Vegan Pumpkin Pie from scratch. Gingersnap Crust.

You may already be a fan of my super easy 5-Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie (or cheesecake). But for all you cooks out there who like a challenge, I've glammed-up the recipe so that everything is homemade, from scratch.

My homemade Vegan Pumpkin Pie has a Gingersnap Crust and is made with real pumpkin puree. There are several steps to this recipe, but I promise you that when you taste the end result you will swell with pride. Break outside of the can, and try a pie from scratch. You might be amazed at how easy homemade can be. Get my recipe...

The Flavors. The spicy sweet gingersnap crust is moist and crumbly. The pumpkin pie filling is dense and moist with a creamy texture. I used a combo of roasted butternut squash and sugar pumpkin as the filling (no cans allowed)! I swirled the filling in layers - a 'cheesecake-pumpkin' mixture over top - so it has a somewhat rich cheesecake top layer - you can see that from the shades of white blended with golden orange. Maple-soaked cashews line the edges.

Homemade Gingersnaps (for crust):

The recipe may appear complex, but that's just because I like to explain everything thoroughly in my directions. So to ease your pie anxiety, her is an overview of the steps:

1) Cashews - soak the raw cashews overnight.
2) Homemade pumpkin puree - roast your pumpkin/squash, cool, scoop, strain to remove excess moisture, puree.
3) Crust - bake a batch of crisp gingersnap cookies. Puree into crust crumbs w/ vegan buttery spread. Lightly bake the crumbs in the pie pan.
4) Filling - combine your filling ingredients - pour into crust.
5) Bake - Garnish pie, bake, chill and serve!

Now onto the recipe!..

Homemade Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
makes one 9-inch deep dish pie or two 8-inch shallow pies

10-15 homemade gingersnaps (recipe here)
2-3 Tbsp vegan buttery spread

2 3/4 cups squash/pumpkin puree (strained) (1 large or 2 small pumpkins, see notes)*
*you could substitute with canned unsweetened pumpkin puree too
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup vegan cream cheese (or 1 cup more soaked cashews)

30-40 soaked raw cashews
2 Tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt

Recipe notes:
* Since you will need cashews for both the filling and the garnish, remember to soak around 2 cups of dry cashews. It is better to have leftovers than to come up short.
* You can use either all pumpkin, all butternut squash, a hubbard squash or a mixture of squashes. I used 1 small butternut squash and 1 small sugar pumpkin for a filling mix.
* When you scoop out the flesh of the squash, you will have at least double what the end product will be. Straining the squash will remove a lot of the water content - so when you measure, use the strained squash amount.
* The gingersnap recipe is the same as linked to - the only difference is that you will chill the cookie dough, then thinly roll it out and cut into circles - so that you can get crisp cookies. You can bake the cookies until they have browning edges. Crisp cookies make a better crust that soft chewy cookies.
* You can modify the ratio of cream cheese to cashews if you'd like. Adding more cream cheese will give your pie a more 'cheesecake' taste.


Pre: At least 8 hours before: soak your raw cashews in a salted water bath.

1. The first step is the get your pumpkin/squash roasted. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice and de-seed your squash and/or pumpkin. I lay my squash face down in a shallow water bath for roasting. But you can dry-roast if you'd like. I roasted my squash for 60 minutes. Roasting time will depend on how large your pumpkins are. When squash have roasted, pull them from the oven to fully cool before handling. When they are fully cooled, scoop out the flesh. Then pour the flesh into a fine cheesecloth and squeeze out excess moisture. When you are left with a dry puree (dry enough to hold its shape in a ball) you can measure out the 2 3/4 cups of squash. Set aside. Note: some recipe say you can puree the pumpkin first, but I simply wait to puree it with the rest of the ingredients.

2. The next step is to make the gingersnaps. You can do this the night before you make your pie if you'd like. Follow my recipe for ginger cookies - only for the last step, you will chill the dough for about 30 minutes. Then roll the dough out thinly so you can get crisp baked cookies. Bake the cookies until the edges brown. Then chill the cookies completely. Stick them in the freezer for fast chilling.

3. Once the cookies are chilled you can make your crust. Combine 10+ cookies in your food processor with 2-3 Tbsp of chilled vegan buttery spread. Pulse until the crumbs are finely ground and mixed with the spread. Pour the crumbs into your pie tin and press into place with your fingers. Note: if you are using two shallow pie tins, you may need to increase the amount of crumbs, so you will need 15+ cookies to crush. (also depends on size of your cookies).

4. In a 400 degree oven, bake your crust for about ten minutes - until the crumbs get darker brown and crisp. Set the pie crust aside to cool.

5. Now that you have your squash puree, your crust and your cashews soaked, you can start the easy part! In a food processor, combine the tofu cream cheese, soaked cashews, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt (half of total) and maple syrup. Puree until very smooth. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of this mixture and set aside. Leave the rest of the mixture in the food processor.

6. Next, add in all the remaining pie filling ingredients (squash/pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, all the spices, remaining salt and sugar. Puree until smooth and creamy.

7. Make sure the oven is preheated to 400 degrees.

8. Pour the pie filling over the gingersnap crust. Smooth out with the back of a spoon.

9. Grab your reserved cream cheese/cashew mixture and swirl that into the top layer. You can swirl it so it blends into a soft orange color, or keep it in true orange/white swirls. I like to make a design using a fork. The mixture should be thick enough so that a fork brushed over top, will leave a pattern.

10. Lastly, soak about 30-40 leftover cashews in maple syrup and a pinch of salt. (Make sure the cashews are well drained and dry so that they absorb some of the maple flavor.) Line the cashews around the edge of the pie and one in the center.

11. Bake at 400 degrees for the first 15 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes. If you want a softer, custard-y pie, bake less. If you want a firmer, drier pie bake longer.

12. Chill in the fridge before serving. Enjoy and (pat yourself on the back) good job!!!

proud girl & pie..

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