After (too many) months i managed to update my blog and share a bit of what’s going on in my life right now.
As some of you know in July I moved from Canada back home in Italy. Italy has been my home for the past 16 years (more or less) before I moved to Canada from 2014 to 2019. I’m not officially Italian tho, I was born in Romania. But Italian is basically my mother tongue, I’ve embraced it fully, can still speak Romanian but on a very medium level. I only went to elementary and middle school in Romania. I’ve written 3 cookbooks in Italian, went to high school in Italy and even tho I miss some things from Romania I don’t think I could ever go back and live there.
Long story short..in August 2014 me and my boyfriend moved to Canada and in July 2019 we decided to come back to Italy. A scary decision indeed given the fact that the Italy’s economy is terrible right now, our parents were’t happy (at all) about our decision and we didn’t quite had a plan on how we were going to survive.
When I left Italy in 2014 I basically had 0 work experience, only worked a couple gigs as a singer and that’s about it. Everything I learned, i learned it in Canada. My first real full time job, discovered and developed my photography and cooking passion, discovered what an online business is, continued my singing passion and that’s where I also learned that i was not made to work for someone else and that if I didn’t follow my dreams, my soul would suffocate at some point.
Throughout these 5 years me and my boyfriend started an online business, making video recipes (in italian) for this diet that most people think it’s weird, the blood type diet. But tons of people follow it in Italy, we started too back in 2012 actually because we wanted to eat healthier. Only a few years later we saw a need, we saw that people needed help, needed someone to guide them, to teach them how to cook and so on.
So we started it. Each week 2 video recipes. At first we sucked, big time lol! But we got better with time and practice. That’s how my food photography started too. I wouldn’t never gotten into food photography otherwise.
Fast forward to today (started in 2016) we’re about to release our 3rd cookbook. It’s actually mind blowing.
The reason we decided to move back to Italy was to give it a shot. Our project was in Italy but we were living in Canada. It just didn’t feel right, nothing inspired me there, sadly. We wanted to have a connection with our people, to be on the same page as them. The food and the recipes I was making weren’t even inspiring me anymore because I know how the food is in Europe especially in Italy, and where the food comes from and I couldn’t have access to that, i didn’t feel any connection with nature, I missed the European wilderness and freedom that unfortunately i couldn’t find anywhere in Canada.
I am grateful though on a deep level because this experience changed my life. And all the things I didn’t know how to appreciate about Italy back then, I do now. I see the world with different eyes and for the first time in my life I don’t wish to be in a different place and that to me is crazy and unbelievable because all my life I was never happy where I was.
I hope I didn’t bore you but I felt like i needed to summarize this chapter in my life and get it off my chest, let you know a bit more about my life and myself and what I do because I always think there MUST be someone else out there who can relate to this or who’s lived a similar experience and maybe can benefit from reading this. If you do please let me know!
So…let’s get to the best part of this blog post!
Can you believe I've never made a pumpkin pie before?🙈 Even after 5 years of living in Canada, to be honest I probably only tried a bite once.
Well I guess only now that I don’t live overseas anymore it was time to try it. Life is funny and weird right?
I guess i got intimidated by the fact that it might be hard to make it gluten and dairy free but it actually turned out to be one of the easiest pies I've ever made.
My version is with buckwheat flour, homemade margarine (with cacao butter) and almond milk instead of cream. Well it doesn't look like your traditional pumpkin pie but it tastes DIVINE. It can be made with other gluten free flours of course, like quinoa flour.
If you try this version let me know!
For the pie crust:
200 g buckwheat flour
5 g psyllium husk
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
100 g vegan margarine
20 ml water
For the filling:
500 pumpkin puree
60 ml maple syrup
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 pinch of salt
Make the dough:
In a large bowl mix the flour with psyllium husk. Add the egg yolk and the whole egg and mix.
Add the vegan margarine, mix and lastly add the vegan margarine.
Mix all the ingredients with your hands, once the dough comes together turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pack it into a ball. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and 1 pinch of salt until well combined. Add the eggs and the maple syrup, mix well and set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to about 12-inches in diameter onto a piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour the dough if necessary.
Next, carefully transfer the dough, with the parchment paper, to a 9-inch pie plate (mine wasn’t too deep), gently fit it into the pie plate and trim any excess dough.
Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie crust. Bake the pie at 180C/350F for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is almost set (it should be a little wobbly). Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack for 2-3 hours to cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.