20 Nov Pumpkin Cashew Pie
Nothing says autumn more than the flavours and visions of pumpkin… well ok, there’s the beautiful images of leaves turning colour and dropping to the earth. How can I forget, the warm cozy feeling of boots and sweaters? Or the aromas of chili and soups cooking, but I’m sure you’ll agree, if you live in North America or in my neck of the woods (beautiful Niagara region), pumpkin is a true sign of fall.
Although, we have year round access to canned pumpkin, I think this decadent dessert is a fantastic option for winter months, but feel free to use it any time of year using canned pumpkin puree. This pie is quite dense and decadent because of amount of nuts in this recipe. You’ll only need a little slice of this pie to experience the richness and flavours of this pumpkin treat.
I’ve personally made this recipe numerous times. I’ve shared it a few dozen times with clients, friends and family with great success, but it wasn’t until I hosted a hands on cooking class this past week to see what could actually go wrong with this recipe. I’ll highlight the instructions here so the same mishaps don’t happen to you.
Forgive me if this is elementary for you, but I want to be sure this recipe turns out, because it really is worth it. In my mind it’s a very simple recipe using mainly raw ingredients (other than the pumpkin puree) that are blended or processed together, but I now understand for some, it may not be so simple.
Honestly, I wish I would’ve captured the shenanigans of the cooking class on video. Next time, I’ll bring my assistant with a helmet cam to get live footage for some comedic relief and education at the same time.
Cue camera one… (where I wish I had a camera at this stage) but I’ll warn you now so it doesn’t happen to you.
If using a spring form pan like I do, be sure to secure the bottom tray in to the little grooves of the pan and ensure it is secure and stable. TEST it! Make sure it doesn’t move. This little diddy will be holding the entire weight of the pie, which is mostly nuts and quite heavy. If it’s not secure, I’ll let you guess what happens. Or better yet, film it for me so I can get another humour break in my cooking life. Spoiler alert: upside down cake on floor is what you’ll end up with, along with a whole lot of laughs.
What you need
1 c pecans
½ c almonds
½ c medjool dates, pitted
pinch salt (Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)
2 c pureed pumpkin (pie pumpkin) or 1 can pumpkin puree
1 c cashews, soaked in filtered water for 4 hours
2 c filtered water (1 for soaking cashews, 1 for soaking dates)
3 medjool dates (soaked in warm water, pits removed)
¼ c coconut oil (melted or softened)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp ginger (fresh, grated)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice or nutmeg
Cashew Cream Topping – Optional
1 c cashews, soaked in filtered water for 4 hours
1 c filtered water (for soaking cashews)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
Remove all pits from dates! They are not pitted for you… trust me! Even if you think one may be pit-less, you got lucky, the rest have pits. REMOVE them…. all!
What you do
- Start by soaking cashews for the cream topping (if using) 4 hours in advance of serving the pie or overnight
- Soak the cashews for the filling in water in a separate container
- Soak all of the required dates in warm water for at least minutes
- Remove pits from dates before using in recipe
For the crust
- Drain the soaking water from dates
- In a food processor, process pecans & almonds in to large pieces
- Once the nuts are processed, add 1/2 c soaked, drained and pitted dates along with salt and continue processing in the food processor until a sticky mixture is obtained
- Press sticky crust mixture with your hands into 8” pie plate or into the bottom of (well secured) spring form pan to form a crust
For the filling
- Discard soaking water from the cashews and dates
- Combine all remaining “filling” ingredients together and process in blender or food processor until creamy and smooth consistency is achieved
- Pour pumpkin pie mixture over crust
- Place the pie dish in your freezer on a even surface for at least two hours to set
For the topping
- Soak the cashews for the cream topping for about 4 hours in 1 cup of filtered water. In this recipe we’ll use the soaking water to make the cream
- Add sweetener & blend on low for about 1 minute, then increase speed to high for another 2 -3 minutes until thick creamy consistency forms
- You can add vanilla, cinnamon or lucuma to the cream for additional flavor if you like
- Remove the pie plate or spring form pan from freezer and let sit at room temperature for at least minutes prior to serving, to soften slightly
- Cut pie into individual size pieces and serve with a dollop of cashew cream and sprinkle with additional cinnamon (optional)
I’ve made this pie both ways, by adding the cashew cream right before serving like a whip cream or added to the top layer before freezing. Both ways work well, depending on your preference.