At twenty-six years old, Philadelphia native, Justin Swain, has already achieved a lot. He lived the exciting life of a bike messenger for five years. Then growing fed up with the unpredictable nature of the job, he decided to follow his dreams and attend culinary school. He ended up graduating valedictorian of his class and becoming the executive chef of a top restaurant in Philly. Now a year after taking over the reins at Rex 1516, a Southern-inspired restaurant with a modern day twist, and Justin Swain has definitely made a lasting impression.
What distinguishes Justin even more is his empathy and consideration for people with dietary restrictions. Justin began preparing gluten-free food for his girlfriend’s father who has celiac disease. He was concerned about the blandness of most gluten-free foods and began experimenting to improve the flavors. When he took over the restaurant, he soon became aware of the increasing number of gluten-free requests and decided to implement some of his new creations as a specialty gluten-free menu at Rex 1516. He now offers gluten-free rolls, baguettes, delicious desserts as well as a full selection of gluten-free appetizers and entrees.
Unfortunately for us here in the DC area we are not able to enjoy his cooking first-hand. But luckily for us, Justin has graciously released the recipe for his newest gluten-free Thanksgiving creation. So we have the pleasure of enjoying his delicious pumpkin pie in the comforts of our own home. Best part of all, it’s an easy recipe to prepare and doesn’t even need to be baked, giving you one less thing to worry about in the midst of your holiday preparations this year. Enjoy everyone and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
No Bake Pumpkin Pie (Gluten Free)
2 1/4 cup ground raw hazelnuts
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
9 dates, stoned
– Place hazelnuts and cocoa powder in a large bowl and mix well, breaking up any lumps.
– Add coconut oil to powder mixture and mix well.
– Place dates in a small bowl and mash with a fork.
– Add dates to dough-like mixture and combine well with hands.
– Place crust into 9-inch round pie pan.
– Place crust in refrigerator while making filling.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
2 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
-Beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Both fats should be well softened to ensure the filling is lump free.
-Add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy.
-Add the vanilla extract, molasses, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree and beat until thoroughly combined. If you find that your filling is lumpy, pass it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
-Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Let pie chill in the fridge overnight. (very important that it chills overnight or it won’t setup)