A slightly healthier pumpkin pie made without cream, and with a butter-free oat-almond crust.
Before anyone asks: No, I haven’t lost my calendar and woke up thinking its November.
And my guess is that you haven’t fallen into a time machine and emerged three months into the future. But realistically, I can’t be 100% certain that you’re not a time traveler.
So why am I making a pumpkin pie in August? It’s simple: I love pumpkin pie.
I made this pumpkin pie for my birthday (which was two days ago). That’s right people – not only am I baking with pumpkin in August, but I’m also eschewing birthday cake in favor of birthday pie. Clearly I’m just ahead of the curve in the culinary world. Either that, or I’ve finally fallen beyond the brink of insanity.
This is my slightly healthier version of a regular pumpkin pie. Instead of cream, I’ve used a mixture of evaporated milk and unsweetened applesauce (don’t worry, you can’t taste the apples). And while you can use a store-bought 9-inch pie shell, I made a healthy Oat-Almond Pie Crust that contains no butter, no oil and no sugar!
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let me assure you that evaporated milk is not that same thing as condensed milk, and neither of those are the same as buttermilk. In a nutshell:
- Evaporated milk: Literally milk that’s been reduced so it’s thicker. No sugar added.
- Condensed milk: Similar to evaporated milk, but with a lot of sugar added.
- Buttermilk: Even though it’s made solely from milk, it’s a whole different thing altogether. Unlike evaporated and condensed milks, buttermilk tastes quite sour (almost like natural yogurt).
So yeah, use evaporated milk and not anything that totally-seems-similiar-but-isn’t-for-some-reason.
You may be wondering what that Cool Whip-looking blob is on top of the pie. Did I bother to make a cream-less pumpkin pie only to serve it with cream? No (which proves I haven’t gone completely insane, right?).
The cream-looking stuff is actually a mixture of a beaten egg white and yogurt. While I just made it for the photos, it actually tasted really good! If you’re interested, this is all that’s involved in my über light and airy whipped “cream”:
- Use electric beaters to beat 1 egg white into firm peaks. While beating, gradually add 2 teaspoons of superfine (caster) sugar.
- In another bowl, use the same electric beaters to quickly whisk together 2/3 cup of vanilla-flavored yogurt and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (the vanilla extract is optional, it depends on how vanilla-y you’d like the cream).
- Fold the egg white into the yogurt. Use immediately.
Unfortunately, that whipped “cream” really does need to be used immediately, as it doesn’t last too long in the fridge – after a few hours it will start to separate. While you can use a spoon to mix it back together, this deflates the mixture and it turns into soup. Boo.
On the other hand, the pumpkin pie can be stored in the fridge for many days! Hooray for pie!
Question of the Day:
Birthday pie!? Could you celebrate with a slice of pie, or are you strictly a cake-only person?
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz. (425g) canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 12 fl. oz. (355ml) evaporated milk
- Oat-Almond Pie Crust (recipe follows), or a store-bought 9-inch pie shell
- Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, and place the prepared pie crust inside the dish.
- In a large bowl, use a fork to lightly beat together the eggs. Add the pumpkin puree, applesauce, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Add the brown sugar and other sugar, and mix until completely combined. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing, and store leftovers in the fridge. Enjoy!
If your can of evaporated milk is a few tablespoons larger or smaller than 12 oz., that's fine. Just make sure you don't use the small 5 oz. cans.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup (toasted) almond meal
- ¼ cup spelt flour, plus extra
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold water, or as needed
- Use a coffee grinder (or food processor or blender) to grind the oats into a flour. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the almond meal, spelt flour and salt, and mix to combine.
- Mix in the applesauce and egg yolk, followed by the water. If the dough is too dry, add more water. If the dough is too wet, add more spelt flour. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish with cooking oil spray.
- Lightly flour a flat surface with spelt flour. Roll out the dough to approximately ⅛-inch thick, and then carefully transfer to the prepared pie dish, and press into the base and sides of the dish.
- To blind bake the pie crust, place some non-stick paper over the crust, and fill with baking beads (or some raw rice or dried beans).
- Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the non-stick paper and baking beads, and bake for 2 more minutes. Cool completely before adding filling.
When rolling out the pastry, place a sheet of non-stick paper on top of the dough. This prevents the pastry dough from sticking to the rolling pin.