Vegan Pumpkin Pie
This classic pumpkin pie recipe has a flaky shortcrust pastry and a smooth and creamy spiced pumpkin filling. Serve it with a dollop of vegan whipped cream for a comforting and delicious Autumn or Winter dessert.
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For me, homemade pumpkin pie is the ultimate taste of autumn! It’s rich, delicately spicy, smooth, and tastes incredible on a flaky homemade pie crust. Making pumpkin pie from scratch is one of the easiest and most delicious pies you can make at home. If you haven't already tried making pumpkin pie, then you need to give this recipe a try!
Homemade vs Canned Pumpkin Pie
You can use either canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin to make this pie, and it tastes great either way. For a more fool-proof recipe, I'd suggest using pumpkin puree as you're guaranteed to get a certain type of consistency and taste, you'll also save quite a bit of time on the preparation of this pie. Personally I prefer to use fresh pumpkins as I find it really satisfying to see the amount of fresh veggies going into the pie. I also like to make good use of the pumpkin seeds by roasting them and turning them into a nutritious and delicious snack. If you're going to use fresh pumpkins, just make sure they're not too big as usually the smaller the pumpkin is, the more sweet and dense the flesh will be.
What type of Pumpkin to Use?
I’d recommend you use small, sugar pumpkins as they have a more dense and creamy flesh. Try to avoid using carving pumpkins as they have a high water content, the flesh has a stringy texture and they taste really bland, so they won't give your pumpkin pie a rich and creamy taste.
Pumpkin Pie recipe variations
This recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your personal taste. If you're not a fan of 1-2 of the spices, you can leave them out, or if you don't have any pumpkins at hand, you could even use baked sweet potato to make the filling. Last year I made a pumpkin pie with a chocolate ganache topping, and it tasted amazing, so you can try adding some chocolate ganache on top to make this pie even more deliciously decadent.
How to Store Pumpkin Pie
This pie is best eaten on the day its baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not serving it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. I wouldn’t suggest storing it in the fridge as this can cause the crust to become too hard.
Can this Pie be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin pie, but as I’ve mentioned before, it's best when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, place it in a container or wrap in in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost pumpkin pie, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed.
Can I use Store-bought Shortcrust Pastry for this pie?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crust, but I promise you it won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
What Tins to Use
I'd recommend using an 8-9 inch tart or quiche tin with a removable bottom. The removable bottom makes it much easier to remove the crust from the tin once it's been baked.
Pumpkin Pie Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour: Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Sugar: A few tablespoons of sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness.
Vegan block butter: I used the Flora vegan butter block, but ant plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil: I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
For the filling:
Pumpkin: I’d recommend you use small, sugar pumpkins as they have a more dense and creamy flesh.
Sugar: You can use either caster sugar or granulated sugar. I wouldn't recommend using fruit syrups as they'll darken the colour of the filling.
Coconut cream: I'd recommend using a thick coconut cream, but if you're using coconut milk instead, make sure to store the can of coconut milk in the fridge at least a hour before using it; you'll find the solids and liquid have separated, so drain away the liquid and use only the thick coconut milk to make the filling.
Spices: You'll need a combination of ground ginger cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken and set the pumpkin filling.
For the topping:
Coconut cream: I've used coconut cream, but you can use any vegan whipping cream of your choice.
How to make Pumpkin Pie
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about ½ cm thickness and create a round shape big enough to fit a 8-9 inch tart tin. Lift the dough away and place into the tart tin. If the dough breaks apart, just cover the cracks with the scrap pieces of dough. Press the edges down, trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.
Line the pastry case with a piece of baking paper. Make sure that the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case so that it is easier to remove the baking beans. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place it in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden. Take the pie case out of the oven and leave it to cool down.
To make the filling, peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, and cut into bite sized chunks. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes, until soft. You want the pumpkin to cook without browning, so remove from the oven as soon as they’re soft enough for a fork to go through a piece of pumpkin.
Place the baked pumpkin into a blender or food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Transfer the pumpkin puree to a large bowl along with the sugar, coconut cream, cornstarch, and all the spices. Whisk until well combined, then pour the filling into cooked pastry case place back in the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the centre of the filling feels firm to touch. Remove from the oven, let it cool down completely, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with a dollop of whipped coconut cream.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a Removable Loose Bottom so that the pumpkin pie will be easier to take out once it’s baked.
I'd recommend using the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and water are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.