a large, heavy pot and cook it on low on the stove top, or in the oven).
  2. Trim all excess fat from the pork shoulder, and cut it into 5 or 6 large pieces.
  3. Season each piece of pork generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar and sarsaparilla.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours (or if you’re running late like me, cook on high for a few hours, then drop it down to low for the last few hours.
  6. And try not to salivate too much.
  7. You can make the salsa ahead of time, and let it marinade in its own sweet spicy goodness… Combine the chopped cherries, peaches, coriander, minced jalapeños, lime juice and salt, mixing everything together. I’ll admit I was a little wary of this combination when first making, and even right before trying, but especially with the pork, it just works!
  8. When the pork is cooked through, oh so tender and falling apart… shred it up, place in a bowl and strain the juices off through a sieve. Then return enough of the juices to cover the meat and keep it moist.
  9. Serve the pulled pork and salsa with gluten free tortillas or brown rice, and enjoy!


Adobo Sauce

If you can’t find adobo sauce, here’s how to make it…

Ingredients:

  • 12 chipotle chillies (or just long red ones if you’re like me and can’t find the others), wiped clean, stemmed, slit open, seeded, and deveined
  • 3/4 cup water for blending, or more if necessary
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon ground cumin

Method:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and toast the chillies, turning them frequently over and pressing them down with the tongs until they’re fragrant and their insides have changed colour slightly. Approximately 1 minute each.
  2. Soak the chillies in enough water to cover them until they are soft (approximately half and hour). Drain and discard the soaking water.
  3. Put the chilies in a blending container with 3/4 cup fresh water and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth (approximately 3 minutes) adding a little more water if necessary to puree.
  4. To get a smoother texture, strain the adobo sauce through a medium mesh sieve.

The adobo sauce keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Images courtesy of @flooziemagoo. I was too busy trying to eat the air to take any…