This pie evokes memories of summers long ago when a shelf in the Big House pantry was lined with a dozen half gallon Hellman’s Mayo jars filled with cookies and crackers: Ritz, Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Goldfish, Soda Crackers, Hydrox, Chocolate Chip, Garibaldi Biscuits or “Fly Cookies”, Vanilla Wafers, Gingersnaps, Snickerdoodles, and Fig Newtons. Gammy liked her mayonnaise.
Recognizing the delight my parents take in their grandchildren’s extended visits I realize that Gammy & Pompom must have relished the “big marketing” before our arrival. As they aged the number of jars dwindled; the summer I was 16 I shopped for the cookies and crackers. Today there are two or three jars in the boat house or garage, lids rusty. My kids wouldn’t consider putting cookies in them. And although they also wouldn’t eat a Fig Newton, they like this pumpkin pie!
The more we learn about Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, the more we appreciate how connected we are to the production, preparation, and variety of foods we eat. Soaking the nuts prior to use in the crust and cooking it at a low heat makes a difference. The list below is an excerpt from one of many articles that make a convincing case. Experiment. You’ll be intrigued and pleased by the results of the extra effort.
Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?
- 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
- 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
- 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
- 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
- 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
- 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
- 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
- 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
- 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
- 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.
Pumpkin Pie with “Fig Newton” Crust
9 oz. raw pecans, walnuts, cashews or almonds
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 oz. dried figs
2 oz. prunes
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste.)
1. Cover the nuts with water, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and soak. (4-6 hours for cashews and overnight for almonds). Rinse and drain before using.
2. Blend the nuts, dried fruit and salt in a food processor until it comes together as a “dough.” Press the dough evenly into a 9-10″ pie pan.
3. Bake the crust in a 200 F oven for 30 minutes (low and slow to preserve the integrity of the nutrients.) Prepare the filling whilst the crust cooks.
4 cups pureed pumpkin or butternut squash (allow at least an extra hour if you intend to bake and use flesh from a squash or small pumpkin, unless you’ve done it the day before.)
2 large organic eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh groung nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
2. Turn the batter into the prepared crust. Bake at 325 F for 90 minutes or until set.
3. Serve warm or at room temperature. This is also delicious for breakfast, cold with a dollop of maple yogurt!