American Pumpkin Pie and Some Words About Thanksgiving

pie pumpkin (2)

On Thursday, 26th of November 2015 is Thanksgiving. This event isn’t celebrated in Europa, especially in Austria, as it is done in the USA. Still, I’ld like to present you a very traditional pie recipe and want to share some thoughts about what the word “Thanksgiving” means to me and why I’ld like to introduce this festivity in my own household.

Thanksgiving: Some background information

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In many cases, a real herd of people, often families, comes together in order to celebrate Thanksgiving, where the meal might be the main part of the whole thing. An American friend told me, that it’s kind of a tradition to deny oneself during the day to make sure one is going to be really hungry in the evening and to tuck into Thanksgiving food. In many cases, the meal turns out that huge, that people are still eating leftovers a few days after Thanksgiving, those even work as sandwich stuffings. That people do appreciate this tradition of eating leftovers in between sandwich bread, one can see in coffee shop chains like Starbucks, Nero or Costa, where sandwiches with “Thanksgiving Stuffng” are sold in autumn. Last year I celebrated Thanksgiving with friends abroad and I’ve already shared some recipes on the blog, like Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato and Orange Purée or the so called “Thanksgiving Stuffing“, a casserole dish made of bread and veggies, which does actually taste really nice.

My idea of Thanksgiving and why I’ld like to celebrate it even though I’m Austrian

The word Thanksgiving is made up of two main elements: being thankful and giving. My idea is, that one is thankful for all he or she has got and to express one’s thanks to important people around him or her. There are countless reasons for being thankful and everyone has got his or her individual ones. Still, these reasons are hardly pronounced, neither to oneself nor to anyone else. I think this is a shame and therefore I adore the idea of a shared festivity, where you don’t overeat, which is the picture of Thanksgiving many of us have in mind, but where people appreciate their own gratitude and do share it with others. What I have in mind is an honest round at the table, where everyone says some words what he or she is especially thankful for. Inner contentedness and satisfaction helps increase well-being and it’s proven that it has a positive impact on our health. Often a simple smile you recognise on your own face influences your mood in a great way. Besides, I have the impression that communities like families are decreasing in value and very often it’s not about being honest, showing real interesent in each other and being able to even talk about problems, but the current demand of the labour market, where people need to be perfect and flexible, is taking over even in family context, sometimes even in friendship. Of course, this isn’t true for all families or friendly relationships, but still I can recognise all this even in my own surroundings. This leads me back to the idea, why I think Thanksgiving is something positive: being oneself, even in the present of others, not having to put on an act and being thankful for who you are and what you have. Celebrating Thanksgiving in just that sense is an absolutely nice thing.

Because of this topical event I made pumpkin pie. I was hoping that my vegan version gets just the same consistency as the vegetarian one me and my American flat mate made last year. It actually went out just right and I’m so glad about this, because I simple love this kind of cake.

Ingredients for 1 pie dish: 

For the pie crust:

2 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour

1/4 cup of cold water

6 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

For the middle:

1 small Hokkaido pumpkin (500g)

1 cup of coconut milk

1/4 cup of maple syrup

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1 pinch of nutmeg

3 level teaspoons of agar-agar

pie pumpkin (1)


Pre-heat the oven to 200°C upper and lower heat.

Cut pumpkin into halves, scoop out seeds, place the halves in an oven-proof dish with the cut side downwards and roast for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the crust. Mix all ingredients and knead a dough. Wrap it in kitchen foil and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Once cooled, roll out the dough and transfer to a pie dish.

When pumpkin is roasted, take it out of the oven and turn the heat to 170°C upper and lower heat. Put the pie dish in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile remove skin of your pumpkin and puree the flesh. Mix with all other ingredients, except agar-agar, in a saucepan and stir until well combined. Bring to boil and stir in agar-agar. Once the mixture starts to thicken, take the pie crust out of the oven and pour the pumpkin mixture onto it. Put the pie dish back in the oven and bake for about 1 hour.

Take your pie out of the oven and let it cool down completely before serving.

Seasons: summer, autumn, winter

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