Vegan Reduced-Sugar Maple Pumpkin Pie (GFCF)
I was inspired by this recipe, on Affairs of Living. However, the author sweetens her pie almost exclusively with stevia. I enjoy stevia in moderation, but I don’t particularly enjoy the flavor of an item — especially a dessert — which relies heavily on stevia. I am making an increasing effort, though, to minimize our family’s consumption of refined sugar. Accordingly, my recipe below calls for very little sugar, but it does call for some. I also modified a number of other ingredients from the original recipe. The results obtained a thumbs-up review from all of my children and my husband, who is quite the pumpkin pie aficionado. Everyone said that the coconut flavor was undetectable, and that the texture and flavor is perfect. I was particularly pleased that this pie stays “rigidly” custard-like when cut. In other words, the slices of pie retain their shape, and do not collapse on the plate.
A few ingredient notes:
- Agar-agar powder: Invaluable for egg-free “creamy” goods like custards and pies, and vegan “gelatin” desserts, this inexpensive ingredient is readily available in Asian markets. I typically buy Telephone brand, which is around a dollar for a 0.88 oz packet.
- Coconut cream: Much thicker than coconut milk, and much higher in fat content, it resembles softly whipped cream upon refrigeration. Coconut cream makes this vegan pumpkin pie both lighter in texture and lighter in color than many dark, dense vegan pumpkin pies I have tried in the past. I was tickled to find a brand — again, in the Asian market — called Kara, which is in a tetra-pack (unrefrigerated carton), and has NO PRESERVATIVES. It’s inexpensive, too — $1.99 for 500ml, or $2.99 for a full liter.
- Stevia: I use powdered, concentrated extract (purchased from Trader Joe’s — $9.99 for a 622-serving, 1 oz container).
- Mace: If you do not use mace regularly, please start now!! It is a spice similar to nutmeg, but lighter and more complex. I adore mace.
- Pumpkin: I made this recipe with home-cooked squash purée. The pumpkin I used, though supposedly good for cooking, was disappointingly watery and fibrous. Many home-cooked squashes are much more watery than canned pumpkin. If, indeed, you start with fresh pumpkin, make sure you use a food mill or something similar, to yield smooth puree. If it is watery, do like I did — place it in a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and let the water drip out, which will result in thick, no-liquid purée.
A note about crusts: There are a blessedly increasing number of commercially available frozen gluten-free crusts. I am too cheap to buy them, however, and always struggle with uncooperative homemade g.f. pastry. Use an unbaked crust for this recipe. Since it cooks at a high temperature, if you are using a “normal” wheat-based crust, you will almost certainly have to use a pie shield to protect your crust from burning (g.f. crusts are typically less-prone to burning). You may want to try Affairs of Living’s Gluten-Free Crunchy Pie Crust. I’m going to be trying it myself, when I make pie again in a couple of days, as well as “standard” gluten-free pastry crust.
So! With no further ado…
Vegan Reduced-Sugar Maple Pumpkin Pie (click for printable pdf)
makes one 9″ pie
- 3 cups pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup coconut cream
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 level 45mg scoops stevia extract (or 4-6 drops of liquid stevia)
- 1 tsp agar agar powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mace
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 – ¼ tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare an unbaked 9″ pie shell.
Beat together all ingredients until light, smooth, and well-incorporated. Spoon into the prepared pie shell, using a silicone spatula to level and smooth the filling.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, using a foil pie crust shield (or a purchased silicone or aluminum shield), if necessary, to keep from over-browing.
Cool completely at room temperature before cutting.