I'm thankful that after many attempts I have a deee-licious, no-bake pumpkin pie that is homemade yet quick, creamy yet dairy free, and firm yet egg free. The easy crust is as good as the filling. Because you cook only part of the filling, it sets up faster than most stove-top pies. It's a bargain at only $1.30 a slice using organic ingredients. My friends Karen and Angelina gave it an enthusiastic Two Thumbs Up at a local-foods dinner last night. (Check out Angelina's Kitchen in Pittsboro NC for farm-to-table fabulousness and community spirit.)
I call it New New World Pumpkin Pie for two reasons. First, the recipe is a modern twist on the traditional pumpkin pie I grew up with in what European explorers called the New World. Second, it includes agar agar, a plant-based alternative to gelatin.
Active time: 25 minutes. Total time: 4 hours 25 minutes. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 12. Vegan and gluten free.
Costs $15.53 per pie or $1.30 per slice using organic ingredients and canned pumpkin. I make it with "free" Halloween pumpkin, which makes it $13.89 per pie or $1.16 per slice.
2 1/2 cups roughly mashed roasted pumpkin (335 grams) (see tips below for using canned pumpkin)
1 tablespoon agar agar flakes
1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
1/2 cup full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cup pecan halves and pieces (250 grams)
1 1/2 cups raisins (190 grams)
1/4 cup rolled oats (30 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Put pumpkin in a strainer over a measuring cup or bowl and drain, stirring occasionally. You should wind up with about 1 1/2 cups drained mashed pumpkin (280 grams) and 3/4 cups liquid.
- Put pumpkin liquid and agar agar in a small pot, stir, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer so mixture barely boils. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar.
- Meanwhile, put crust ingredients into a food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade and process on high until finely ground and mixture starts falling over itself as it rises up the side of the processor, about 1 minute. You should still be able to see distinct bits of nuts and fruit.
- Dump raisin mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. It will look impossibly large, nearly filling the plate. Spread mixture out so it is about the same thickness everywhere, then use your fingers to press it firmly into a solid crust. Pinch crust around the top so it is firm and lined up with the inside of the pan so you can slide a knife between them later for easy serving. Cover and refrigerate so it can firm up a little while you finish the filling.
- Rinse the food processor to get rid of any bits of crust. Put drained pumpkin, coconut milk, salt, and spices, and agar agar mixture into the food processor and process on high until smooth, about 45 seconds. Taste and add sugar or adjust seasonings as desired. It will taste a little sweeter now than it will after being chilled.
- Pour filling over crust and smooth with a knife or spatula. I like to make a swirl in the top by spinning the pie while holding a table knife against the filling. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours.
- Cut and serve chilled. Keeps refrigerated for 4 days.
Recipe tips and notes
- I used my Halloween Candy Roaster pumpkin for this recipe. The juice from it is nearly as sweet as perfect Southern iced tea.
- If you want to try this with solid-pack plain canned pumpkin, use 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (280 grams). In place of the juice, use 3/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons sugar or 3/4 cup orange juice. Do not use canned pumpkin pie mix.
- Agar agar is a gelatin that comes from algae. It's also called China grass or kanten. Look for it at natural foods grocery stores, Asian markets, and online.
- If you don't have agar agar, use corn starch instead. See my Treasured Lands Pumpkin Pudding for the technique. The corns starch doesn't make the filling quite as firm, though.
- If it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving pie to you without whipped topping, try whipped aquafaba (chickpea broth) with a tablespoon or two of sugar and a splash of vanilla. Get the technique in my recipe for Lemon Aquafaba Meringues. Personally, I'd rather have two pieces of pie than one piece with topping!