Perhaps I reacted to this month’s Burwell General StoreÂ 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, convenientÂ snacks for yourself,Â NatureBoxÂ 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 BlogÂ for delicious recipes and snack ideas!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut carrots into 1 inch chunks and steam until tender.
- Puree carrots in a food processor or using a hand blender.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
- Add ricotta cheese, milk, sugar, spices, salt, and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
- Add carrots and stir until combined.
- Pour batter into ramekins coated with a little oil or silicone muffin liners. Place these on a baking sheet.
- 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.
- Cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.
- 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.
* Yogurt or pureed tofu may be substituted for ricotta.