Paleo Pumpkin Pie (from scratch!)

'Tis the season for family and food, and lots of sweet things that some of us can't handle.  Not only must I avoid a lot of sugar, I need to avoid flour.  This recipe is a great compromise, slightly sweet but so damn good for you!  You'll never believe you're eating a vegetable.

***So, a disclaimer about this recipe: I seem to have very shallow pie pans, so the way it's made (including the crust) makes 2 pies for me.  If you have a deep dish, it may only make one pie.  Be prepared to make two- they're so good you can freeze one, but it won't be in the freezer for long!

First, prepare the pumpkin puree.  This is a lot easier than you'd believe.
Oven: 400 deg Fahrenheit

1 sugar pumpkin (do this- waaaaaay better than canned crap!), cut in half and the guts taken out.  It's worth separating out the seeds, you can lightly toast them on a cookie sheet for 10 min while the pumpkin's baking.
Bake the pumpkin halves on a cookie sheet for 45 to 60 mins, until you can slide a fork easily into the flesh.
When that's done, take it out and let it cool a little bit.  You'll need a food processor for this next part.
Peel the skin off the insides (this part's fun!) and put the insides into your food processor; blend until very smooth, no lumps.  There's your pumpkin puree!

Then you need to make your "crust":
Oven: 350 deg F

2.5 cups nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans work well)
2 to 4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, clove; or cheat and use "pumpkin pie spice")

Get your processor ready.  Put the nuts into the processor and start it up.  When the nuts are pretty well ground, add the 2 tbsp oil gradually, and the syrup.  I'll add the extra 2 tbsp of oil if the result isn't looking like "dough".  Add in your spices- I just do a little sprinkle of each, to give the crust some flavor.
Spread the dough in your pie plate(s).  I like to just make a 1/4 inch layer in the bottom and squish some up the sides a little bit.
Put the plate(s) in the oven.  Bake the crusts for about 7 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, it's very easy to burn it.  You just want it to get golden brown.  I suggest starting to make your pie mix while the crust is in the oven.  When it's done, take it out and let it sit until you pour in your pie mix.

Make the pumpkin filling:
Oven: 400 deg F for 15 min, then 350 deg F for 35-45 min.

2 eggs
2 cups puree
1 cup coconut milk (or cream if you do dairy; needs to have some fat content, whatever you use)
1/2 to 1/3 cup sweet (maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, barley malt, whatever you like)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove

Beat the eggs in a med/lg bowl.  Add the puree and blend well.  Add the coconut milk and blend well.  Add the sweetener; I use less because I'm trying to keep my sugar intake very minimal; you can add more if you want.  Then add the spices.  I like my pie very spicy; if you don't, use half the required spice, and try it- you can always add more but you can't take away!
Pour the mix into your pie plate(s) and put in the oven.  Some folks will put a little pan with water on the rack beneath to keep the pies moist and prevent cracking, especially if you live in a dry climate.
Bake at 400 for 15 min, then reduce the temp.   The pie is done when you can stick in a toothpick and it comes out clean.
Let the pie set a bit and cool before serving.

It's the bomb.

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