This is the time of year to be thankful. Thankful for all that we have. Thankful for all of the wonderful people around us and for the lives we lead. And while I sit here to writing this post, I am also grateful for the time I have enjoyed with my Great Aunt Frances.
She passed away this week but has left behind a legacy of memories that I hold near and dear to my heart. She was blessed with a wonderful immediate family – three children, 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grand children (not to mention a full brigade of nieces and nephews AND great nieces and nephews). She was the last of her generation and while I am deeply saddened by her passing I am thankful to have been a small part of her life.
This classic pie, with a sexy chocolate twist, is for you Auntie. Thank you for all of your love and support over the years. Your style, grace and laughter will live on in my heart. >And as far as I am concerned there will never be a better Christmas Eve party than those epic nights we celebrated until the wee hours of the morning at your castle on the hill.< I will add my name to the long list of those who will miss you.
Almond Milk Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners’sugar
1 stick margarine, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk*
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 TBS margarine, melted
* If making homemade almond milk, add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1-1/2 TBS maple syrup or honey.
To prepare crust combine flour, cocoa, and confectioner’s sugar in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add margarine and process until mixture is crumbly in texture and resembles sand. With food processor running, add vanilla and 4 TBS cold water. Process until smooth dough forms. Chill two hours.
On a well floured surface, roll out dough into an 11-inch circle. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
To prepare filling, in a small bowl combine almond milk and lemon juice. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk almond milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Lastly, add in add in pumpkin and margarine.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, make holes in crust, top with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans to weigh down. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake crust 10 minutes. Remove parchment paper and beans, bake an additional 5 minutes.
Pour pumpkin filling into crust, decorate with sliced almonds, and bake 45-60 minutes, or until filling is bubbling in center. Pie should be firm when slightly shaken. If it appears to still be soft and liquid in consistency, it needs to be cooked longer. Cool completely before serving.