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Praline Pumpkin Pie

This is not just any pumpkin pie. Nestled below the creamy pumpkin are praline pecans, rich and crunchy. It's the perfect blend of textures, making for a most decadent dessert.


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal 
1/8 teaspoon sea salt 
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 
1/4 cup light olive oil 
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soy milk or spring or filtered water 
1/3 cup barley malt 
2 tablespoons avocado oil 
1/2 cup pecans, minced 
2 cups butternut squash or pumpkin, seeded and peeled 
2/3 cup brown rice syrup 
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger 
1 cup amasake 
4 tablespoons agar flakes 
3 tablespoons kuzu, dissolved in small amount of cold water 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pie dough by combining flour, cornmeal, salt and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Cut in oil with a fork or pastry cutter until the texture of wet sand. Slowly add water, mixing, until the dough just gathers. Roll dough thinly between waxed paper (or on a floured surface). When rolling, it is a good idea to roll the crust about 1 inch larger than your pie plate, so you will have excess to form the crust. 

Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate and press it into the dish, without stretching the dough too much. Trim the excess dough around the edges, leaving an even 1/2-inch overhang. Turn the excess dough up towards the edge of the pie and crimp or flute to form a decorative edge. Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes. This prevents a soggy crust when serving the finished pie. Allow to cool completely after baking. 

Next, combine barley malt and oil in a saucepan and cook until foamy. Immediately stir in the pecans. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pie shell and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cook the squash (I know it's called pumpkin pie, but winter squash is so much sweeter than pumpkin), by cubing it into 1-inch pieces and placing them in a pressure cooker. Add enough water to half cover. Add a pinch of sea salt, seal the lid and bring to full pressure over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook squash for 20 minutes. 

Remove from heat and allow pressure to reduce naturally. Puree the squash in a food mill or food processor until smooth. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Combine balance of ingredients, except kuzu, with cooked squash and simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes, until agar completely dissolves. Stir in dissolved kuzu until mixture thickens. Pour carefully into pie shell over the pecans and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Remove pie from oven, cover completely with tin foil and allow to cool completely before serving. Covering the pie while hot prevents the top from cracking as it cools. It's really beautiful to decorate the top of this pie with pie pastry cutouts--either shapes of autumn leaves or tiny pumpkin shapes. Be creative. Carefully arrange the uncooked cutouts on the pie before baking and proceed with the recipe directions. 

Makes 1 pie, 8-10 servings. 


Frey Vineyards
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