I’m not crazy about pumpkin pie. Is that terrible to admit in my opening sentence? Maybe just a little. But my mother likes to make pumpkin chiffon pie for Thanksgiving and everyone else likes to eat that pie and so pumpkin pie must be good for something right? Plus she gave me the recipe for it a few years ago. It’s been sitting there, in a spiral notebook, minding its own business ever since.
Fast forward to my Healthier Banana Nut Bread endeavor. Another one of my mother’s recipes, but one I chose to revamp to fit my new healthier lifestyle. That prompted me to flip through a cookbook my mother compiled for me for my 21st birthday of family recipes, all the while thinking of how to make them a bit healthier and Molly-friendly.
I stopped at the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie recipe. (Apparently I’m a superb actress when it comes to pie eating reaction faces? Sorry mom. Cat’s out of the bag.) It seemed like a safe place to start. Pumpkin. That’s a vegetable, right? Vegetables are healthy. And the flavors are certainly more spice than sweet. I can do this, I thought. I can also probably make one I actually enjoy eating too, I told my dog.
Adapting the filling was the easiest part. Tofu works great in lieu of eggs in a recipe like this that calls for a custard-y consistency. And Truvia is a dear friend of mine. So that was that. Best part? No raw eggs means you can taste and tamper with the spices as you go so you end up with the taste you actually want! Yay!
The crust was a different story. My mother’s recipe calls for all the butter in the world, plus enough sugar to make a really great face scrub. (I think that’s all sugar’s good for? Maybe?) Plus the carb thing. I don’t like them.
Never forget the carb thing.
I frankensteined a few different pie crust recipes and then sort of just did what felt right in the moment. I know what you’re thinking and no, it did not lead to an unplanned pregnancy. I’m a grown up. Clearly. The crust I ended up with is Gluten-Free, if you’re into that sort of thing, and significantly carb-reduced. Plus it’s vegan as all hell. (I’m trying to imagine that idiom in the most literal way possible. Now you do it. It’s fun.) Keep in mind, however, this is not the buttery pie crust you are used to. It definitely has more of a nutty taste and a grainy texture but have to say, I really prefer it to a classic pie crust. It’s more than just a buttery bed for a pie, it actually adds to the overall taste! Double yay!
Vegan Pumpkin Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust
If you want to make a healthier gluten-free pie crust, you’ll want to have
- 8 tbls ground flaxseed (This was the last of my ground flaxseed. It went out the only way it knew how: like a champion. And in a pie crust.)
- 1/4 cup soy flour
- 1/4 cup brown rice bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 packet Truvia
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
If you’re looking for something pumpkininny, get a hold of
- 1 1/4 cups canned pureed pumpkin
- 8 ounces silken tofu
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or any dairy-less milk you like)
- 8 packets Truvia
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Let’s make some vegan pie, bitches
Preheat your oven to 425 and spray a pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside so it can judge you from afar.
Assemble the pie crust: In a medium bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Stir in the applesauce and the vanilla extract. It should look kind of paste like. Press the mixture into the pie pan, evenly distributing it like, you guessed it, a pie crust. Wacky! Press the chopped walnuts into the pie crust, again evenly distributed. Put the pan in the freezer while you make the filling.
Make some filling already: I used a medium sized bowl because I had zero desire to clean out my food processor today. If you want, you can throw everything in a food processor and puree the life out of it. I just mixed it by hand starting by mushing up the tofu, adding in the pumpkin, the milk, and finally the Truvia, spices, and extract. Definitely give this filling a taste as you spice it and feel free to tailor it to your personal taste buds. (I’m in an committed relationship with cinnamon so I gave it the respect it deserved/used it without restraint. Solid relationship advice right there.)
Remove the chilled pie crust from the freezer and spread the pumpkin goodness evenly (can I just go ahead and assume no one would ever unevenly spread an anything? please?) in the crust. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 and cook for 40 minutes more, or until the top shows a crack or two to signify it’s set. Let cool on a window sill because you are adorable.
The final verdict on this Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie?
I understand pumpkin pie now. I like pumpkin pie, guys! We did itttttt. Try it for yourself and your extremely food intolerant friends (or pretentious, it’s a toss up). I topped mine with some vanilla greek yogurt to get my non-vegan fill (I ain’t no vegan or nothin, folks) but vanilla soy yogurt makes a perfect healthy vegan-friendly pairing. Something about the yogurt texture compliments the creamy pie and nutty crust. Yum!