Beetroot Pie probably sounds a bit disgusting if anything, or I guess you are probably more likely to initially think of a savoury beetroot tart. I was going to put up a recipe for my Paleo Pumpkin Pie but I decided that it was a little on the boring side, after all who needs yet another pumpkin pie recipe on the internet? Not that my pumpkin pie isn’t any good – it is immense. But in the UK I find that a lot of people aren’t too fond of the slightly bitter taste that pumpkin can sometimes have – it’s pretty much an acquired taste.
So why beetroot? I hear you ask. Why not butternut squash?… Beetroot thrives in the autumn within the UK and often or not these gorgeously bright red taproots are completely ignored, fobbed off as being gross, or only tolerated when pickled – I mean come on who doesn’t love a good bit of pickled beetroot? Although beetroot makes a mean Borscht and is great roasted, topped with some goats cheese, you just never hear of it being used in desserts and so I just had to give it a go. I did a little Google on ‘beetroot desserts’ and ‘beetroot pie’ and all I could see on the dessert front was beetroot halwa (which sounds amazing and is next on my beetroot to do list), beetroot cake, and only one beetroot pie recipe came up from the wonderfully gifted Great British Bake Off genius, Paul Hollywood. So I decided to base my recipe upon his but try and give it a little bit more of that American oomph with a little vanilla creme which would put those awful Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Twinkies to shame.
This recipe requires you to use a 23cm/9in loose-based pie/tart tin, 3cm/1¼in deep, alternatively split between 4 small tartlet tins. If you have any filling left over bake it in ramekins until it is firm but with a slight wobble in the middle. There is enough vanilla creme to cover the entire pie so if you only want to decorate the outer edges like I have you’ll probably need around 1/4 of the recipe.
Before I let you move on to the recipe just take a look at the beautiful colour of that filling before the pie went into the oven! Gorgeous!
- 150g almond flour/ground almonds
- 100g tapioca flour
- 125g raw grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- Juice 1 orange
- 350g cooked beetroot (peeled and chopped)
- 160ml coconut cream
- 100g coconut sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼-1/2 tsp allspice (depends upon personal tastes)
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder
- In a small mixing bowl sieve in your flours and salt. Chop your butter into small cubes and throw in. Cover the bowl with cling film, give it a good shake until the butter is covered by the flour and then place into the freezer for 20 minutes. This is what makes your pastry lovely and light and crumbly.
- In the meantime freshly squeeze your orange juice and pop that into the fridge to chill until needed.
- Remove your flour and butter bowl from the freezer and pour into your food processor. Process until it comes together into small oat like sized balls. Pulse in your orange juice by the tablespoon. It is not likely that you will require much more than half of it at - you just want to use enough for it to only just form the beginnings of a dough ball. Remove the pastry from the processor and form by hand into a ball. Cover in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Whilst your dough is resting in the fridge begin to prepare your filling. Place your beetroots into a pan, cover with boiling hot water, place a lid on top and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook until the beetroots are only just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, drain your beetroots, and plunge then into a bowl of cold water. Leave for a couple of minutes before using your fingers to gently remove the roots and skin.
- Place your cooked and cooled beetroot into your food processor and process for 1 minute being sure to scrape down the sides periodically. Next add your coconut cream and coconut sugar and process until smooth. Finally add your remaining ingredients, pulse a few times, and blend until smooth.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C and grease your pie tin. Remove your dough from the fridge and gently warm it between your palms and give it a little knead. Next 'knuckle in' the dough into your loose-based pie/tart tin (23cm/9in, 3cm/1¼in deep) until nice and even and with a slightly thicker crust around the edges. Prick it with a fork for a few times and then place your pie crust into the freezer for 10 minutes until firm.
- Remove your pie crust from the freezer, line with a little baking parchment, pour in some 'baking beans', and pop it onto the middle shelf of the oven to blind bake for 10 minutes until the pastry begins to look dry and sort of pale. You want it to be almost baked but not quite.
- Remove from the oven and pour in your pie filling. Place back onto the middle shelf and cook for 25-45 minutes until the filling has set and has only a slight wobble in the middle when you give it a jiggle. If the pie crust looks like it is browning too quickly create a sort of tin foil dome (shiny side up) to prevent it from burning. Once done remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Whilst the pie is cooking it's time to start making your 'vanilla creme'. Combine all of the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water (or a bain marie). Make sure that your hob is on the lowest heat to prevent burning. Remove the bowl carefully using a towel when all of the ingredients have melted. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes and place into the fridge until the mixture cools down. Don't let it get much colder than room temperature otherwise it will curdle when you whip it.
- Once your vanilla creme mix has cooled down whip it up until it forms stiff, firm peaks using an electric hand whisk or a mixer. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe over your cooled pie.
- Slice, eat, and enjoy!
*All cup measurements used are UK cup measurements and so 1 cup = 250ml.
**Preparation time includes 1 hour plus 1 hour resting time for dough.