I know May is just about over but did you know that May is lentil month? And I have a confession; I have never cooked with lentils. For regular readers to this blog that won’t be a surprise. Even though I am adventurous with my eating I am not really that adventurous with my cooking. But since writing this blog I have decided to take on new cooking adventures. So don’t ask me what I was thinking when I was walking through the grocery store last week and I saw this bag of lentils.
Yes, I bought this huge bag of lentils, I am crazy! I gave myself a challenge alright; I’m going to be cooking with red lentils for a very long time. So now I have all these lentils sitting in my cupboard, what do I do with them? My first step was to start looking through my cookbooks to find an easy recipe to work with.
This was a no brainer. I pulled out my Spilling the Beans cookbook by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. I have had great success with this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find there was a recipe for my favourite pie, pumpkin. That sealed the deal and when I looked through my cupboards I had most of the ingredients on hand. So of course, I made the pie.
The recipe is below but here are a few observations based on my experience. I don’t have a food processor so I used my blender to mix all the ingredients together. I don’t know if it was because of this but I ended up with a lot of pie filling left over. I might have been able to pull two pies out of this recipe instead of one. Also, I didn’t use the optional molasses but after tasting I decided to add a couple of sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice before I poured it into the pie shell.
And what was the response at my house? My husband enjoyed it, he said you could tell there was a little something added because of the texture but he liked the taste. He even went so far to say he would like it if I used this recipe for my Thanksgiving pies. My son, the picky eater, loved it. He gobbled it up and immediately asked for another piece. I was shocked. And me, well I was happy with the end result. I had my piece with a scoop of Coconut Sorbetto from Fiasco Gelato which paired very nicely together. I will definitely be making this again.
This is good because I have a feeling I will still have those bag of lentils in my cupboard by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. But stay tuned, I will post more of my red lentil recipe adventures. I’ll try something savory next.
Red Lentil Pumpkin Pie
1/3 cup (80 mL) dry red lentils
14 oz (398 mL) can pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup (185 mL) half and half, evaporated 2% milk, or whipping cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125mL) packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp (15mL) molasses (optional)
1 Tbsp (15mL) grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5mL) vanilla
1 tsp (5mL) ground cinnamon or more to taste
1/4 tsp (1mL) ground allspice
Pinch of Salt
1 Unbaked 9-inch pie shell
In a small sauce pan, cover the lentils with water and bring to a boil; cook for 20 minutes, or until very soft. Drain. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the lentils into the bowl of a food processor with the remaining ingredients (except the crust, of course) and pulse until well blended and smooth. Pour into the crust.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is set but still just a little wobbly in the middle and the crust is golden. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the pie lightly with a sheet of tin foil as it bakes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar or maple syrup and spiked with a few drops of vanilla.
Makes 1 pie.