Mini Pumpkin Pies W/ Homemade Gluten Free Pastry & Vegan ‘Condensed Milk’!

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 26 mini pies
Serves: 26
Prep:10-15 mins
Chilling: 30-60 mins
Assembly: 30-40 mins (Dependent upon skill and the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking: 20-23 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Food processor, spatula, kitchen film, mixing bowl, muffin tins, palate knife, cooling racks

Notes:

Delicious pumpkin pie! Yes, a sweet dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. Although not traditional to the UK, it still can be a great alternative to those that like traditional baked goods (mmm pies!) during the festive season because not everyone is keen on brandy butter, mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen or even chocolate desserts!

We fancied something different this year and saw the ‘always slightly over-priced tin of pumpkin pie filling’ at Tesco; unless you live near a farmers market, it can be tricky to source pumpkins past Halloween, at least in our parts (it’s ridiculous!). We’ve tried adding butternut squash to baked goods before, but feel that it’s just too sweet! By all means, use some freshly cooked pumpkin if you prefer!

Using the brand named tinned pumpkin puree as a ‘rough’ guide, we managed to create the perfect, plant-based ‘mini’ version, complete with homemade, gluten free pastry and vegan ‘condensed milk’. There was minimal added salt, no added eggs or dairy to the filling or pastry and we adjusted the spices and cooking times to suit our baking needs!

Our crust is not too sweet and has a lovely (slightly) flaky crust. The pie filling is only mildly sweetened’, we didn’t add ¾ cup sugar like the tin suggested; per serving each pie has about 3.5g of added sugar! We think that this actually makes them more user friendly, as no one needs and not very one enjoys sickly sweet baked goods. People can a dash of DF cream or vanilla yoghurt if they want a bit more sweetness!

A few good things to note:

  • After experimenting with the ‘condensed milk’, it weighed 420g, but in this case we only needed 340g. Ironically if we had just gone ahead and ‘used the lot’, we would have gotten 26 pies! Of course we have adjusted the recipe for you. 
  • As it was our first time experimenting with this condensed milk, we do not know all of it capabilities. Would it still have worked in the same manor if it wasn’t chilled? Perhaps. Would it have tasted the same and have gone further? More than likely, but unfortunately we don’t have the time, budget or desire to go up three trouser sizes to find out! haha! If someone wants to experiment with this, they can let us know! 🙂
  • If you’re planning on making a standard pie, you’ll need 1½ to 2 times the amount of dough (depending on the size of your dish and/or what type of topping you are creating). If you are using the entire quantity of pie filling, you will need to double the dough; one batch of dough makes a baker’s dozen.
  • The pie crust and filling it fairly easy to assemble. The mini pies will take a bit longer to assemble than a standard pie will, but you can take consolation in the fact that they will spend less time in the oven!
  • After baking, the filling was firm to the touch with a custard-y centre. If you want to try achieving a firmer centre, you could always refrigerate the pre-made pies for 30 mins prior to baking! 
  • It’s been taste tested by two people, both of which could have easily eaten more! 

We hope that everyone enjoys this recipe as much as we did, whether you make a full-on pie or these dainty miniature versions!

We’d also just like to take a moment to say that this is our last recipe before Christmas, but hope that everyone has a lovely holiday period- whatever you might be getting up to!

Eat, drink, be merry and stay safe everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Prepare the pie crust. If your food processor is only small (like ours!) you will have to create one batch of dough at a time. Place 150g margarine, 1 ½ tbsp fruit sweetener and 30g coconut oil into your food processor. Then add 300g GF flour, ¾ tsp xanthan gum and 1-2g ground cinnamon. Pulse and process until the mixture has combined and has come together.

 

 

2. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the processor’s bowl. Carefully remove the blade. Transfer the dough onto three pieces of kitchen film. Shape each portion into a ball. Wrap, seal and then press each ball into a flat disc.

 

 

3.Place the dough into a refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins to ‘firm up’ and to help make the dough easier to work with. If necessary, repeat the first two steps until you have created another batch of dough. Tip: If you have the time, leave the dough in the fridge for 60 mins; thirty minutes is OK but sixty minutes is even better! 

 

 

4. In the meantime, prepare the pie filling. Clean out your food processor. Place the chilled ‘condensed milk’ into it. Process until it becomes ‘relaxed’ and smooth. Add the baby food pumpkin puree, 1-2 tbsp fruit sweetener (more or less depending on preference), a pinch of salt and 3-4g ground cinnamon, 1-2g ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp cloves. Process until it’s thoroughly combined and uniform in colour. Tip: You might have to use a spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to help make sure it’s thoroughly combined!

Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Cover with kitchen film and refrigerate it until you are ready to fill the pie cases.

 

 

5. Grease 1-2 standard muffin tins with a little margarine or rapeseed oil. Depending on your oven and how fast you think you’ll prepare the pie crust, you might want to start preheating the oven to 180ºC/350°F now.

 

 

6. Prepare a clean and floured work surface. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge. Remove and discard the kitchen film. Place it onto the floured surface; knead it a little to slightly ‘relax’ it. Roll it out to a ¼ cm thickness. Cut out a circle shape large enough to cover the top of your muffin tin casing. Place it into the centre of the muffin mould. Gently press it down into the base of the tin. Continue to press and shape it, forming a pie crust that takes up about ¾ of the depth of the muffin mould. Repeat until all of dough has been used. Tip: If the dough tears, just add a little more to patch it up- it’s very forgiving! 

 

 

7. Fill each casing with 1- 1½ (large ‘eating spoonful’s’) of the pie filling. Once you have filled all of the moulds, lift your muffin tin and then gently knock it against your table. Tip: This will help to smooth and release some of the air bubbles in the filling.

 

 

8.Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 10 mins. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F. Turn the tray around. Bake for a further 10-13 mins, or until the filling and pastry are firm to the touch and the pastry has turned a light, golden colour. Remove. Allow the pies to cool in the tin for 10mins. Remove and place them onto a cooling rack. Tip: We used a palate knife to help remove them. Allow to cool slightly before eating and/or completely before freezing (if applicable).

 

 

9.Serve slightly warmed or at room temperature with a dollop of chestnut, vanilla or cashew cream (or yoghurt), standard store-bought DF cream or a small scoop of a vanilla and cashew-based DF ice cream!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate the pies in an air-tight and resealable container; serve warm or at room temperature and eat within 4-5 days. Alternatively, individually wrap each pie in kitchen film and/or foil; store in an air-tight and resealable container and freeze; defrost and reheat within 2-6 weeks.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Pistachio, Cranberry & Chocolate Biscotti [Vegan & Gluten Free!]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 12
Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 40-45 mins
Tools: Chopping board, food processor, spatula, mixing bowl, baking tray, parchment paper, rolling pin and a sharp knife.

Notes:

Delicious biscotti! Generally we cannot have coffee shop or store bought varieties because they contain egg and/or milk powder, but these types of trivialities have never stopped us before. Baking without eggs, milk and/or gluten has never been easier!

We’re not in the habit of making these delicious, crispy Italian biscuits very often, but we happened to make our first batch five Christmases ago and fancied some again. We found that they were relativity easy to make, although you do need quite a few ‘tools’ and they will take just over an hour of your time, but it cannot be helped as they are ‘twice baked’. Under baking creates a chewy biscuit, which will occur if you try to cook the dough ‘faster’ at a higher temperature (it won’t work!) or for a shorter time at the recommended temperature; there are no short-cuts! 

Nuts and dried fruits are our favourite combination of biscotti ingredients. We’ve never used chocolate before, but added a delicious ginger-based one this time; it’s a messy business! After baking, the chocolate smears and although delicious, it looks rather unsightly! If we ever fancied using chocolate again, we’d omit it from the dough and then dip one of the baked (and cooled) biscotti ends into some melted chocolate instead; it could then cool and set in the fridge and not all over our hands!

We think that combination of xanthan gum and the aquafaba worked a treat. The biscotti (when sliced) slightly crumbled on the ends, but we think that this was possibly down to the fact that there were a few too many added ingredients and/or our GF was predominately rice-based! As these biscotti do not rise as much as ‘standard’ ones, perhaps there is less room for added ingredients?! Don’t get us wrong, the combination was delicious, just maybe a little congested- but that is also down to your own personal preferences! As gluten free products go, they do not turn into saw dust and have a good crunch, but maybe they need one to two minutes less in the oven? 

You’ll notice that although nicely baked they look a bit anaemic; typically the added ‘egg’ in biscotti would provide a nice golden hue as it bakes. As these are vegan, you could try baking them with a darker sugar and/or spices to help give yours more colour!

None the less, they are lovely baked goodies that go perfectly with a nice cup of tea or strong coffee (we wouldn’t want you breaking a tooth after all!), and with Christmas and festive parties around the corner, they would also make a great, edible gift!

So although we wouldn’t recommend eating then daily (there’s about 3 tsp of sugar per biscuit and slightly more with the chocolate!), they’ll definitely be great for keeping your Christmas momentum going; enjoy one mid-morning on Christmas when you are hard at work preparing your delicious festive feast!  

Have a good weekend everyone and happy baking! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++50-60g   Deshelled Pistachios
+++++++++++++++40g          DF Dark Ginger Chocolate, about 4 squares (*optional)
+++++++++++++++125ml       Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)
+++++++++++++++120g         Unrefined Golden Cane Sugar
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Vanilla paste
+++++++++++++++340g        Self raising Gluten Free Flour*
+++++++++++++++1/8 tsp     Salt
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Baking Powder (or 2 tsp if you’re using a plain GF flour!)
+++++++++++++++1/2 tsp     Xanthan Gum
+++++++++++++++50g          Dried Unsweetened Cranberries
+++++++++++++++NB: *If using standard baking flour, you may need less of it.

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the nuts onto a chopping board and roughly chop them. If using, place the chocolate onto the chopping board and chop it into small pieces. Tip: We’d recommend that you chop these ingredients smaller than we have shown here!

 

 

2. Open and drain the chickpeas into a colander over a large bowl, reserving the brine. Tip: You can use the chickpeas in a tasty recipe! Remove ½ cup of the brine (the aquafaba!) and transfer it into a food processor. Add the sugar. Process until it’s uniform in colour and ‘frothy’. Add the vanilla paste. Pulse to combine.

 

 

3. Place the flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum into a large mixing bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.

 

4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

5. With the food processor running, add the flour mixture a little at a time until all of it has been added and the mixture comes together, forming a slightly tacky dough.

 

 

6. Using a spatula, transfer the dough into the mixing bowl. Add the nuts, chocolate (if using) and the dried cranberries. Use your spatula and fold the ingredients evenly throughout the dough.

 

 

7. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it out into a long and narrowish log about 12″ X 3½”.

 

Transfer it onto the baking sheet. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins.

 

 

8. After 25 mins, reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/325ºF and then remove the baking tray. Place it onto a cooling rack and allow the dough to cool for 10 mins.

 

 

9. Transfer the ‘cooled’ dough onto a chopping board. Using a sharp or segregated knife (we used a bread knife!), gently cut it into about ½” thick slices (diagonally). NB: We got about twelve pieces.

 

 

Place the slices back onto the baking tray (cut-side down).

 

 

10. Place the tray back into the oven and bake for 8-10 mins. Remove the tray and turn the pieces over. Place the tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until lightly tanned and crispy. Remove. Transfer onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before eating. Tip: You may have to adjust the baking times; we baked ours for 10 mins on each side, but would definitely aim for 7-8 mins next time (as least with our gluten free bakes!). All of our ‘standard flour’ bakes have cooked perfectly at the recommended times!

 

Enjoy!

 

Store your spare biscotti in an air-tight and resealable container; it’s best consumed within seven days. Alternatively you can individually wrap the biscotti in kitchen film and then store them in an air-tight container or freezer ‘baggie’; freeze for up until 2-3 months and defrost thoroughly before eating.

 

Have you ever made biscotti before? What’s your go-to flavour(s) and tips??

Vegan And Gluten Free Tofu Frittata

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep, Cooking & Setting Time: ≤160 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, non-stick pot, food processor, non-stick frying pan, spatula, spring-form baking tin, cooling rack.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamins A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fat!

A great plant-based frittata with plenty of taste, easy execution (although a little time consuming than your average tofu omelette!), we assure you that it’s well worth the wait! 🙂

Happy cooking everyone! 

 

Ingredients

Directions

1. Drain and place and press the tofu between two heavy chopping boards. Allow it to drain and to remove any excess water for about 30 mins.

2. In the meantime, cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain.

3. Heat the oven to 190°C/375ºF. Lightly grease a 22” spring-form tin with a quarter of the oil.

4. Meanwhile, create the ‘flax egg’. Place the flaxseed into a small dish; add some water and stir until combined. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, trim the ends, finely slice and then separate the spring onion ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ halves.

5. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash, remove the core and stem and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, dry and roughly dice the mushrooms. Wash, dry and roughly chop the spinach.

6. If applicable, break the kale leaves from its stalk, wash, dry, trim the ends and then finely shred. Wash, pat dry and then roughly chop the basil. Finely chop the olives (if using). Wash, trim the ends and then grate the courgette into thin discs. Wash and remove the stem from the tomatoes. Wash and dry the rocket.

7. Drain the remaining water off the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Break and crumble it into a food processor. Add the mustard, turmeric, paprika, onion powder, tamari sauce (or miso paste), nutritional yeast (or ‘cheese’ powder), corn starch, milk and another quarter of the remaining oil. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Season it with some black pepper to taste.

8. Meanwhile, prepare the crust. Place the rice into a mixing bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture. Gently mix together with a spatula. Transfer the mixture into the tin. Press the rice firmly into the bottom, creating a smooth, even layer. Brush the top with half of the remaining oil. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 10 mins and then remove. Tip: Make sure to turn on a kitchen timer, with everything going on it’s too easy to forget about it cooking! Turn the oven down to 180°C/350ºF.

9. In the meantime, heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the onion, the top parts of the spring onions and the garlic. Sauté it for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper and the mushrooms. Sauté it for approximately 4-5 mins or until softened.

10. Add the spinach, kale, basil (or parsley if using) and the bottom parts of the spring onions. Tip: Do this step a little at a time if necessary, as there might be too much to fit in the pan all at once; this will allow time for the spinach and kale to wilt down. As it wilts, turn the heat down to its lowest setting.

11. Pour the tofu mixture into the frying pan with the vegetables. Add the olives (if using). Stir until everything is combined. Pour this mixture over the rice crust. Place the courgette on top of the frittata in a layered manner around the edges.

12. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 40-50 mins, depending on how deep or shallow the pan is. Tip: Check it after 35 mins to make sure it’s not too brown. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Allow the frittata to cool and set in the tin for about an hour before removing the sides of the pan. Once the sides are removed, allow it to cool before slicing (if required).

Slice the frittata into slices. Transfer onto a serving plate. Serve the tomatoes and rocket (as a garnish) or with some homemade slaw, tasty potatoes, or a salad instead; it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  🙂

ictures three & four: step 12

Picture one: step 8, Picture two: step 11, Pictures three & four: step 12

 

 

 

 Refrigerate any left-overs in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 1-2 days. NB: Reheat the frittata in a microwave for approximately 3-5 mins or until it’s steaming hot all the way through. Do not reheat more than once.

 

Sources:
Recipe adapted from: An ode to mungbeans  (Thanks very much for this great recipe!)