The Tastiest Challenge

Mmmm, pre-processed coconut milk pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving all y’all.

Normally at this time of year I’d be gorging on all things turkey and stuffing, but given that I really didn’t feel the need to cook an entire bird for myself I have opted to instead settle down with the wee fuzzball and enjoy some tasty root veggie stew (with lamb and pork for good measure).

And because it is Thanksgiving I have also decided to have my dinner with a very tasty Maple Bock beer. I’ve never had this beer before today. Verdict? Quite tasty. The maple flavour is stronger than I had expected it to be, but not overpowering. Of course, I’m a big maple fan so I might be a bit biased.

But dear readers, everyone knows that Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pie – pumpkin pie specifically. That’s probably a rule – you should write it down. So despite the fact that I already had a pie in the house (thank you Justin), I decided today that I was going to get off of my duff and make some pumpkin pies.

Begin by chilling the full fat coconut milk (upside down).

You’re baking? you ask while holding back a snicker.

I know, right? But before you start laughing, might I remind you that I spent the better part of my youth working for Chudleigh’s Bakery in Milton Ontario. I have thousands and thousands of pies under my belt. Seriously. Apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry and rhubarb, peach, pecan, mincemeat, and yes, even pumpkin pie; I’ve made them all. And back in the day I ate a lot of them too. So it’s not a huge stretch for me to bake.

Despite the fact that I have baked a lot in my life, the one thing I hadn’t done was bake a dairy free pumpkin pie. And given that pumpkin pie is one of my all time favourite pies, you can see how this was something that needed to be rectified. In fact, this was so important to me that I added it to my Not-So-Bucket-List list a while back. It’s item #234.

Dump the solid coconut milk into a mixing bowl.

Anyway, thanks to the interwebs I found a few recipes that I could use as a base (see here and here for instance, or see below for my versions). I didn’t stick with them completely because I didn’t necessarily have everything they had, and also because I didn’t want to measure out exactly what they suggested I measure either. Pastry, certain tortes, soufflés, and the like require more exact measurement, but not pie fillings. They are easy. And for this reason I’m not usually too concerned about exact measures.

Flash forward a few hours – dinner has been consumed and I’m about to sit down with a fresh slice of dairy free pumpkin pie (with a graham cracker crust no less); on top, a dollop of coconut milk whipped cream. Outside I’m calm and reserved. Inside I’m squeeing.

Add pure vanilla extract and icing sugar to taste.

But how does it taste? you’re probably wondering.

ZOMG. Imagine all of the best things about pumpkin pie and multiply those by about eleventy billion. It’s even better than that. And that’s without the coconut milk whipped cream, which to be honest, I could eat as a dessert on its own. In fact, I may just have to make this stuff more frequently because I imagine it would be awesome with fresh fruit and granola.

Anyway folks, I hope your day and your belly are both full of pie. But more importantly I hope you are sharing this day with loved ones (such as a wee fuzzball that has nuzzled in your lap after licking the blender blades clean of coconut milk whipped cream when a certain someone else wasn’t looking). Happy Thanksgiving!

And now for another slice of pie.


Pie Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp each of salt, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves (although I never really measure these things).
  • 3 large eggs.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 can of pure pumpkin (no sugar, salt, or spices added).
  • 1 can of light coconut milk, well mixed.
  • 2 9″ pie shells – I opted for 1 graham cracker and 1 shortbread crust1,2. I guess you could make this yourself, but I opted to be lazy and buy the crust.

Coconut Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • Whip it. Whip it real good. Devo style.

    1 can full fat coconut milk.

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (to taste).
  • 2 tsp icing sugar (to taste).

Pie Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Beat the eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the can of pumpkin, the salt, and the spices. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the brown sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the coconut milk (making sure it is well mixed).
  6. Once the ingredients are completely blended, pour the mixture into the pie crusts.
  7. Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the oven to 350F and bake for 40-45 minutes more. The pies will be cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre of the pie comes out clean.
  9. Cool before serving.

Coconut Whipped Cream Directions:

  1. Success is measured in tasty deliciousness.

    While the pie is baking, place a can of full fat coconut milk into the fridge upside down. The contents will naturally separate leaving the fattier solids at the top of the can (which would be the true bottom of the can since you’ve flipped it over).

  2. Prior to serving the pie, flip the chilled coconut milk and open the true top of the can.
  3. Slowly pour out the liquid contents. Don’t throw this away though – it’s great for drinks.
  4. Scoop the solids into a mixing bowl.
  5. Add icing sugar and vanilla to taste.
  6. Beat until light and frothy like traditional whipped cream.

Now cut up that pie, add a dollop of the coconut whipped cream and enjoy. So. Freaking. Good.


1 Dairy free of course.

2 I was going to go with regular old pastry but the store was out. I improvised with the graham and shortbread crusts. While I haven’t tried the shortbread version yet, I can say without a doubt that the graham cracker crust is AWESOME. Why have I never done this before?


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