Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.  Since I’m trying to eat more plants, I decided that I’d give vegan pumpkin pies a go (traditional pumpkin pie is made with sweetened condensed milk = dairy).  My first attempt at mini pumpkin pies was an absolute fail…which I blame on the fact that I had shot for the stars and tried to make my own crust which was gross.  Note to self: Trina, you don’t know how to make pie crust, let alone a vegan version – start simple, lil momma.

My second go with vegan pumpkin pie was a delicious, easy success and I want to share this simple recipe.  The first win was using a store-bought whole wheat pie crust (thank you, Whole Foods!).   The second win was using soaked raw cashews as a cream base and adding the 4 other ingredients: pumpkin, maple syrup, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Honestly, it’s really good.  I was skeptical after my first experience, but this recipe won me over with its yummy taste and simple ingredients.

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Recipe source: Healthy. Happy. Life. http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/10/four-ingredient-vegan-pumpkin-pie.html 

Ingredients:

  • 1 standard vegan pie crust (I used whole foods)
  • 1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste (depends how much salt you soaked your cashews in)\

Note: Use high quality maple syrup.  Both grade A and B work, but some people prefer grade B.

Instructions:

  1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt to the bowl – mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. 
  2. Soak this cashew bowl overnight in the fridge. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy. I soaked my cashews for about 18 hours. At least 8 is optimal. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.
  4. Pre-bake your store-bought pie crust at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.
  5. Drain the water from your cashews. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor or high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). The cashews should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal.
  6. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason – you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1/3 tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.
  7. Pour your mix into the pre-baked vegan pie shell.
  8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet – but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
  9. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit “wet” to slice.
  10. Serve chilled.

Note: If you want to try vegan whipped coconut cream, here is a good tutorial on how to make it: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/09/how-to-make-whipped-coconut-cream-from.html 

Cashews and pumpkin puree in the blender

Cashews and pumpkin puree in the blender

Perfect pumpkin pie

Perfect pumpkin pie

Now the fun begins!

Now the fun begins!

Slice of vegan pumpkin pie - YUM!

Slice of vegan pumpkin pie – YUM!

Please feel free to share recipes for your favorite plant-based pumpkin treats!

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