Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge that the recipe instructions are wordy, but I'd rather make things really clear and share any tips that will ensure success!A short while ago I tried out Vegan Spoonful's Homestyle Vegan Pumpkin Pie with much success. It was "just like grandma used to make". I blogged about it here.
The notion of making a pumpkin pie filling that had no refined sugar in it intrigued me. What about using date paste instead? Date paste is simply pitted medjool dates and a quantity of water processed until it's a smooth paste. Sugar, whether it's organic cane sugar or plain white sugar is devoid of nutrition. Dates on the other hand are a source of fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and much more. Don't be mislead though, because even dates can hamper your weight loss goals.
My pumpkin pie filling also skips the use of salt, something I'm trying to avoid as per the nutritarian way of eating. I've upped the quantities of spices to make sure it has lots of taste. It's not overly sweet, unless of course you top it with something like EverydayDish.tv's Vegan Whipped Topping! Jon tried it plain and thought it was just as yummy as the first vegan pumpkin pie I tried. I was very happy with how it turned out!
For the crust I used No Roll, Never Fail, Press-In Pie Crust (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free & More). It called for 1 tablespoon of sugar and I used my organic cane sugar. I won't be doing that again. It seemed that any sugar grains that were exposed or touching the glass pie plate turned black. So there are parts where the crust is speckled black. Kinda creepy. Next time I'd skip the sugar altogether.
Here are a few vegan options for the pie crust:
Almond-Oatmeal Pie Crust (found here)
I plan to try this one next. I like that the fat content is natural and unrefined
* 1-1/2 cups oatmeal ground into a coarse flour
* 3/4 cups almonds finely chopped in processor
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 1/2 cup water, approximately
How to make it:
1. Mix the ingredients and roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper.
2. Peel off the top sheet of paper.
3. Place a 9 inch pie pan upside down on top of it then flip both over.
4. Remove the other sheet of paper and trim to shape.
5. Bake unfilled for 10 minutes in a 350F oven.
6. Remove and fill with your pie filling and bake as needed.
Lilibeth's Naturally Sweet Vegan Pumpkin Pie
IMPORTANT: Before you do anything, take a square of aluminum foil and cut a circle out of it, one that will expose the filling but not the crust. This will protect the outer crust from burning. I suggest loosly placing it on the pie after it's been in the oven for 10 minutes or so.
1 9" prepared crust
1 14-oz can pureed pumpkin
1 cup almond, rice, oat, hemp or soy milk
3/4 cup date paste*
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
*For the date paste you'll need approx. 16 medjool dates, pitted and split in half. Toss them in your food processor. Add about a 1/2 cup of water. You may need more, but start with processing this (start by pulsing) and see how it goes and then add more water as you see fit. You're going for a pureed pumpkin kind of consistency, so you want it to have substance. This will most likely make more than you'll, but store the remaining paste in a jar and save for smoothies or something.
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Prepare your homemade or store-bought crust. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and blend well with a hand mixer. Pour into prepared crust. If you're using an 8" pie crust, you may have leftover pie filling.
Bake 1 hour, BUT after about 10 minutes place your aluminum foil crust protector over the pie, leaving the filling exposed.
ALSO!! After about 30 minutes you may want to loosly cover the whole pie with another piece of aluminum foil. I mistakenly had the oven at 375 for the first 40 minutes instead of the 350 it should have been at, so I don't know if would be fine without the foil at the proper temperature (argh!!). Just do me a favour and keep an eye on it! Mine turned out fine in spite of my blunder.