Carrot…pie? A Recipe Swap and a giveaway!

Perhaps I reacted to this month’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap recipe a little differently than most people. I was ready to cook up some carrots and bake a pie! Carrot pie sounded like another delicious variation of some of my favorite pies: pumpkin and sweet potato. Could carrot pie be even better because of what it has in common with carrot cake (my absolute favorite)?

I wanted to find out whether another orange vegetable would make a lovely, fall-flavored pie so I decided to stick closely to the original recipe. That turned out to be pretty easy, since the recipe was so vague that I didn’t have a rigid ingredient list to follow. It reads something like an oral history gathered by some culinary folklorist. Can I have that job, please?

I steamed “the carrots”, added them to milk and eggs, sweetened them with sugar, and added cinnamon for spice. That wasn’t all, of course. The full recipe is at the bottom of this post. My take on carrot pie includes ricotta cheese and allspice but no crust. I gave up baking custard pies in crust long ago. All I want is the filling so baking that in little ramekins or muffin cups makes dessert much more enjoyable to me.

Individual custard cups may not be quite as pretty as a whole pie and sometimes it’s nice to have some crunch with your silky-smooth filling. That’s where this bag of granola comes in!

I happened to have a bag of Cherry Berry Granola in my pantry from the NatureBox each blogger received as part of the Foodbuzz Festival gift bag. NatureBox delivers a monthly package of healthy snacks anywhere you need them (in the U.S.). They come in neat little resealable pouches and have already saved me from a snack black hole at least once. I love the dried fruit, nut mix, and Blueberry Almond Bites but I’m especially excited about the granola, since it’s on the light side – just how I like granola – with a good ratio of oats to whole almonds and dried berries.

The crunchy granola was a perfect topping for my carrot custard, which was still warm and gooey when I snacked on it yesterday afternoon. It was reminiscent of pumpkin or sweet potato pie but with more substance, thanks to the ricotta cheese, and plenty of flavor from the vanilla bean and spices. Lee and I did a bike/run brick workout that morning so I snacked for the rest of the day. The rest of my little carrot pies went in the fridge for weeknight desserts.

 

If you’d like to try some healthy, convenient snacks for yourself, NatureBox has generously offered one of their future month’s boxes to one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is comment on this post telling my where and when you most need a snack during the day. The winner will be chosen at random from those comments. One entry per person, please. I will announce the winner in 1 week. At this time, NatureBox can only deliver to U.S. addresses and cannot customize box contents. Be sure to check out the NatureBox Blog for delicious recipes and snack ideas!

You’ll also find inventive recipes inspired by carrot pie from my fellow recipe swappers below.



Little Crustless Carrot Pies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 half-cup ramekins

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese*
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar, brown sugar, or other sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut carrots into 1 inch chunks and steam until tender.
  3. Puree carrots in a food processor or using a hand blender.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
  5. Add ricotta cheese, milk, sugar, spices, salt, and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
  6. Add carrots and stir until combined.
  7. Pour batter into ramekins coated with a little oil or silicone muffin liners. Place these on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the center of each pie is solid and the edges begin to pull away from the dish.
  9. Cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.
  10. Pies may be served warm or chilled, topped with granola, cookie crumbs, or even whipped cream. If using muffin cups, you may remove pies form the cups before serving as long as they are significantly cooled.

Notes

* Yogurt or pureed tofu may be substituted for ricotta.

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27 Comments

Filed under desserts, Recipe Swaps, snacks

27 Responses to Carrot…pie? A Recipe Swap and a giveaway!

  1. Raymond

    I’m always craving a snack boost in the mid afternoon after my workout to refuel my muscles at the gym! Thanks!

  2. Taylor Clegg

    As a college student, I’m always craving a small snack around midnight. This would be fantastic at that time of night. Keep me going. =)

  3. Becky l

    I crave. Snack in the afternoon! When I am tryin to make it through the rest of my day with the kids!

  4. Tr Erwin

    I’m usually hungry for a snack around 2:30 … that’s when I’m headed home from school where I am working with middle school children. :)

  5. I crave a snack mid morning during the weekdays…can’t quite make it to lunch without one.

  6. I am at an all out run every day at work. Since I work evenings at an assisted living center I usually don’t get to sit down and actually eat a meal before 8:30 or 9:00 P.M. So for me the cravings for something to eat (especially on the run) Start by about 7:00.

  7. Sarah Oliver

    I most need a snack after a long, 70 minute run for cross country practice!

  8. I love that you made them crustless- less calories and well, the filling is where the all the good stuff is anyway! The additional of granola is brilliant. And as for when I really need a snack- between lunch and dinner- around 3.30 or so.

  9. christina brioso

    I’m a college student, and during lunch I am usually always stuck in class and starving. the closest place to get a bit is like 20 minutes away, and the vending machines are never an option since everything’s unhealthy.

  10. Lindsey Price

    This looks yummy!! I an in love with granola lately! I always need a snack around 2pm. I’ve been going for dark chocolate (at least 65% cocoa) because I’m usually craving sweets! :)

  11. Kimberly

    I call it the 3:00 dip. Happens every day at work. Not so much on the weekend.

  12. I love anything cooked in individual ramekins, who cares if not as pretty as a big pie :) And good idea to top with granola like a fruit crumble.

  13. Stephanie

    Wow! That looks really yummy. I crave snacks in the late afternoon – usually something salty so I try to keep almonds at work.

  14. Renata

    I also need an energy boosting snack while at work in the office in the midafternoon – when the post-lunch nap cycle hits me! Thank you!

  15. I love desserts in ramekins. Makes me feel like it is just my own special treat! great swap!

  16. Eugenie

    I need a snack mid-afternoon.

  17. Howell

    Late in the evening between dinner and bedtime I need a snack.

  18. Such a better idea to make a crustless pie :) .I wish I had done like you! And the granola addition adds such a nice crunch. I too was intrigued by the recipe and wanted to make something similar!

  19. Love the idea of mini carrot pies! Also, loved the NatureBox snacks! I snack voraciously at my desk from about 2 p.m. until quitting time and could definitely use some more healthy snacks!

  20. Georgiana

    Fabulous recipe as the pictures look so yummy! I constantly crave a snack in the afternoons around 3-4pm to keep those energy levels going at work!
    Nature Box sounds wonderful!

  21. Those pictures just scream “AUTUMN!” Your whole site layout does as a matter of fact. Want to curl up with one of those carrot pies by a fire and read a book with some hot cocoa!

  22. Looks almost like pudding! I bet they are luscious and creamy!

  23. These are totally adorable. Looooove it.

  24. I am with you on custard pies sans crusts – everyone prefers the custard part, so why bother with finicky crusts?
    I have not received an email with this month’s Recipe Swap challenge and I am bummed:( I am hoping to get back on track next time!
    I love your little carrot pies – if they can be paired with OJ for a sweer juice, why cannot they be made into pies?

  25. I have had pies in every orange vegetable flavor…except for carrot! I really have to change that. These are adorable!

  26. Yum, these look great! I was also tempted to do the recipe just as-written… unlike that pork fruitcake a couple of months ago, it actually looked pretty tasty!

    And I totally agree with you about the filling of custard-y pies being the real reason I eat them… I love pie crust as much as the next gal, but give me a slice of pumpkin pie and I’ll often just eat the filling and leave a naked piece of crust on the plate. Love the idea of skipping the dough all together and just making them in ramekins!

  27. Yum, that crustless carrot pie looks absolutely amazing! I am saving this recipe in my top to make list. I always need a delicious snack mid afternoon when I’m busy studying for my upcoming college exam or writing an essay! I would love to be able to grab a NatureBox product to satisfy my craving.