Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie - Gluten Free

I fully intended to grow pumpkins this fall, but with the extended summer weather I was fooled into believing I still had time to plant. I waited too long. Fortunately, the great pumpkin shortage of 2009 is over and canned pumpkin is available at the grocery stored. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene ruined much of the pumpkin crop in the northeast, so you might want to stock up now if pumpkin recipes are a part of your holiday cooking tradition.

This pie is one result of my search for plant based foods that my father will eat and actually enjoy. The crust recipe is made from dates and nuts and comes from the Engine 2 Diet, by Rip Esselstyn, a top professional triathlete and now a professional firefighter. The filling is based on a recipe from Love Veggies and Yoga, with a few alterations. It's topped with a cashew cream whipped concoction that tastes as rich as dairy cream, without the dairy. If you plan to make cashew cream, you should begin the night before you intend to use it. If you like it, make a good sized batch. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator, and it can be frozen, too.

Take it out of the freezer at least 30 minutes before serving. The filling is substantial enough to serve at room temp, where I think you get the most out of the pumpkin and spice flavors.

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie


For the Crust
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup roasted cashews
1/3 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup walnuts

For the Filling
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
1/4 cup cashew cream (not too thin, about the consistency of whipped cream cheese)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup light brown sugar
scant 1/4 teaspoon corn starch

For the Topping
1/2 cup thick cashew cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

For the Crust
  1. Toss all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until you have a sticky, fine-grained paste. Don't overdo it. You only need a minute or less to produce a consistency that will mold into your pie plate nicely.
  2. Press the dough into a pie plate and refrigerate for at least an hour. Or freeze it for later.
For the Filling
  1. Combine all filling ingredients and whisk together.
  2. Place in a saucepan and heat over low heat. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. 
  3. Spread into chilled pie shell and place in freezer for about 2 hours. 
  4. Remove from freezer and wait about 15 minutes until serving. Top with whipped cashew cream.
Whipped Cashew Cream
  1. Whisk all ingredients together and garnish your pie. 

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