Monday, January 19, 2015

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie (gluten and dairy free)


This pie is a mouthful. Both in name, and in sheer mouth-filling density. But I think it turned out pretty damn good.  It's a combination of an oatmeal pie (like a poor man's pecan pie), and my favorite Martha Stewart carrot cake cookie sandwiches. The creamy stuff piped on top makes it taste much like an oatmeal cream pie and these are all good things. Give it a go if you too are in search of a pie featuring local ingredients and only have piles of carrots at the market.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie

For the Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance (or butter), cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cold well-shaken coconut milk mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice (or 1/4 cup buttermilk)

For the Filling

  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
For the Vanilla Cream Topping
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (I like Spectrum organic)
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed Earth Balance (or butter) and, using your fingers or a pastry knife, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. In a small bowl, stir together the egg and coconut milk/lemon juice mixture. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. Sprinkle generously with flour. Shape dough into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Dough is easiest to roll out when it’s cold and rested.

2. Preheat the oven to 375. On a floured surface, roll the dough into an 11 inch circle and carefully lift into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold the excess crust under the edges and crimp with your fingers. Refrigerate for another 40 minutes, until quite cold. 

3. Line the pie shell with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dough looks dry and light in color, then remove the foil/parchment and weights and bake until lightly golden brown, another 5-10 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, spread the oats on a sheet pan and toast on the lower rack of the oven until very lightly browned and fragrant, 10-12 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

5. Melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer. Remove the bowl from the skillet; stir in the brown sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the corn syrup, vanilla, and vinegar. Return the bowl to the hot water; stir until the mixture is shiny and warm to the touch. Remove from the heat. 

6. Stir in the toasted oats, the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrots, raisins, and coconut.

7. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour the filling into the hot, lightly browned pie crust and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the filling has puffed up but still has some give in the center, like gelatin. Allow to cool completely.

8. When pie is completely cool, pipe cream topping around the edge and enjoy. 



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