This GF pie marries beetroot and almond which are great partners, and offers a colourful change from ordinary pumpkin (see footnote). The crust is gluten-free and dairy-free.
Beetroot is usually sold in the supermarket in 250g packets, so you’ll need two – just make sure it’s not packed in vinegar.
Serves: 12 – 16
For the crust:
- 115g gluten-free plain flour
- 45g porridge oats
- 75g ground almonds
- 75g finely chopped pecans
- 4 & 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 & 1/2 tablespoons maple, agave, or golden syrup; runny honey will do as well
For the frangipane:
- 50g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg, beaten (50-60g when weighed in its shell)
- 50g ground almonds
For the filling:
- 500g cooked beetroot
- 180ml double cream (180g if weighing)
- 3 large eggs
- 225g soft dark brown sugar (or 200g dark muscavado or molasses sugar)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
- Flaked almonds and icing sugar, to garnish (optional)
- A deep-sided, round, loose-based pie or flan tin
(at least 5cm deep and about 24cm in diameter)
- 3 large mixing bowls
- Stick blender or food processor
- Electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
- Spatula and wooden spoon
- Cooling rack
Making the crust:
- Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted).
- Mix the crust ingredients together in a bowl with a fork until fully moistened and combined. Press the mixture into the pie/flan tin with your hands, ensuring the crust goes all the way up the sides. Use your knuckles around the bottom edge to ensure it isn’t too thick there. Prick the bottom and sides lightly all over with a fork (it will puff up if you don’t), and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).
Making the frangipane:
- While the crust is baking, make the frangipane by mixing the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon – you don’t need to cream, just get them to a paste-like consistency.
- Add the beaten egg and ground almonds, and mix together manually until it is completely smooth.
Making the filling:
- Drain the excess liquid from the beetroot, chop into smaller pieces, and puree with the cream in a food processor, or in a bowl with a stick blender.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs at medium-low speed until frothy and doubled in volume. Gradually add the sugar and cornflour while mixing at medium speed. Add the spices, lemon zest and juice, and beetroot puree. Whisk at medium-high speed until fully combined.
- Transfer the frangipane to the crust, smoothing it into an even layer over the base with a spoon; then pour over the filling. If you have air bubbles, drop the tin (carefully!) on the counter from an inch height once or twice.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, turning halfway through for even baking. The filling should have the slightest of wobbles in the middle, and the visible edging of crust should not be too dark.
If the crust edging is getting quite dark after 30 minutes, wrap a strip of tin foil around the edge of the tin before continuing to bake.
- Remove the pie from the oven to a cooling rack and cool completely, before removing the side, then slide off the pie tin bottom.
- You can garnish with a dusting of icing sugar, or sprinkle some almond flakes over the top (or both) before serving, if you like.
You could make the filling with pureed roasted pumpkin instead of beetroot. I would add 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and leave out the frangipane layer if doing that. I’d also garnish with finely chopped pecans instead of flaked almonds.