Healthier Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 09-30-2013, 07:17 PM
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I had a bunch of organic canned pumpkin pie that I got on sale late last year and with the changing season I spent sometime this weekend toying with a pumpkin pie recipe. My goals were:

- Vegan
- Healthier than traditional recipes, but still desert like.
- Mimics the texture, etc of a traditional pumpkin pie as much as possible.

Getting a decent crust is pretty easy, but getting a filling with the same texture, etc without egg or condensed milk is a bit of a challenge. The recipe is a bit detailed but I don't see any way around it, I wanted to write it down and I thought I'd do it here.

Filling ingredients:

15 oz canned pumpkin.
2 cups of soymilk
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (ideally golden).
1/2 cup sugar (something that doesn't impart any flavor beyond sweet).
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
a dash of nutmeg.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1 tablespoon earth balance or similar fat (i.e., solid at room temp).

Crust ingredients:

1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons earth balance
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Instructions:

Crust:

1.) Mix flour, sugar and salt.
2.) Mix ground flaxseed with 1 tablespoon water and let set for 15 minutes.
3.) Once 2.) is done, cut earth balance (make sure its cold) into small pieces and include in flour sugar and salt mixture.
3.) Softly mix all the ingredients together, slowly mix in cold water (~2 teaspoons or so at a time) until the mixture becomes a solid piece of dough. There should be chunks of earth balance visible in the mixture.
4.) Roll the dough like you would any other dough and line a 8" pie tin with it.

Filling:

1.) Mix ground flaxseed with 1/4 cup water and let set for 15 minutes or so, should start to have an egg like texture.

2.) Mix pumpkin and species together.

3.) Heat the soymilk in a pan with the sugar until it reduces half or so. Add earth balance and allow to melt. Reduce the heat to low and mix the cornstarch with 2~3 tablespoons of water and slowly add until the soymilk/sugar mixture starts to get creamy. This is your condensed milk substitute and should be mixed with other ingredient right when its done. If you have any clumpiness in the mixture strain before you include it with the other ingredients.

4.) Mix together the results of 1.), 2.) and 3.)


Put the filling in the crust and bake for 50~60 minutes at 350. The pie is done when filling no longer giggles around and a knife comes out relatively clean around 1" from the rim of the pie tin. Let set for at least 2~3 hours, it gets better if you let it chill in the fridge.

Okay...that was long!
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#2 Old 09-30-2013, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for sharing your recipe, logic! I don't often have pumpkin pie, but if I happen to acquire some canned pumpkin, I'll give it a try.

 

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#3 Old 10-01-2013, 02:25 AM
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Thanks for the recipe!  I'm always on the lookout for tofu free vegan pumpkin pie.  Will have to try this one sometime.


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#4 Old 10-01-2013, 07:44 AM
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How firm does it get, compare to more traditional recipes? That always seems to be problematic.


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#5 Old 10-02-2013, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

How firm does it get, compare to more traditional recipes? That always seems to be problematic.
When you first take it out of the oven its not as firm, but after it cools (and especially once chilled) the consistency of the filling is pretty close to a traditional recipe. I think if I dropped the "healthier" part I could get it closer, but this filling is 1/4~1/3 the fat of a traditional recipe so that does create some difference in texture.

For whatever reason few vegan pumpkin pie recipes use a ground flax gel, but I think that is the best substitution for eggs in this application. I think creating a liquid somewhat similar to sweetened condensed milk is important as well.
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#6 Old 10-02-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logic View Post


When you first take it out of the oven its not as firm, but after it cools (and especially once chilled) the consistency of the filling is pretty close to a traditional recipe. I think if I dropped the "healthier" part I could get it closer, but this filling is 1/4~1/3 the fat of a traditional recipe so that does create some difference in texture.

For whatever reason few vegan pumpkin pie recipes use a ground flax gel, but I think that is the best substitution for eggs in this application. I think creating a liquid somewhat similar to sweetened condensed milk is important as well.

 

 

I agree. It's hard finding a substitute for eggs in this application. I steer away from recipes that use tofu or excessive amounts of cornstarch. I've baked many a pie and I think that your version looks good. Just out of curiosity, how would you change this to make it more like the regular version? That is...less healthy? :shifty: 

 

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#7 Old 10-02-2013, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Aristede View Post

Just out of curiosity, how would you change this to make it more like the regular version? That is...less healthy? sneaky.gif  
Using another 2 tablespoons or so of earth balance in the crust, another 2~3 tablespoons of saturated fat (earth balance or otherwise) in the filling and a another 1/4 cup of sugar in the filling. That would make it more consistent with the ratios seen in a traditional pumpkin pie.

Though my version wasn't "healthy", I was pretty happy with the result given that its around 60~70% the calories of a traditional recipe.
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#8 Old 12-07-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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I love this recipe!!

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#9 Old 12-07-2013, 09:29 PM
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I made this recipe today using sweet potatoes that I had roasted, since that was what I had on hand. I like the vegan "sweetened condensed milk". It's pretty clever. The crust worked well, though I think it might not really need the flax seed. Flax seeds gives things a chewier taste, in my opinion. The flavor of the pie is good and I like that it doesn't use tofu to compensate for the textual difference. I had to add a little extra (almond) milk because I think the flax is a bit too much like glue. When I make this again, I'll omit the flax in the crust and reduce the flax in the filling (maybe 1 or 1½ tlbs with the same amount of water). This was plenty sweet with 1/2 cup of sugar and it was a good balance! I think the flavor was improved by using sweet potatoes that I roasted myself, though I'm sure roasted pumpkin would work similarly. 

 

Thanks, logic!

 

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#10 Old 12-08-2013, 07:40 PM
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Update: I had some more of the pie yesterday and after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, the texture improved. It still has that flax texture, but it isn't as pronounced. I am considering attempting to make a recipe using banana and some flax. I want to avoid using eggs because they are simply not healthful (entirely too high in cholesterol). 

 

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"Now listen, I know you've got to think about your image, 'cause image is important to you, because of course your friends are gonna dictate your actions through the rest of your lives, and I wouldn't want you to step away from them and become an individual, that would almost be too much!"...

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#11 Old 12-08-2013, 08:54 PM
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I don't think I've even tried a sweet potato pie before so I have no idea what the texture is like, but I'd imagine it would behave differently due to the higher starch content.

I put the flax in the crust to help hold it together a bit, since its just a teaspoon I would be surprised if it changed the texture that much.
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#12 Old 12-08-2013, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logic View Post

I don't think I've even tried a sweet potato pie before so I have no idea what the texture is like, but I'd imagine it would behave differently due to the higher starch content.

I put the flax in the crust to help hold it together a bit, since its just a teaspoon I would be surprised if it changed the texture that much.

 

I've eaten both pumpkin and sweet potato many times and they work pretty much the same. In fact the primary difference between them is often the spices and the fact that bourbon or rum is sometimes added to sweet potato pie. I personally find that sweet potato pie has more of a depth of flavor. 

 

Perhaps it wasn't the flax that caused the chewiness, but rather the fact that a shortening is absent from the crust. The crust was better the day after the pie, so maybe it just needed some time in the ice box. I think for a recipe that reduces fat content it works well to that end. 

 

I'll keep experimenting with this, but you've provided a good recipe, logic. 

 

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