I wanted to update last year's pumpkin pie recipe because it was a bit time-consuming and all with preparing irish moss and gingersnap cookies first. Pumpkin pie is my husband's favorite and he speaks the truth about everything, so I knew he would be a good taste tester. I wasn't expecting him to say it was the best he's ever had, though. So I knew we had a winner with this version.
The pastry crust is my basic whole grain flaky crust that I've shared on the blog before in other pie recipes. If you are really in a time crunch, you can use a store bought crust. It's a good idea to partially pre-bake the crust before adding the filling so it does not get soggy (the worst!). The pastry recipe allows for decorations to be made with the dough trimmings. Leaves and other natural forms always look good on pie.
The filling is basically a dump and blend method. I started using agar agar, which is a sea vegetable, this year, and it has gelling attributes like gelatin, so for custardy type fillings it works really well to set them up. If you choose to go all from scratch, which I always suggest and lean toward, the only added steps are to bake the squash and make coconut milk. Once you have all of your ingredients prepped, just dump them in the blender, whizz it up until smooth and creamy, pour into pie shell and bake.
So, I guess when I say "easy" I'm being subjective, but this pumpkin pie is easier than last year's recipe for sure. Iley's class made the filling as a pudding for for their Thanksgiving feast at school, and his (amazing!) teacher was not quite sure it was done in the time according to the recipe. So I just want to be clear that the filling will continue to set up as it cools, and will get nicely firm in the fridge.
This is my last recipe post before Thanksgiving so I just want to say have a lovely one! And if you try any of the recipes for your feast please leave some feedback in the comments--I love to hear from you! And to know what's working well and if anything is not.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, filled with good food on a table surrounded by those you hold dear. Happy Thanksgiving!
Recipe after the jump...
Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie
makes one 8-9" pie
Whole Wheat Pastry Crust
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 5 tablespoons vegan shortening (I used nutiva brand)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ice water
- pinch of salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening and olive oil until mixture is in pea-sized crumbles. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, until dough comes together into a ball. (The amount of water needed is always changing, as it is dependent on the humidity and temperature at the time).
Roll out dough to 1/4" thick on a well floured surface. Note: pastry made with whole grain flours in general tends to crack more easily, but don't worry, if it cracks just patch it back together in the pie plate. Use rolling pin to roll up crust and transfer it to a pie plate. Trim overhanging dough to 1". Tuck the outer edge under itself and crimp crust all the way around. If you want, roll out scrap dough and cut out leaves or other shapes to decorate the top of pie.
Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Use pie weights or dried beans in parchment or foil to hold crust in place and to keep it from puffing. If you made decorations prick the cutouts with a fork a few times, lightly brush the tops with non-dairy milk and sprinkle on a bit of rapadura sugar. Transfer the cutouts to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake pie shell and cutouts for 20 minutes then remove from oven, remove pie weights and set aside on a cooling rack. Pie shell will only be partially baked. Cutouts should be golden brown and cooked through completely, they may need 5-10 more minutes to finish baking.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 2 cups of cooked/roasted pumpkin (buttercup squash is my choice, see how to make it from scratch)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (coconut is best because of its rich creaminess, but other non-dairy milks will work) homemade coconut milk recipe
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon powdered agar agar (a sea vegetable)
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell. Smooth out top with a spatula and tap pie plate a couple of times on a board or counter top to release air bubbles. Bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature on cooling rack. The filling will continue to set up as it cools. Decorate the top with your pastry crust cut-outs and serve. Store left over pie covered in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
To prepare pumpkin from scratch: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your squash or pumpkin in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds. Place on parchment skin side up. Bake on center rack for about 30-40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from oven and scoop out flesh. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 year.
Happy Baking and A Very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!