Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Did you say vegan pumpkin pie?

I have worked on my vegan pumpkin pie recipe over time. My goal is to match the flavor and texture of traditional pumpkin pie. The recipe I worked out uses silken tofu and agar powder to set the filling. After that it's just a matter of using good squash and spices, and the result is a crowd-pleaser.

I normally double this recipe, because if one pumpkin pie is good, then two is better!

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All of the ingredients you will need
(But ixnay on the orn-cay arch-stay)

Pie Pastry

First, make pastry dough. You can use your favorite recipe, or try this:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold earth balance margarine sticks
  • cold water

Add the salt to the flour. Cut the margarine into the flour until it is in pea sized pieces. Don’t let the margarine melt.

Add cold water bit by bit and mix with a fork until the dough sticks together enough to form a ball. It takes practice to know how much water to add. Try not to add too much. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.

Filling

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Filling is all mixed. Note that this is a double recipe.
If you are doing one pie, you will not have this much filling.

You need a large bowl for mixing the filling. Start with these:

  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 package silken tofu (12.3 ounce package)

Put the pumpkin and tofu in the bowl. I use a stick blender to blend these two together. The result should be smooth but not runny.

On rare occasions, the pumpkin is so dry that it doesn’t blend correctly (lumpy and stiff). In that case, I add:

  • (soy milk or almond milk)

Add just enough to get the pumpkin and tofu to blend smoothly. Most of the time, no additional liquid is necessary!

Add the following ingredients—except the agar powder—to the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon agar powder

Mix in the filling until it is smooth. Don’t add the agar powder until the very last minute.

Put It All Together

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator, roll it out into a round on a floured surface, and place it in a pie plate. Dress up the edge however you want.

When you are ready to fill the crust, and the oven is heated, stir the agar powder into the filling. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the filling into the crust.

Bake the pie at 425 F for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 45 minutes.

Finally, let the pie cool at room temperature for as long as it takes. As it cools, it will set up. Once it is fully cool, it can be covered.

More Notes

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    Selecting a squash or pumpkin

    I use sugar pie pumpkins, kabocha squash, butternut squash, or any winter squash that seems good on its own and about the consistency of butternut squash. Bake the squash at 375 F for 45-60 minutes, let cool, and scoop out the flesh.
  • I use “Telephone Brand” agar powder. You can find it in Asian grocery stores. They have it at House of Rice in downtown Chico.
  • I add the agar powder at the last minute, right before filling the crust, so that it “activates” during the baking phase, and not before.
  • If you slice the pie while still warm, it may not be fully set up.
  • If you cover the pie while still warm, you might get condensation on the surface of the pie.
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    Don’t forget these!

    If you baked your own squash, you might also want to roast the seeds.
  • I originally used corn starch in the filling, but after some trials I decided it wasn’t necessary. The silken tofu and agar powder can set the pie filling well enough.
  • I started with the recipe from a can of Libby’s cooked pumpkin, and then did a lot of trials to achieve a good texture with vegan ingredients.
  • I recently saw some canned organic pumpkin that was very runny. For this recipe to work, the pumpkin component should not be very runny.

The End

Try it out and see what you think. Let me know how it goes!

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Thanks for reading to the end. Here is Roma the cat.