Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Baking pies always brings me back to my pie hustler days (you can read about in my About Me page ). While I’m a fan of a good pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, most traditional recipes call for a can of sweetened condensed milk. I thought that by offering to bring the pumpkin pie to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year, I could ensure it’s dairy-free so I could enjoy without feeling awful the next day.

I  spent the past few days recipe testing to get this pie absolutely perfect before sharing with you all, and after getting feedback from my trusted panel of taste-testers (my lovely coworkers), this pie was confirmed to be just as delicious as any dairy-filled pumpkin pie! I’m convinced no one in my family will notice, and those who do probably cheated and read this post. Give this spin on tradition a try! I promise you’ll be amazed.

A couple things to note…

I experimented with Gluten-Free pie crust while I was recipe testing, but it was very hard to roll out. The pie pictured below was made using regular all-purpose flour because being Gluten-Free is a dietary preference for me and not a food sensitivity/allergy issue.

If you want to make this pie Gluten-Free, you can substitute the all-purpose flour out for Gluten-Free flour mix, but be warned that it is very prone to tearing! You could more easily make mini pies in a cupcake tin, but if you want one full pie, I would suggest buying the crust. Trader Joe’s now carries pre-made Gluten-Free pie crusts! Pick one up and call it a day.

I had some whole nutmeg in my spice drawer, so I used a micro plane to freshly grate some into the filling. This is by all means not necessary, but definitely provided some extra wonderful warm spice notes 🙂

If you’re feeling fancy and want to decorate with some cut outs like I did, bake them on a lined cookie sheet separately from the pie, and then add once the pie is cooled. If you add the raw cut outs to the pie and then cook, you’ll end up with some veeeeery crisped designs due to the hour-long bake time.

If you’re feeling extra fancy and want to top your beautiful pie with sugared cranberries, here’s the instructions I used. They were quick to make and turned out so pretty!

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

For the filling:

3 large eggs

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1 C full-fat coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 t sea salt

1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

2 t pumpkin pie spice

1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

For the crust:

**Note that this recipe makes a double crust so you have extra dough for cut outs. Feel free to half it if you are keeping it simple!

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour

8 T vegan butter, chilled (I use Earth Balance)

6 T vegetable shortening, chilled

1 t salt

2 T sugar

5-6 T ice water

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Method:

In food processor, combine all crust ingredients besides water, and pulse to combine. Add water 1 T at a time, until it starts to ball together. (This happened at about 5 1/2 T for me). Turn onto floured surface, and smush together into two flat disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Use rolling pin to roll out first disk of chilled dough on floured surface, ensuring that it’s at least 2 inches wider than the pie plate you’re using. I use this silicone baking mat, and love that it tells me when my crust is rolled to the correct size!

Carefully transfer rolled pie crust to pie plate and crimp edges.

In large bowl, whisk all filling ingredients together and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Tip** Use pie crust shield or make your own out of aluminum foil to keep your crust from getting too brown!

Let the pie cool for at least two hours before serving, and top with dairy-free whipped topping or ice cream. Enjoy!

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Growing up, my sisters and I were lucky to have a number of fun babysitters to choose from when our parents wanted a night out, but Amanda was the best of the best. She would show up with a bag full of prizes and I don’t recall ever having to do anything to win them… She always looked as excited to see us as we were to see her, and as the years went on, she became our close friend.

Amanda would claim she knew nothing about baking, but that can’t be true because I’m convinced she’s now better at making and decorating cakes than I’ll ever be. I know those skills were always somewhere hidden in there with all her other strengths- tucked next to her amazing listening skills, compassion, and knowledge of where to buy lava lamps.

When we get together, we reminisce about cooking dinner when she’d babysit. She tells me that once we would finish dinner, I’d pull a chair up to the stove in our tiny kitchen and proclaim I was making chocolate pudding for dessert. She recalls that watching a six-year-old use the stove made her uneasy at first, but she quickly realized this was the norm.

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Why chocolate pudding? It was our go-to dessert. My mom always kept boxes of Jell-O Cook N Serve chocolate pudding stocked in the baking cabinet, and like any other family in the 90’s (before everyone discovered their lactose intolerance), we always had 2% milk in the fridge.

I still love chocolate pudding, but can’t stomach dairy anymore. My solution? Vegan chocolate pudding that I SWEAR is even better than what I remember. But that could just be my terrible memory…? This recipe swaps dairy out for coconut milk, and like most of my other recipes, doesn’t need any refined sugar. This dessert turns out so creamy and chocolate-y that you won’t even notice the dairy is missing. Top it with just about anything and enjoy!

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Vegan Chocolate Pudding

14 oz can coconut milk (both full fat and low fat work)

4 T cocoa powder

3 T corn starch

1/2 t salt

1/4 C pure maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

Method:

Heat half of the coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat. In separate bowl, combine other half of coconut milk, cocoa powder, and corn starch, whisking until incorporated. Once coconut milk in saucepan is heated and coming to a low boil, reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in chocolate mixture.  Add salt and maple syrup or honey. Whisk continuously until pudding returns to a boil and thickens (sticking to the side of a spoon). Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Tip** if you do not care about the pudding being perfectly vegan, mix 1/4 C chopped chocolate or chocolate chips into finished pudding for extra chocolate-y goodness

Top with toasted coconut, bananas, berries, nuts, etc. Store leftovers in fridge with layer of plastic wrap touching the top of the pudding- this will prevent “skin” on the top!