Pumpkin pie seems to be the quintessential dessert food for the holidays. That and apple pie of course. But, traditional recipes are full of eggs and dairy. In my quest to find a good vegan recipe for pumpkin pie, I was having a rough go. I really needed something that wasn’t going to taste “fake” or like an “impostor pie.”
I have never made a pumpkin pie, and I think that helped me a little bit. I had no preconceived notions about what should actually go into a pumpkin pie, so I didn’t really know what NOT to put in one. I guess this gave me a little more confidence to play around with a recipe I found.
It had only four ingredients, but one of those four ingredients was an entire cup of maple syrup. That seemed like A LOT of maple syrup to me. So I switched up the recipe a bit and added one more ingredient to make it less sweet, but still absolutely delicious.
My coworkers have the [un?]fortunate role of being taste-testers for many of my recipes that I try out. This wasn’t going to be any exception. Last night I made the pumpkin pie, tasted it and loved it. But, I needed a second or a third opinion to make sure it wasn’t just my ingenuity that I was loving.
It was definitely the pie.
It was a complete hit, a masterpiece, something that makes you go “Wait, that’s vegan?!” Yea, it was that good. Okay, enough chit-chat. To the recipe!
Ingredient break down – crust
About half of a standard package of blonde oreos (not chocolate ones)
2 tbsp of vegan butter
1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
1 cup of raw cashews, unsalted and soaked at least overnight.
Side note: Measure the cashews before and after soaking. They will expand and you may end up with more volume of cashews after they have soaked.
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk creamer
The night before
Twelve to 18 hours before you make your pie, put your cashews in a bowl of cold water that covers them completely and put it in the fridge overnight.
Making the crust
In a food processor (I used my ninja master prep), grind up the cookies until they are small granules.
Grease your pie pan well with a little vegetable shortening or canola oil.
Melt the vegan butter in a bowl in the microwave. Add the cookie crumbs to your melted butter and combine the two using a fork. When pushed to the sides of the bowl, it should stay stuck relatively well.
Pour the crumbles into your pie pan and press down with your fingers, spreading it all over the bottom of the pan and up the sides as far as you can go.
Bake the crust alone in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Making the filling
After the cashews have soaked for at least 12 hours (it’s best if they soak for 18 hours, you’ll get a creamier texture faster), drain the water out. Measure them again (1 cup) and put them and all the other ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender for 4-6 minutes. The mixture must be completely creamy, no lumps whatsoever. It should look like… pumpkin pie batter… 🙂
Add the filling to the toasted pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 30 minutes.
The pie is done when you stick a toothpick or a knife in it and it comes out almost completely clean.
Coconut whipped cream
I topped my pie slice with a little dollop of coconut whipped cream. Now, I did not make this whipped cream from scratch and let me tell you why.
I have tried to make coconut whipped cream this way (refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight, open it, scrape off the fat on the top and whip it up) two times now. Both times, the milk has not separated! And I finally figured out WHY thanks to this article.
The coconut milk I buy has emulsifiers in it. These make it so the fat does not separate from the water in the milk. According to the article I linked, these emulsifiers come in different forms. There is guar gum, carrageenan, methyl cellulose or corn starch and sodium or potassium metabisulfate.
After discovering this, I ran to my pantry, pulled out all of my different cans of coconut milk and lo and behold every single can had at least one of these emulsifiers in it, some even had two!
So, from now on, I will either read the label of the coconut milk can, or I will just make the excuse to go to Whole Foods again to get ready-made coconut whipped cream. I think the latter is a better choice.
Now that you’re armed with all that knowledge on coconut milk, let’s get to the presentation of your lovely dessert.
After your pie has cooled for at least 2-3 hours (serve it chilled for the best texture), slice it up and add a little dollop of the coconut whipped cream to it.
Then, I did something a little awesome. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the whipped cream. But, don’t sprinkle the cinnamon straight from the spice container. That will most likely end in a big blob of cinnamon on your dessert rather than a light dusting.
Instead, put a little bit of cinnamon in the palm of your hand and gently blow it onto the whipped cream. It will be perfectly speckled, just as long as you don’t sneeze. 😉