I’ve been a fan of Lundberg Family Farms rice products for years. However, I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried their rice cakes! That is until now when they challenged me and a few other bloggers to create unique recipes using their new rice cake flavors, Kettle Corn, Hemp-a-Licious and Sweet Chili, which they sent me along with a few jars of Justin’s Honey Almond Butter.
Why a freezer pie?
Since eating a rice cake shouldn’t be boring – especially with all the flavors that Lundberg makes – I thought I’d go a bit out of the box and make a summer time dessert with their Kettle Corn Rice Cakes. I often use leftover rice to make gluten free quiche crusts. Taking that method one step further, I decided to use the rice cakes to create a crust, like crushed graham crackers are used in freezer pies. Freezer pies? Indeed, since warm weather is the perfect time for freezer pies as they’re cool, require no baking, and very little stove top cooking. Plus, making one with the honey almond butter would be delicious! (My son, Nathan, agrees and gave my freezer pie two thumbs up!)
This freezer pie recipe also gave me the chance to use a couple of special kitchen gadgets that I love. First, I used a Beka Cookware Bain Marie to melt the chocolate instead of a double broiler. I love the bain marie since it’s almost impossible to burn anything and you don’t run the risk of getting water in your chocolate. Second, I used my Blendtec Blender’s Twister Jar to make most of this recipe, but you could use a food processor instead.
Finally, I tried to use as many organic ingredients in my freezer pie recipe as possible, since Lundberg Rice Cakes and many of the ingredients in the Justin’s almond butter are organic.
And did I mention that this dessert is totally gluten free?
Chocolate & Almond Freezer Pie
The combination of coconut milk and honey almond butter creates a freezer pie with the consistency of ice cream. However, between the almond butter and dark chocolate, this is NOT a light dessert. Serve each person a small piece along with some blueberries for a delicious summer treat.
For the Lundberg Rice Cake crust:
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground Lundberg Kettle Corn Rice Cakes
- 6 tablespoons organic vegan buttery spread, like Earth’s Best – at room temperature
- 1/3 cup organic sugar, like Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugar
For the chocolate coating and drizzle:
- 2 bars (7 ounces) Green & Black's Dark 85% Cocoa Content Organic Chocolate – melted
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable Shortening
For the pie filling:
- 1 cup Justin’s Honey Almond Butter
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, like Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk
- 1/3 cup organic sugar, like Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the pie crust:
- Place rice cakes (about half a package) into a food processor and grind them into fine crumbs.
- Add the vegan buttery spread and sugar and pulse until combined. Firmly and evenly press the mixture into a pie plate.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and combine with the shortening and melt. You can do this in a double boiler, in a bain marie, or carefully over low heat in a sauce pan in medium heat-proof bowl, stirring constantly.
- Dip a pastry spoon into the melted chocolate and give the pie crust a thin coat by using the pastry brush to paint on the chocolate. Work quickly and try not to loosen the rice cake crust.
- Chill the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.
To make the pie filling:
- Place the almond butter, coconut milk, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until completely blended. If you have a Blendtec or similar blender, you can also combine the ingredients in the blender using the sauce setting.
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and pour the pie filling into the shell. Gently tap the pie plate on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Place the pie back into the freezer for 1 hour or until set.
- Remove pie from freezer. Prepare the chocolate drizzle by remelting the remaining chocolate, if needed.
- Take a spoon, dip into the melted chocolate, and drizzle chocolate over the pie in a decorative manner.
- Place the pie back into the freezer for 30 more minutes.
- Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Slice carefully and enjoy!
- Serving size: 1 slice
This month’s Secret Recipe Club recipe is shepherd’s pie from Shelby at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch. Shepherd's pie is classic British pub food that’s usually made with ground lamb. However, you can make it with other ground meats (Shelby and I used venison) or even make a vegetarian version, called a Shepherdess’ Pie, with soy crumbles.
Shelby’s version of shepherd's pie uses instant gravy mix. However, since I’m gluten free, I chose to make the gravy using the method found in The Joy of Cooking. However, instead of flour, I used rice starch to thicken the gravy.
Also, feel free to use fresh, frozen or canned vegetables in your shepherd's pie. I used canned since that’s what I had on hand (and what I'm trying to get rid of before we move to Boston). I also eliminated any added salt as there was plenty of sodium in the beef broth and the steak and Worcestershire sauces.
Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons buttery spread, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (lamb, venison, turkey or beef)
- 3 tablespoons rice or corn starch
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can sliced carrots
- 1 (15 ounce) can peas
- 1/2 cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef stock, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce
- Wash potatoes and cut into large chunks. (If you’re not using red potatoes, you’ll need to peel them, too.) Place in a pot of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender.
- Drain potatoes reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Mash potatoes with liquid and butter until fluffy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown ground meat with onions. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons rice starch with 3 tablespoons of beef broth until thoroughly mixed.
- In a skillet on medium high heat add garlic, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and vegetables. Bring to a simmer and add the rice starch and broth mixture. Stir until the broth thickens.
- Add the browned ground meat and onion mixture to the pan. Mix and keep at a simmer. Add any beef broth you have leftover and cook until thickened. Remove from heat.
- Pour vegetable and meat mixture into a baking dish. Carefully spoon mashed potato over mixture. Using the tines of a fork, score the mashed potatoes, if you like.
- Place small chunks of the buttery spread on the mashed potatoes. Then place baking dish on a cookie sheet as the gravy may bubble over.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees until mashed potatoes are golden.
- Remove shepherd's pie from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Calories: 349
- Calories from Fat: 85
- Total Fat: 9.5g
- Saturated fat: 4.1g
- Unsaturated fat: 0g
- Sodium: 362mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 37.0g
- Sugar: 7.6g
- Fiber: 6.2g
- Protein: 28.7g
- Cholesterol: 83mg
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
After last year’s struggles with the gluten free pie crust mix, I’ve decided to make a pumpkin dessert that does not require a crust. When my mother-in-law eats out, she carefully scoops out the pie filling and leaves the crust anyway, so no point in stressing myself out about pie crust.
This one comes from VeryBestBaking.com* and is based on the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe. It uses CARNATION®** Evaporated milk, which I’ve started using in pumpkin soup and mini quiches. It gives dishes extra creaminess without the fat, so I consider it a healthier alternative to cream and half and half. (Then again, you can use evaporated milk to make this Gluten Free Pumpkin Fudge, and be as unhealthy as you want. Oh well.)
This recipe has only 3 Weight Watchers POINTS per slice. Use CARNATION Fat Free evaporated milk to lower the POINTS to 2.
Yields - 8 servings
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 envelopes (7 grams each) unflavored gelatin
- 2 1/4 cups CARNATION Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk, divided
- 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar or low calorie sweetener equivalent
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Light whipped topping (optional)
- Coat 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place water in medium bowl; sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until softened. Mixture may be firm.
- Bring 1 cup evaporated milk just to a boil in small saucepan.
- Slowly stir hot evaporated milk into gelatin. Stir in remaining evaporated milk, pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture into prepared pie plate. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Garnish with whipped topping if desired.
- Calories 140
- Calories from Fat. 15
- Total Fat 1.5g
- Saturated Fat 1g
- Sodium 85mg
- Carbohydrates 25g
- Dietary Fiber 2g
- Sugars 22g
- Protein 7g
Weight Watchers POINTS = 3
- Try using a dark agave nectar instead of dark brown sugar, which will help lower the glycemic index of the pie. Madhava recommends substituting 2/3 cup agave nectar per 1 cup sugar. To compensate for the moisture in the agave nectar, reduce other liquids added by 1 FL OZ per 2/3 cup agave used. To avoid overbrowning, oven temperature should be reduced by 25 deg. F and baking time increased by 6% to compensate.
- You do not have to use Libby’s brand canned pumpkin. I’m using Farmer's Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin, which is on sale this time of year so stock up! Or you can make pumpkin puree from scratch.
Other crustless pumpkin pie recipes worth checking out:
- Crustless, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie from Gluten Free Easily (gluten free)
- Wayne's Pumpkin Smash from Hungry Girl (low cal, low fat)
- is it still pie without the crust? from Use Real Butter (decadent)
- CrockPot Pumpkin Pudding (crustless pumpkin pie) from A Year of Slow Cooking (gluten free)
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe from Karina’s Kitchen (vegan and gluten free)
Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (low fat, vegan)
Disclosure: I received free product coupons from CARNATION’s PR firm to try out their evaporated milk. I was not asked to blog about it. (The posts for pumpkin soup and mini quiches were done by another PR firm.) I have used CARNATION Evaporated Milk since I was a child.
Finally, all links to Amazon.com are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.
For those lovers of everything vintage, Jam Handy! is your type of cooking blog. Written by Kirkkitsch, a 30-something blogger out of Arlington, Texas, Jam Handy! is a gold mine of old recipes, magazine ads, and vintage cookbooks. Kirk faithfully scans the ads and cookbooks and documents the year. I really appreciate the effort and his sense of kitschy style. (See his CafePress store, Seul Boy for the best in vintage graphics on cards, mugs, etc. Can you say Christmas presents?)
Pumpkin Cream Pie (1981)
- 1 package (6-serving size) Jell-O instant pudding and pie filling, vanilla flavor
- 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 container (4 oz.) Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
- 1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust
*Or use 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Combine pie filling mix, pumpkin, milk and spices in bowl. Mix slowly with electric mixer or rotary beater just until blended, about 1 minute.
- Fold in whipped topping.
- Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before cutting. Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.
You see it’s just like this recipe for Weight Watcher’s Pumpkin Mouse that my Weight Watchers leader gave me a couple of years ago. It’s a lifesaver when everyone else is stuffing their faces on pie and you’re feeling sorry for yourself. It satisfies your sweet tooth and your need for something creamy, too. And best of all, it’s only 1.5 points for one cup of mousse.
- 2 small packages of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding
- 2 cups of no-fat (skim) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
- 8 ounces of fat-free Cool Whip
- Make pudding first.
- Fold in ingredients.
- Chill and serve!
Our final contenders for the pumpkin pie contest are Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Rum Cream from the December 2004 issue of Healthy Cooking magazine and One-Bowl Pumpkin Pie from the November/December 2004 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine.
Healthy Cooking is a wonderful magazine that unfortunately is hard to find and doesn’t have much of a web site. Try your local gourmet cooking shop if you’re interested in checking it out. It’s a good alternative to Cooking Light magazine, which I feel features too many fitness and spa articles for a cooking magazine. Plus Cooking Light’s recipes always call for too many expensive and unusual ingredients that you’d only use once.
Nutritionally, the Weight Watchers recipe comes in first since it’s lower in calories, fat, carbs and sodium. The traditional recipe by LIBBY’S comes in second. The Heathly Cooking one is a total dog especially since you get a smaller piece of pie. I guess it’s the whipped cream adding on that extra fat and calories.
Here’s how they stack up:
Weight Watcher’s One-Bowl Pumpkin Pie
8 servings per pie – Per serving: 226 calories, 5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 208 mg sodium, 7 mg cholestrol
LIBBY’S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
8 servings per pie – Per serving: 264 calories, 9.9 g protein, 39.2 carbohydrates, 2.3 g fiber, 9.9 g fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 295 mg sodium
Healthy Cooking’s Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Rum Cream
12 servings per pie – Per serving: 276 calories, 5 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 284 mg sodium, 42 mg cholesterol.
Now I love a good pecan pie, but I like pumpkin pie, too. So maybe a compromise between pumpkin and pecan pie is needed.
Pecan Pumpkin Pie
(makes 8 to 10 servings)
Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 4 1/2 hr (includes making dough and cooling)
For pie shell
Your favorite pastry dough recipe or this one from Epicurious.com.
For pumpkin filling
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For pecan layer
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
11/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups pecans (5 1/2 oz), chopped if desired
Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice
Make pie shell:
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then fit into a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes.
While shell chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights, then bake until pastry is set and pale golden on rim, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until pale golden all over, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool on a rack.
Make pumpkin filling:
Whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until smooth.
Make pecan layer:
Stir together corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl, then stir in pecans.
Assemble and bake pie:
Spread pumpkin mixture evenly in shell, then carefully spoon pecan mixture over it. Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is puffed, about 35 minutes. (Center will still be slightly wobbly; filling will set as it cools.) Cool completely on rack. Serve at room temperature.
Pie can be baked 4 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at cool room temperature. Pie can also be baked 1 day ahead and chilled, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until crust is crisp, about 15 minutes.
Epicurious.com © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sacrilegious! Isn’t there some kind of law that says you must serve pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or you’ll be banned from future family gatherings? (Maybe that’s a good thing.)
So our first contender for the "What kind of pumpkin pie am I going make this year?" contest arrives courtesy of today’s Denver Post via the makers of Kahlua.
It’s a good take on the traditional pie.
Kahlua Pumpkin Pie
Nothing like a little liqueur to enliven a traditional dessert. See if friends can figure out the secret ingredient. Recipe courtesy of Kahlua. Serves 8-10.
1 9-inch pastry crust
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, beaten
Kahlua cream topping (recipe follows)
Line a 9-inch pie pan with your favorite pastry recipe; chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450.
Combine milk, sugar, Kahlua, corn syrup, spice and salt. Add pumpkin and eggs. Blend well. Set aside. Bake pastry for 7-8 minutes until lightly browned. Pull oven rack part way out; slowly pour pumpkin mixture into shell. Reduce oven to 325. Continue baking until filling is barely set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve with Kahlua Cream Topping.
Kahlua Cream Topping
Beat 1 cup whipping cream with 2 tablespoons Kahlua until stiff peaks form. Turn into serving bowl and drizzle 1 tablespoon of Kahlua on top.
This year we’re going to a friend’s home for Thanksgiving. I’ve been asked to bring dessert. Besides the Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake, I’d like to make a traditional (or not-so-traditional) pumpkin pie.
But which one? There are so many pumpkin pie recipes out there that I’d appreciate a suggestion. Do you have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe? If so, email This Mama Cooks! and I’ll post your recipes.