Easy 6-Ingredient Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

plant-based diet recipes Nov 14, 2022
Easy 6-Ingredient Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

With Thanksgiving around the corner, some might feel the pressure of re-creating some traditional family favorites – with a plant-based or vegan take. One of these familiar meal items would be pumpkin pie. In this recipe post, I will show you a super easy way to make a delicious vegan pumpkin pie…one that is not only easy on your wallet but truly good for your health too! 

Many years ago, when our family first switched to plant-based eating, I was on the quest to find a suitable healthy vegan pumpkin pie recipe. After all, what’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? But I was severely disappointed to find that many of the so-called ‘healthier’ vegan versions of pumpkin pie still contained heavy amounts of either coconut cream, coconut milk, lots of refined sugar, or used vegan shortening in the pie crust recipe.

How to Have Your Pie and Eat It

However, after much searching, I came across a recipe for a ‘squash pie’ that inspired me to create this oil-free, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free recipe below...with only 6 key ingredients! Save time if you like by getting a vegan ready-made pie crust or follow the instructions below to make your own. It’s not difficult to do!

 

Easy 6-Ingredient Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

 

Serves 8 (or one 8-inch pie)

Prep Time:  20 min

Cook Time: 50 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min 

                                 

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree [392g]
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates [125g]
  • ¾ cup small tofu cubes (using firm or extra firm tofu) [100g]
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice [see recipe notes]

Crust Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup pitted Medjool dates [80g]
  • ¼ cup date soaking liquid [60mL]
  • 1 ½ packed cups rolled or large flake oats [160g]

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400oF (204oC).
  2. Meanwhile, in preparation to make the pie filling, soak a cup of pitted dates in a bowl with 1 ½ cups of very hot (just boiled) water for at least 10 minutes. Cover this bowl with a plate to seal in the heat.
  3. To make the crust:
    • Soak the ⅔ cup of pitted dates in a bowl with a ¾ cup of very hot (just boiled) water for at least 10 minutes. Cover this bowl with a plate to seal in the heat.
    • After 10 minutes, move the soaked dates to a food processor or blender and blend the dates with the ¼ cup of date-soaking water until mostly smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl periodically when pulsing. (Note: if you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can use a large knife to mash/dice up the soaked dates on a chopping board into a mostly smooth puree.)
    • Add in the rolled oats and pulse quickly (for about 5 seconds) to get a slightly coarse texture. Remove this pulsed amount into a separate bowl.
    • Now mix these crust ingredients well together using your hand until a crumbly, slightly moist combination is obtained. Note: you can add in an extra 1 - 2 teaspoons of date-soaking water (optional) if the mixture is still very dry and does not seem to hold together when lightly pressed.
    • Press this combined mixture down firmly to cover the entire bottom of a parchment-lined 8-inch pie dish to form an even layered pie crust. Use your thumbs to press the mixture down firmly along the bottom and sides of the pie dish. For the best results, plan for the filling to cover nearly all the crust, so not much of the crust will show in the final pie. 
  4. To make the pie filling: after the 10 minutes of soaking time is up, remove the other batch of soaked dates from the water and drain them well of excess liquid. (To do so, I usually just take a handful of the soaked dates from the water, and give them a good squeeze once or twice in the palm of my hand before transferring them to a blender or food processor bowl. Then I repeat this process until all the soaked dates have been moved over.)
  5. Next, blend these dates well with the pumpkin puree, tofu, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice until a very smooth puree is formed. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender bowl with a rubber spatula as needed during the blending process until a smooth well-blended consistency is reached.
  6. Now use a rubber spatula to transfer the filling into the pie plate with the pie crust. Spread out the surface of this mixture evenly to cover the pie crust.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, loosely cover the pie surface with a piece of aluminum foil (to prevent the top from browning too much) and then let the pie bake for another 35 minutes.
  8. Next, check to see if the pumpkin pie filling has been mostly cooked through (the pie filling would have changed from a brighter orange hue to duller brown, especially around the outer circumference of the pie). Note: the pie filling does not need to be cooked till 100% solid, because the filling will continue to cook and firm up as the pie cools down after being removed from the oven. 
  9. Finally, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 -15 minutes uncovered before cutting. Sprinkle on some raw or roasted pumpkin seeds and a dash of cinnamon (optional) for a more festive look!

Recipe Notes:

  • To ensure this recipe is gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats.
  • Make sure the soaked dates (for the filling) are drained well of excess liquid before blending them together with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Otherwise, the filling can be too 'wet' resulting in a much longer extended baking time.
  • To make pumpkin pie spice from scratch, mix the following spice ingredients together: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ¼ teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.
  • You can make this pumpkin pie a day in advance to serve the following day. Once made, store the cooled leftovers of this pumpkin pie in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. 

I hope you enjoy this easy-to-make yet delicious vegan pumpkin pie recipe that is also oil-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free. The longest time taken in the recipe is simply waiting for it to bake in the oven. Make this pie to enjoy during the holiday season or at other times of the year. This is definitely one pie that my family looks forward to and keeps asking me to make!