I recently peeked at my older pumpkin pie posts and felt like it was time for updated photos and few recipe tweaks. Gosh, how far my photography and editing skills have come since then *covers face with hands*. I've made this updated version even simpler, because I realize most folks don't have time to make coconut milk from scratch or roast pumpkin ahead of time, and anything that makes Thanksgiving prep easier is always welcome in my book.
In the past I avoided white flour in a lot of my recipes but have since come to appreciate its virtues and become more lax in my attitude toward certain supermarket ingredients. I want to share recipes that are more accessible for you, and honestly, all-purpose flour makes a better pastry crust and is much easier to roll out. So this has been my go-to vegan flaky pastry recipe as of late. I use earth balance buttery sticks and a bit of olive oil for the fat content. You can also try miyoko's creamery cultured butter for better flavor, but it contains nuts, which my son can't have. There are probably other vegan butter options but there now, too, that will work just as good, but earth balance is what is available at our grocery store. This is not sponsored, by the way, just giving you all the details.
Vegan butter doesn't melt like dairy butter so you don't need to chill this dough. I do recommend wrapping it and letting it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes, instead of in the fridge, to let the gluten relax. It will be easier to roll out. You can also swap in dairy butter if you want, but you'll want to use very cold butter and chill the dough in the fridge while it rests.
Blind-baking the crust helps to avoid a soggy-bottom, as Mary Berry would say. Any GBBO fans out there? You can use fancy pie weights, but I like to use old dried beans. I keep them in a container and reuse them over and over, they won't go bad.
I found a 50¢ set of leaf cookie cutters at the thrift store this summer and have been waiting to use them for fall pies ever since. To make a decorative leaf crust you trim off all of the excess overhanging dough once it's fitted into the pie plate. If you're keeping it simple with a crimped or fluted edge then leave an 1" overhang of dough and tuck it under itself before proceeding to crimp the edge. Some leaf cutters have stamped veins on them but since these did not, I used my bread lame to score the leaf veins. It was a little tedious since these are small cut-outs but the extra effort does make for a nicer presentation if you have the time.
The filling is pretty much the same as before. I used canned coconut cream this time. You want just the thick cream separated out from the liquid, like you do when making whipped coconut cream. The cream separates when it is chilled, so I like to keep a few cans of coconut milk or coconut cream in the fridge always, and it is ready to use for recipes that call for it separated. That said, I've gotten cans where it is already separated out at room temp, usually in cooler months. You can use canned coconut milk or cream for this recipe with similar results.
The filling is quite thick and you may need to add a splash of thinner non-dairy milk like soymilk to help move it along in the blender.
Canned pumpkin puree is the easiest option, but if you do roast pumpkin or squash for this then you don't have to puree it ahead of time, because it will be pureed in the blender with the rest of the ingredients anyway.
The only lesser known ingredient in this is the agar agar powder, which is a sea vegetable used for thickening foods, with properties similar to gelatin. This is what makes the filling set up so you can't leave it out. I've found it locally at health food stores and have ordered it on amazon. It's a pantry staple you'll want to keep on hand if your making lots of vegan recipes. It comes in flakes or in powder form, if using flakes you'll have to increase the amount to 3 teaspoons in this recipe.
Maple syrup is pricey, but I love its flavor so much and it is wonderful in this pie. You can swap it out with brown sugar if you'd like though.
Make sure to let this pie cool completely before cutting into it so the filling has a chance to set up. I find the texture improves by chilling it overnight, and this also lets all the flavors of maple and spices come together. So what I'm saying is make this pie the day before you serve it. This is helpful for Thanksgiving prep.
See how the fork stands up in that thick luscious filling? That's what you want!
I hope you enjoy this updated pumpkin recipe with better explanations and tips for a successful bake. If you make this pie please leave a comment and let me know how it came out. Happy baking!
- Pie Crust:1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 215g
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup 1 stick vegan butter alternative (115g)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ice water
- non-dairy milk for "egg-wash"
- Filling:2 cups roasted pie pumpkin or winter squash like buttercup or ambercup or canned pumpkin puree (250g) *see notes
- 1 13.5 oz/400mL can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream separated *see notes
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoons ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon powdered agar agar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F
- In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut vegan butter into ½ inch pieces and coat them in the flour. Flatten butter pieces between your thumb and fingers. Add olive oil and then rub the butter pieces and olive oil into flour with your hands until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some larger pieces.
- Add ice water about 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork or your fingertips, until dough holds together when squeezed in your palm. Note: The total amount of water needed is always changing, as it is dependent on the humidity and temperature at the time.
- Turn dough out onto a work surface and gently work it into a disc then cover it in wrap. Let wrapped dough sit at room temperature or refrigerated for about 20 minutes to let the gluten in the dough relax. Note: The dough will be easier to roll out at room temp. If using dairy butter then keep it chilled.
- Roll out dough to ¼" thick on a well-floured surface.
- Roll up crust onto the rolling pin and transfer it to a pie plate. Gently guide the dough into the pie plate with your hands so that there is no space between the pie plate and the dough. Trim overhanging dough to 1". Tuck the outer edge under itself and crimp crust all the way around. Or if making a leaf cutout crust as shown in photos, trim off all of the overhanging dough and proceed with blind-baking in the following step. Gather the scraps of dough into a ball and set aside to use while crust is blind-baking.
- Place a piece of parchment over the pie shell and fill with pie weights or dried beans to hold crust in place and to keep it from puffing. Bake pie shell for 20 minutes then remove from oven, remove parchment and pie weights/beans then set aside on a cooling rack. Pie shell will only be partially baked.
- While pie shell is baking, optionally re-roll gathered dough scraps to ¼" thickness and cut out leaf shapes for a decorative pie border. Use a sharp knife or bread lame to score "veins" in the leaf cutouts. Leave them on work surface until final assembly.
- Next prepare the filling by adding all filling ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- When the crust is done blind-baking, adjust oven temperature to 375˚F.
- 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. Brush the crust with non-dairy milk.
- If creating a decorative leaf crust, brush bottoms of cutouts with non-dairy milk and arrange them one by one around the border of the pie. Then brush the tops with more non-dairy milk.
- Arrange extra cutouts on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush them with non-dairy milk, then pop them in the oven for the last 10 minutes of bake time in the following step.
- 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 extra leaf cut-outs and serve. Enjoy!
- To prepare pumpkin from scratch:
- Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut squash or pumpkin in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds. Place on parchment cut side down.
- Bake on center rack for about 30-40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from oven and scoop out flesh.
- Note: There is no need to puree the roast pumpkin as the filling will be blended until smooth.
- For this recipe you just want the thick coconut cream. It is best to chill a can of coconut milk or coconut cream in the fridge overnight so the cream separates from the water. When you open the can, scoop out the thick cream and discard the water/liquid in the can. Pro tip: keep some cans if coconut milk the fridge at all times to use for recipes like this or for making whipped coconut cream.
- If using agar agar flakes then increase the amount to 3 teaspoons.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I use and recommend in the recipe. Read more about my affiliate policy here.