So by now you all know that the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays coincide this year, which happens to be a once-in-a-lifetime coincidence. This whole idea got my imagination going. While contemplating several potential flavor combinations for “Thanksgivukah,” none made me more excited than the idea of marrying two of my favorite desserts – coconut macaroons and pumpkin pie. The idea of taking a Jewish holiday classic like macaroons and making it into a pie crust, then filling it with pumpkin custard, made my mouth water. The macaroon crust was easy enough to make gluten free, I simply used my coconut macaroon recipe as a base. Then I figured hey, as long as I’m using coconut, why not use coconut milk in the custard and make this pie dairy free as well? That way, people with a variety of food sensitivities can enjoy it. It seemed like a simple enough concept, but it actually took several tests to get this one right. Together with my assistant Ashley, we made several versions of the pie. Each one was good, but I didn’t want good… I wanted perfect! At first the crust was soggy, then the edges baked too fast, then the custard was too soft, then the sweetness level wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Finally we nailed it. I can now say with pride that this is THE BEST pumpkin pie I’ve ever tasted. For reals!
I love a lot of things about this pie, but what I love most is how many people will be able to enjoy it. Those with dairy sensitivities can have a luscious lactose-free pie experience. People with gluten issues will have no trouble here. My kosher friends can eat this after a holiday turkey without mixing milk and meat. Then there are the people who will make it just because it sounds so freaking delicious. Trust me, it is. You won’t miss old fashioned pie crust, promise!
I added a dollop of freshly whipped cream to the top of my pie slice. I’m not dairy-sensitive and I like whipped cream on my pie, plus it made for a prettier picture. I tried my hand at several coconut whipped cream recipes, but I wasn’t happy with any of them… I’m still working on perfecting that one for you guys. There are some dairy-free alternatives out there including brands made from rice, soy and Rich Whip for kosher folks. Or just eat the pie without any topping. I promise you won’t be missing anything. This pie is beyond delish. I’m so excited for you to try it! Thanksgivukah for the win!!
Note: This recipe can also be made for Passover, though strictly kosher folks may have a hard time finding coconut milk with a KFP certification. As an alternative you can make your own coconut milk.
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Macaroon Crust Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch or corn starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 egg whites, plus one additional egg white, separated (reserve 4 yolks for filling)
- 1 tsp vanilla
Pareve Pumpkin Filling
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (plain, not spiced pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 eggs, plus 4 reserved yolks from crust
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch cloves
You will also need
- Mixing bowls, whisk, non-stick cooking spray, 9 inch pie dish, aluminum foil, pastry brush, blender, saucepan
To Make Coconut Macaroon Crust:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together coconut, potato starch, sugar and salt until thoroughly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 egg whites and vanilla until frothy.
- Pour egg mixture into coconut mixture and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Generously grease a 9 inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray and evenly press in the macaroon crust mixture.
- Cover edge of the crust with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk remaining egg white with ½ tbsp of water.
- When crust has finished baking, remove from oven. Brush crust with egg white to create a seal. After brushing on the egg white, put the protective foil back around the edge of the crust.
- Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes till the crust is golden brown.
To Make Filling
- Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Place all of your filling ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about 60 seconds. I’ve found this is the best way to create a smooth, evenly mixed filling. Alternatively, you can pour the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender or a whisk, just make sure all ingredients are very well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium for 9-10 minutes, until just starting to thicken and bubble around the edges.
- Remove foil from the edges of your macaroon pie crust. Pour the mixture into your prepared macaroon crust and smooth the top with a spatula. This recipes is written for a deep 9 inch pie dish, but you can use it to fill two smaller shallow pie dishes if you prefer. Fill to the top of the crust.
- Tent the pie with foil, making sure to leave plenty of space between the surface of the pie and the foil, otherwise you will ruin the top of your pie filling.
- Carefully place the pie onto the center rack of your oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil tent and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 35 minutes, or until the filling sets and only jiggles slightly. If the edge of the crust is getting too brown for your liking, you can carefully cover the edge of the crust with foil-- just be sure not to touch or mess up the top of the custard.
- Turn off the oven and crack the oven door. (I use a wooden spoon to prevent the oven door from closing all the way). Allow the pie to cool slowly in the oven for 1 hour – this will help prevent the top from cracking.
- Remove pie from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature (about 3 hours) or chill in the refrigerator before cutting and serving. Keep leftovers refrigerated.