And suddenly it has begun. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Where are you going? We usually run to my husband’s mother about an hour away in one direction, then the next day run upstate to my parents–about an hour and a half in the other direction. This is where the whole family convenes and we regress from being adults back to the dynamics of our 5-year- old selves. All the running around wears me down a bit and every year I try to fortify myself with the cloth of a strong, mindful, calm, unshakable soul. Last week I actually started to incorporate meditation into my routine using the Headspace app. And as you know I’ve thrown running into the mix. Both require putting aside time and incredible focus. You’d be surprised how hard it is to furtively take 10 minutes for yourself. But I think it’s helping already and it will certainly come in handy this week as we once again break our routines to incorporate family and tradition.
This time of year isn’t all stress though. It also has a magical feel of nostalgia, I’ve seen a few meandering snow flakes and it brings with it the joy of a feast. And what is a fall feast without pumpkin pie? My mom makes a version of pumpkin pie without the crust, which inspired this tart. I wanted that full flavor, but the texture too.
The filling is imbued with all of the wonderful spices that makes pumpkin pie a staple–aromatic cloves, cinnamon and a sprinkling of nutmeg. This pie is so good and good for you that you can eat it raw. I actually ate a whole mini-tart raw as this one was baking. It’s a good thing too because someone decided to use the microwave to reheat dinner and then stopped the timer on the pie when he saw it was still going after his food was done. I’ll tell you what though, it’s even good a little well-done.
The crust is a mixture of oats, almonds and dates. The pie is sweetened with honey and maple syrup and it’s also dairy-free. It bakes up nicely and again, you wouldn’t know the difference from a regular pumpkin pie, except that I’m telling you. I’m so excited about this pie/tart. It means the season is officially here and that even with my reservations and focus on mindfulness, the excitement and wonder is brewing. The smell and clanking of the old heat pipes, fresh snow smell, warm sweaters, high boots, long books and a sigh from within. To those celebrating, have a great Thanksgiving. For all the rest, I’m wishing us all gratitude, mindful connection and a happy start to whatever season you’re in. Thanks for making this space such a lively interactive source of joy for me. I’m so grateful for this community. xo
PUMPKIN PIE TART (V+GF)
For the Crust:
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 7-8 soft Medjool dates, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the Filling:
- 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (~1 1/2 15-ounce cans)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, or melted coconut oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves to your liking)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare an 8” or 9” tart pan by either lining pan with parchment paper and/or greasing with oil or spray.
In a food processor, pulse pecans and oats together until a coarse meal forms. Add dates, coconut oil, and salt, and pulse until it begins to stick together. You should be able to press it together between your fingertips; add one more date if needed. Press mixture into the bottom of the tart pan and chill for 10-20 minutes. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 10 minutes until just toasted on top. Remove to cool completely.
For the Pie:
Add all pie ingredients to a bowl and stir until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside until crust is cool.
Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350 for about 60 minutes. The goal here is not to burn the crust. The filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. If you put a fork in the middle the for should come out clean and dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Top with extra cinnamon, almonds or whipped cream of choice.