Ok it’s time to kick into high gear for Thanksgiving. Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or need to bring a dish to the celebration, this pumpkin pie has your back. For my friends around the world, this pie does not need a holiday to be enjoyed! In my family Thanksgiving is always at my house. My ninety year old grandma lives with us so that is the end of the discussion of where to have thanksgiving. Actually, it’s a miracle she did not get her hands on this pumpkin pie before I got to take pictures of it! Nanny is the queen of pumpkin pie and this one has a big stamp of approval from her!
This is not your average pumpkin pie. I took things up a notch by making a pecan-oat crust, using rich coconut milk instead of cream or condensed milk, and sweetening it with maple syrup. Although I have used a normal crust for pies, I prefer to play with the flavors of the crust to compliment the filling. Pecans and pumpkins are delicious together so I ground pecans into a flour with some oats, added a little vanilla, coconut oil, cinnamon, and date paste to make the crust. The result was a dough that I had to restrain myself from eating. The date paste adds a carmel-y flavor that is out of this world!
Another reason I love this dough is that it is forgiving in the sense that you don’t have to fuss with it like regular dough. You don’t have to worry about cutting the fat into the flour, having to wait hours to let the dough set in the fridge, or fighting with a rolling pin when trying to roll it out. All I did was grind the oats and pecans into a flour, add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, then push the dough around to cover the pie pan. It’s pretty impossible to mess up! Regular crust thinks it’s so fancy: well this crust is easier AND tastier!
When making the pumpkin filling I wanted to really highlight the pumpkin flavor. I dislike pumpkin pies that are overly sweet or rich. It took a few tries, but finally I got my filling perfect! Coconut milk adds a creaminess without using dairy and maple syrup sweetens the pie without making it sickly sweet. I used the usual pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, but I also added a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses that is reminiscent of gingerbread and takes the pumpkin flavor to a whole new level. This filling is so delicious that the first time I tried it I didn’t think the crust was necessary. It really isn’t, but as this is for Thanksgiving it is necessary to go all out. If you’re not in a food coma by the end of dinner, you are doing it wrong!
I used a 6 inch, deep dish pie pan to make this pie, but a traditional 9 inch pie pan will work with this recipe as well. Enjoy this pie with some coconut whipped cream, a sprinkling of toasted pecans, or anything else your heart desires. Give the gift of this pie to your friends, family, and yourself this Thanksgiving!
Pecan Oat Crust
vegan, gluten free, dairy free (makes enough for one 9 inch pie)
1 cup oats (make sure to use certified gluten free if necessary)
1 cup pecans
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup date paste
Add oats and pecans to the base of a food processor and process on high for 10 seconds. Add cinnamon, salt, and flaxseed and process another 5 seconds. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, date paste, and coconut oil until well combined. Add wet mixture to food processor and process until a dough ball forms, about 20-30 seconds. Grease a pie dish with coconut oil, and add dough to the bottom of the pan. Press the dough to the dish until the entire dish is covered with the dough. Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes before adding filling.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie Filling
gluten free, dairy free
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree, preferably organic
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (regular molasses is fine)
1/3 cup coconut milk, full fat
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
pumpkin puree for decorating (optional)
pecan halves, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add maple syrup and molasses and beat until well combined. Next add the pumpkin and coconut milk. Add the spices and salt last, beating until everything is thoroughly mixed. Pour into prepared pecan oat crust, put tinfoil over the exposed crust to prevent burning, and bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 F. Bake for another 40-45 minutes.
When the pie comes out of the oven, you can dress it up with pecan halves by spreading a thin layer of pumpkin puree on the rim of the crust and place pecan halves on top.