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The nights are getting darker, the clocks are going back next week, it’s safe to say it’s officially autumn and with that it seemed pretty fitting to have 50 shades of autumn as the theme for Cake Club this month.

When I first found this out, I thought right I’m going to make something ambitious this time, some sort of pie or cake perhaps, different shades in colour with leaves made out of rolled icing which I would paint gold. That doesn’t sound too amazing but for the past few months with cake club I’ve always found that I’ve either forgotten the date and it’s got to the day before and I’m like crap what can I make so have whipped up something simple or have just picked quite safe options.

So, I thought about what I would make and then, a week before as I was looking into pumpkin pie recipes I thought, as Amanda who comes to cake club is dairy free, I would make a cake so that she could have another option to eat, rather than just her own. I have made raw cakes and some gluten and dairy free cakes in the past which actually turned out quite nice (you can read about my adventure with the banoffe raw cake I made at Easter!) so I thought I’ll find a dairy free pumpkin recipe to make and I can still decorate it and make it look fab!

A week before cake club I searched for some recipes and came across a fantastic one which was a no bake pumpkin pie which used pecans, oats and dates for the base and then cashews, banana, pumpkin puree and maple syrup for the pie. Perfect! I emailed the recipe to myself, then realised I was away in Ireland for a wedding at the weekend but luckily was back Sunday afternoon which would give me time to get the ingredients and make the cake.

Come Sunday, after a lovely couple of days seeing family and eating enough soda bread and sausages to keep me going for a week, I arrived back home, went to check the recipe so I knew what ingredients to get and lo and behold I couldn’t find the recipe for the life of me. I searched online thinking it would be really easy to find but had absolutely no luck. It was drawing close to 5pm now and I knew the shops would be closing so I started looking up other ones.

I thought I could just make a pumpkin pie but I’ve made a couple in the past and wanted to try something different so I found another recipe which was dairy free and went to the shop and got the ingredients.

I started making it late into the evening and in true Fiona fashion when it comes to baking, I started, got all my ingredients out, was ready to go and I couldn’t find the right blender appliance. Therefore I used a mini blender (which took forever) to make the base. As I started reading the recipe in more detail, I realised that the ingredients asked to use butter and milk and I just thought oh no!

Therefore my non bake raw dairy free pumpkin pie suddenly turned into a baked half dairy free pumpkin pie. I was so disappointed. What I was more disappointed about is that I didn’t think to just use some coconut butter instead or dates which I actually had in the house! Complete hit yourself in the head moment.

Anyway, all in all the pie didn’t turn out too bad, apart from the fact that it broke before I got to Cake Club. But, despite it breaking and me thinking it was going to be inedible, it didn’t taste too bad! My saving grace, I myself wasn’t too big a fan but a few people enjoyed it and actually asked for seconds. Unfortunately Amanda who I intended to make the cake for couldn’t have any. I actually put the pie bit in a container separately for her but because I thought it looked so bad I didn’t bring it which was a shame.

The best part of the night was when Jelena asked me if I had made a raw cake and I said, ‘Yeah it’s a no bake pumpkin pie’ despite the fact that the crust was practically burnt. That was at the beginning of the evening. Before leaving, Jelena asked me with a bit more hesitation in her voice, ‘Fiona did you say it was a raw cake you made?’ and again I replied, ‘Yeah it’s not baked’ and then she asked. ‘So you didn’t put it in the oven?’ To which I then remembered I had and said ‘Oh crap, yeah I did! I baked the crust in the oven. Oh wait I baked the whole thing in the oven! Whoops!’ For some reason, I blame the tiredness because I had been thinking about the no bake pumpkin pie for so long and had intended to make it that I then somehow believed I had! Jelena answered, ‘Ah that makes sense, Amy was wondering how it got really dark brown around the edges.’

So there you have it, how to make a non-dairy free baked pumpkin pie. The theme for next month is Let’s go Nuts, I think that one’s going to be appropriate for me.

I’m going to attempt a dairy free pumpkin pie again and have therefore tailored the recipe I used  to an actual dairy free Pumpkin Pie which is baked but I will also make the no bake one soon and do a separate post. I think I will try and make it in addition to the nut cake for next months cake club too. You can never have too much pumpkin pie!

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

This pie is best after being kept in the fridge overnight and can serve between 8 -10 people.

You will also need a 9 inch pie pan and a blender.

Ingredients

Crust:

125g raw pecans

70g gluten free oats or oat flour

2 tablespoons coconut or nut butter

5 dates

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Filling

1 pumpkin

1 can coconut cream, (kept in the fridge)

60g coconut butter (room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350/Gas mark 4

Place all of the crust ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until everything comes together. It will still look a bit grainy but should stick together and be easy to press down into the pie crust tin.

Pour into a 9 inch pie pan and press down and around the edges to form crust.

For the Pumpkin Puree cut up one pumpkin into chunks and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then puree it up in a blender.

Next, add all the other pumpkin filling ingredients to the blender and mix together.

Pour the pumpkin filling into crust and bake for 40 minutes. Start checking it at 30 minutes. If the pie starts to brown on the top too quickly, cover the whole thing in foil. It will still seem undercooked when done, but it sets more as it cools.

When it’s cool to the touch, place the pie in the fridge to set for at least 3-4 hours, but preferably longer. (I went wrong here and didn’t do this therefore that’s why it most likely broke!)

Serve with some coconut cream, or dairy free ice cream and enjoy!