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!
This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I use and recommend in the recipe. Read more about my affiliate policy here.