Although I’m vegetarian and not vegan, I do love trying new recipes and vegan ones always tempt me because I’m curious how they will come out.
I came across this Vegan Pumpkin Pie and found it interesting because I’ve already made vegan “sour cream” several times in the past by using soaked CASHEW NUTS and it turned out yummy. I wouldn’t compare it to dairy sour cream, not in taste and even fat content (In Israel we have 9% fat sour cream and cashew nuts have a lot more…) but for those of you who are looking for non-dairy alternatives –I would definitely recommend it.
So when I came across this recipe for vegan pumpkin pie, using soaked cashews – I HAD to try it. Plus, I had already had tons of fresh pumpkin at home…
My recipe is for a 22 cm/8.5 inches round cake/pie pan.
I deviated from the original recipe and my changes were:
1) The CRUST – instead of the vegan pie crust that was offered I used ground Vegan caramel spice cookies – to which I added finely chopped pecan nuts and margarine. Next time I will try to add almond butter instead of some of the margarine (not low-fat but a lot healthier)
2) I lowered the amount of Maple syrup by half because I tasted the filling before baking it and it seemed perfect: just the right amount of sweetness. But if you like it sweeter – start with 1/2 a cup, taste the mixture before baking and add as much as you’d like.
3) I added orange zest (which I love) and 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour to the filling
4) For the swirl – I used only 1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese instead of 1.25 cups (which was too much)
My version of Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Pie:
For a 22 cm /8.5 inch round baking pan
For the spiced Crust:
300 gram (10.5) Vegan gingerbread, Speculoos or any other spice cookies
50 grams roasted, chopped Pecans
1 tsp mixed spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
70-100 gram (up to 3.5 oz but start with less) vegan “butter” or preferably coconut fat at room temperature.
For the filling:
100 gram (3.5 oz) natural cashew nuts
1/4- 1/2 cup 100% Natural Maple Syrup (start with this amount, taste and add more if you like it sweeter)
250-300 gram (around 10.5 oz) pumpkin puree (I made it from scratch, steamed pumpkin pieces and let them drain their liquid overnight in the fridge, but you can use canned)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
2-3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed nutmeg and clove
A pinch of salt
For the “cream cheese” swirls:
1/2 cup Tofutti cream “CHEESE” (not sour cream)
2 Tbsp Maple syrup
1 tsp INSTANT vanilla pudding (to keep it firm)
1) Soak the Cashews in cold water for at least 8 hours and add a little salt (store in the fridge) and then, when you want to make the pie – drain the water. The soaked cashew will be soft and ready for blending.
2) In a food processor – grind the spice cookies with the additional spices till they’re finely ground. Add vegan butter and pulse/blend till the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly and wet.
3) Press the crumbs onto the bottom of your greased pan and freeze for at least 25 minutes.
4) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
5) Mix the vegan cream cheese and maple syrup and set aside.
6) The filling: Add Cashews and then Maple to your food processor. Blend on low and then high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, spices and orange zest and blend again till the mixture is smooth. Add the whole wheat flour and give it a quick blend till it is all incorporated in the mixture. After blending, do a taste test and add Maple and a pinch of salt if needed.
7) Pour your mixture on the frozen crust or use a pre-baked vegan pie crust . Then spoon the “cream cheese” mixture over top the pie. Swirl it roughly down deep towards the pie crust. Then use a toothpick to create fine swirls. Try not to over-swirl or the colors will become muddled.
8) Bake pie at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. I simply touch the pie’s top with my finger to make sure it is firm but remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge. Plus, the cream cheese swirls will be softer than the rest of the pie.
9) Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit “wet” to slice.
10. I Serve with vegan cream cheese mixed with coconut cream and cinnamon (If you place a can of coconut CREAM in your fridge, scoop out the top because that’s where the thick cream is)
The Original recipe is here: