When I was a kid, I loved pumpkin pie, but I also remember only ever eating the silky pumpkin custard occupying the lovely space above that detestable crust. To me, it was little more than rind, to be discarded... composted. There was also no such thing as too much whipped cream.
As I grew older, I began to appreciate pumpkin as more than just that soft spiced holiday flavor and saw it as something more. It was great in cookies, cakes, breakfast hash, roasted... soups, even! Pumpkin latte, anyone?!
Then, when I switched to low-carb, I found that there was a lot of pumpkin used. At about 6 net carbs per 4 oz. portion, it leaves a lot of room to play with. Sure, I lost mango, but I picked up pumpkin. And, I love pumpkin! Maybe... a little too much?
Many years later, I still love pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong, but... this year I decided to go a slightly different direction with the big famous holiday pumpkin pie. It’s been done to death, anyway!
Plus, I love to cook carrots. I’m a rebel. Carrots have this pervasive myth about them, in the low-primal-keto communities, which states that cooked carrots have an outrageously high rating on the glycemic index and that it’s almost like drinking a big ol’ bowl of glucose. “Poppycock!”, I say.
Carrots are fine. That’s a myth based on some wildly outdated 60-year-old tests. Also, carrots are orange and cook up in a very similar manner to pumpkin. They do, unfortunately, have a little more carbs in them, but only barely. The same 4 oz. portion of a carrot has 6.8 carbs. It’s close, it’s a change of pace, a little something different and it allows me to thumb my nose, play with fire and rebel... just a bit. It’s fun!
It should also be noted that this crust is outstanding. I had some friends over to help me devour this Thanksgiving meal and each of them separately commented on the quality of the crust. I, too, ate the crust and loved every last little nibblet of it!
Mini Pie Note: I have a set of silicon baking pans. The mold for each cup is about 3 inches (7.5cm) in diameter and maybe 1/2-inch (1.3cm) deep. Each pan has 6 cups. The pans are red and super wobbly. I used these for this recipe. The crust made 8 small rustic mini pies. However, this could easily be done as a full pie. Notes for a more traditional smooth and elegant pie, below.
Normal Smooth and Elegant Pie Tips: Once the pie crust is rolled out, grease a traditional 9-inch (23 x 4 cm) pie pan. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Lay your crust into the pan. Patch any holes and crimp the edges. Line the crust with a round piece of parchment paper, or an appropriately sized coffee filter. Fill the pie with dry rice, beans or baking pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pie and remove the weights. Boil some water and have it ready for a water bath. Pour your room temperature pie filling into the room temperature pie crust. Place the pie into a slightly larger baking pan and place in the oven. Pour the hot water into the bottom of the baking pan, until it’s just below the edge of the pie crust. The water bath will help prevent the pie crust from cooking further and will allow the filling to cook slowly and more evenly. Turn the oven down to 300 F (150 C). Bake for about 1 hour. The pie is done when jiggling the pan shows that the edges are firm, but there is still a slight jiggle in the center. Remove the pie and set somewhere to cool. Once the pie is complete cool, slice and serve with whipped cream or homemade maple brown-butter ice cream!