This vegan pumpkin pie is both super easy to make and incredibly delicious. With a perfectly flaky, crisp pie crust and a spice-packed, silky-smooth and wonderfully creamy pumpkin pie filling, it’s virtually impossible to guess that it’s vegan! Even in the absence of eggs and dairy, the filling sets beautifully to give a pie that looks gorgeous and is easy to cut into neat slices.
250g(1 ¼ cup) coconut cream(To get the coconut cream, you will need to place can(s) of coconut milk – without shaking – into the fridge overnight, the day before you plan on making the pumpkin pie filling. See also Note 1.)
200g(1 cup) light brown soft sugar
⅛tspground black pepper
35g(5 tbsp) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)
Vegan pie crust:
Prepare one batch of the Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust, and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed. You can also prepare it a day or two in advance.
You will need a 9 inch (23cm) pie dish ready to have on hand. It should be about 1 ½ inches (4cm) deep. I recommend using a metal pie dish.
Lightly flour your work surface and the top of the pie dough. Gently tap it with a rolling pin to make it more pliable and easier to roll out.
Roll it out until it’s about 3mm thin. Don’t roll it any thinner than that, as it will reduce the flakiness. Make sure that the rolled-out pie dough is at least 1 ½-2 inches (4-5cm) larger than the pie dish, so that you have enough left over for crimping. Brush away any excess flour.
Fold the pie crust in half (or use a rolling pin to roll the pie crust onto it) and transfer it into the pie dish. Make sure that it’s snug against the bottom and sides of the dish.
Cut away the excess dough (I like to use scissors for this), leaving about 1 inch (2.5cm) of overhang.
Fold the overhanging dough under itself, and press it gently together along the fold, so that the two layers of dough adhere to each other.
To crimp the edge, form a V-shape with the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand on the outside edge of the pie crust. Then, use either the thumb, the index finger or the knuckle of the index finger of your dominant hand to push the pastry into that V-shape. Move around the edge of the pie crust to create a fluted rim.
Chill in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes before blind baking.
Pumpkin pie filling:
In a saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar and coconut cream. Cook over medium heat until the coconut cream has melted and you get a smooth, lump-free mixture.
Add the spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and pepper), and mix it all together until evenly combined.
Set aside until needed. (You will need to add the cornstarch and the baking powder just before assembling the pie.)
Par-baking (partial blind bake):
While the pie crust is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 390ºF (200ºC) with a large baking sheet or tray on the middle oven rack.Tip 1: Baking the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet starts the bottom of the pie baking straight away and helps to prevent a soggy bottom.Tip 2: If you struggle with soggy bottoms on your pies, you can bake your pie on the lower middle oven rack instead.
Dock your chilled pie crust all over the bottom and sides with a fork. This prevents it from puffing up too much during baking.
Scrunch up a piece of baking/parchment paper and then straighten it out (this softens it and prevents it from cutting into the pastry) and then use it to line the pie crust.
Fill the pie crust to the brim with pie weights (ceramic baking beans). You can also use rice instead.
Bake for 20 minutes at 390ºF (200ºC) until the edges of the pie crust are light golden brown.
Carefully remove the pie weights and baking/parchment paper, and return it to the oven for a further 8-12 minutes, until it’s evenly golden in colour.
Once the pie crust is par-baked, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC).
Assembling the pie:
Add the cornstarch and the baking powder to the pumpkin pie filling. Mix well until no clumps remain.
You don't need to cool the par-baked pie crust before filling it. Pour in the pumpkin pie filling. You should fill the pie crust to just under the bottom part of the crimp. Tip: The pumpkin pie filling will puff up only very slightly during baking, so how much you fill up the pie crust now – that’s approximately what your pumpkin pie will look like at the end. You might not need all of the filling (I sometimes get about a tablespoon or two of filling left over).
Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the filling into an even layer.Tip: Depending on how warm or cold your filling is, it will be more or less runny, respectively (due to the coconut cream in the filling). If it's on the cooler side, its top might not be very smooth going into the oven (you might see distinct swirls from the spatula or spoon) – but don't worry, the heat of the oven will ensure that it levels and smooths out during baking.
Baking & cooling:
Bake the pie at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling is just set and is no longer wobbly in the centre. You might see a few small cracks around the edge of the filling, but those will close up as the baked filling cools.
If the crimped edge of your pie starts browning too quickly, cover the whole pie with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done. I like to bake the pie uncovered for the last 5 minutes of so, to ensure that the crimped pie crust edge is perfectly crisp as it comes out of the oven.
Cool the pie for at least 4 hours at room temperature before slicing and serving, to ensure neat and clean slices.
Serve as is, or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped vegan double/heavy cream alternative.
The pie is best on the day of baking or the day after, but you can keep it for up to 3 days in a cool dry place or in the fridge, covered lightly with with a clean tea towel or a sheet of aluminium foil. Don't wrap it tightly in cling film or keep it in a closed container, as that will soften the crust too much.If you store it in the fridge, bring it to room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
Note 1: Here’s a quick coconut cream 101:
You don’t need to actually buy coconut cream, you can get it from a can (or a few cans) of good quality, full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
Make sure to buy coconut milk in a can, and one that has a high coconut content (over 55%, ideally higher). Also, if possible, make sure that it doesn’t contain many additives and stabilisers.
Place the can(s) of coconut milk – without shaking – into the fridge overnight, the day before you plan on making the pumpkin pie filling.
Overnight, thanks to the low temperature of the fridge, the coconut milk should separate into a thick, creamy part of top (the coconut cream) and a liquid part on the bottom (the coconut water).
In the recipe, use only the thick, white, creamy part – the coconut cream.
Depending on the brand of coconut milk you’re using, this separation will be more or less successful. You might need to test out a few different brands before you find one that separates well, with a large quantity of coconut cream.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).