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Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}Let me start by saying that I hope you all had a lovely Halloween, and that I’m so glad it’s over so we can talk about Thanksgiving food.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

I got a little head start with Wednesday’s Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws, but now I’m going all-in: (more) appetizers and sides and, most importantly, PIES are coming your way, just in time for the biggest food holiday of the year!

This first pie of the season is a little of what you’d expect and a little…not. It’s Pumpkin Pie, but where that usually entails eggs, cream, and loads of sugar, this one is vegan, gluten-free, and contains less than 1/2 cup of sweetener (mostly maple syrup).

…are you still there?Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

If you haven’t clicked away, never to return…well, good. More pie for us.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

You see, for all the things that this pie is not, it is very much one thing: delicious. Like so good I’m not totally sure why we would eat any other pumpkin pie.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

The filling is soft and sweet and perfectly spiced and the crust is mostly made of ground toasted pecans. GROUND TOASTED PECANS. And it’s a press-in crust—no rolling required. Does it get better than that?

Um, yes. Yes it does.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Both elements come together in the food processor.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

And the whole pie requires exactly nine ingredients.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

And it’s actually best if it’s made ahead, so you won’t have to give up valuable Thanksgiving Day oven space.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

And, again, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and contains just enough sweetener to make it taste like dessert. And make no mistake, it does taste like dessert. I am not the sort of person who is going to get behind a recipe just because it’s “better for you.” Nope. It’s big flavor or go home here at E2 Bakes. If it happens to be somewhat nutritious, that’s just a bonus.Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Have a great weekend, y’all ❤

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
makes 1 9-inch pie

Toasted Pecan Crust:
8 ounces (2 cups) raw pecan halves
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted or solid)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin purée (I like Libby’s)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted or solid)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch Kosher or sea salt

For serving (optional):
whipped cream (regular or vegan)

Place an oven rack in the bottom position, leaving about 8 inches of space above it. Preheat oven to 350F.

Scatter pecan halves on a dry rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Do not burn. Let pecans cool for a few minutes, or until you can handle them.

Place toasted pecan halves, cornstarch, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt in the bowl of a food processor (or high-powered blender). Process until no large chunks remain, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie plate. Press it into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Wipe out the bowl of the food processor.

Make the filling. Combine pumpkin purée, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in the food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to prepared crust and smooth the top.

Place full pan on a rimmed sheet pan. Loosely wrap a 4-5 foot piece of aluminum foil around the pie, securing the ends by crumpling them together (more on that here). Bake pie on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until turning brown at the edges and firm-looking in the center.

Turn off oven and open door slightly. Let pie remain in the oven for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step.

Remove pie from oven and let cool completely on a rack. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours before slicing and serving. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Leftover pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Crust {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

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Pumpkin Pie

imageWith pie season now in full swing, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about pie this week. On Monday, we made pie dough. On Tuesday, we mixed together pumpkin pie spice. Today, we make pumpkin pie! If you are celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States, there’s a pretty solid chance that there will be a pumpkin pie on your table. Some may be lovingly homemade, some may be store-bought, but all of them will get eaten. As one of my favorite food bloggers, Julie Van Rosendaal says, “The very best kind of pie is the kind on your dinner table.” She’s right–store-bought pie is better than no pie at all (especially if there’s whipped cream involved). But homemade pie is always better than store-bought. Sara Lee is fine and all, but we can do better.

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We can make a light and fluffy pumpkin pie. Where traditional pumpkin pie is a little on the dense side, given the very wet combination of pumpkin purée, eggs, sugar, and dairy, ours will be a little airier thanks to whipped egg whites. Three egg yolks will go into the filling as-is; they’ll make our pie rich and delicious. The two egg whites, however, will be whipped until they are foamy and hold soft peaks, then gently folded into the filling right before it’s poured into the crust. Egg whites help with structure in baked goods. By whipping air into them before adding them to the filling, we are ensuring a lighter, airier texture. As the pie bakes, the filling will puff up. This happens with a traditional pumpkin pie too, but it deflates as it cools. Ours will stay a bit puffy even after it reaches room temperature. The egg whites will also give us a very large volume of filling. If you are using a standard pie plate, you’ll probably have some filling leftover; if you use all the filling in a standard pan, it will overflow in your oven. I don’t know about you, but pretty much the only thing I don’t love to do in the kitchen is clean the oven. If you use a deep dish pie plate, you should be able to use all of the filling. I don’t have a deep dish pan, but if you try this recipe in yours, leave me a comment to let me know how it turns out!

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This pie starts with a single crust of cream cheese pie dough. We roll it out, fit it into the pie plate, trim and crimp the edges, and chill it while we make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, we combine pumpkin purée, light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Then, we have to separate some eggs. Separate two eggs, reserving the egg whites in a separate bowl. Separate a third egg, but discard the white. Mix the three egg yolks into the pumpkin mixture. Then stir in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, followed by heavy cream. Now, go grab those two reserved egg whites and your electric mixer (hand- and stand-mixers are both fine). Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then, with a silicone spatula, gently fold them into the pumpkin mixture. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust, brush the crust with some additional cream, and chill it again while you preheat the oven. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425F, before turning the oven down to 350F for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the crust looks too brown, cover it with foil or a pie protector for the remainder of the cook time. I use a 9-inch hoop that I made out of foil, and it works like a charm.

This pie will definitely be one of the best things on your Thanksgiving table. Traditional Pumpkin Pie is a classic for a reason, but I think this light and fluffy version gives it a run for it’s money!

Make sure to check back in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving for two more pie recipes!

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Pumpkin Pie
heavily adapted from Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie on Simply Recipes
makes one 9″ pie (deep dish or standard)

1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough
2 cups pure pumpkin purée (1 15-ounce can)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (separated) + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream + extra for brushing

On a floured surface, roll out pie dough to a 12″ diameter. Fit into a 9″ pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2-inch. Crimp the edges and chill the crust while you prepare the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk in three egg yolks, and reserve the two egg whites. Stir in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add in heavy cream. Set aside.

Pour the egg whites into a separate mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, 3-4 minutes. With a silicone spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the pumpkin mixture. Pour pie filling into prepared crust.* Brush the crust with a little heavy cream. Chill prepared pie while oven is heating.

Preheat the oven to 425F. When it reaches temperature, bake the pie for 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 32-45 minutes,* covering the crust with foil if it starts to get too brown. The pie is ready when the filling no longer jiggles, or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool pie on a rack for at least two hours before slicing and serving. Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Notes:

  1. If you are using a regular pie plate, you will have roughly 1/2-3/4 cup of leftover filling. If you are using a deep dish pie plate, you should be able to use all the filling.
  2. Thirteen minutes is a huge gap in doneness time, but ovens and pies are all different. Mine (made in a standard pie plate) are done at exactly 35 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie