Pumpkin Pie, The Vegan Edition

Pumpkin Pie, The Vegan Edition

Pumpkin pie is one of my favourite desserts in the world - it brings such fond memories and is so delicious I could eat it for breakfast!
The inspiration for this vegan version for the beloved dessert is the famous, delicious and healthy vegan pumpkin pudding served at Shizenya restaurant in Vancouver, based on kabocha pumpkin and coconut cream, and topped with maple syrup. 

Unlike most pumpkin pies, this is not flavoured with any pumpkin spice, but is relying purely on the pumpkin's natural flavour. So make sure to use one that actually is flavourful to begin with (kabocha is aguably one of the best, but butternut squash could be used as well). And instead of boiling it down, either roast it or steam it for maximum flavour and minimum about of liquids.

For the crust, I chose to go with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which give an extra nutty flavour, but without any nuts or gluten. So it's truly a safe heaven for many common food allergies, and does not compromise flavour or texture. 


  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin seed oil
  • 1-2Tbs coconut or palm sugar

Pumpkin Custard Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream or milk
  •  1 1/2 cups (about 400 g) Kabocha pumpkin puree (or another flavourful pumpkin of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  •  1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (Optional)
  •  1 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder

Pumpkin Pie Decoration (Optional):

  •  A few whole, toasted pumpkin seeds
  •  Pumpkin peel, julienned 
  •  Maple syrup
  • Pumpkin oil from toasted seeds (should be a dark green colour, with an amazing nutty flavour)
  • Salt


  • Wash pumpkin, remove seeds and cut into cubes
  • Steam until a fork can easily go through
  • Mix the agar agar powder with 2-3 tablespoons of hot water in a small bowl. 
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds lightly over a pan, remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Prepare the crust, by mixing all the ingredients in a food processor (except set aside a few pumpkin seeds for decoration, if desired)
  • Press them onto a pie pan and place in the fridge
  •  Place the cooked pumpkin in a pot and mash it with a potato masher, and add the bloomed agar-agar.
  • Mix the pumpkin and agar-agar until very smooth and cook on the stove on low heat for about 2-3 minutes until complete dissolved. Allow to chill slightly and place in a lender or food processor on high-speed to finish it off into a very smooth consistency
  •  Pour the filling onto the pie crust and allow to chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the julienned pumpkin skin, by frying them in a pan with a little bit of pumpkin oil until crisp. You may add some salt if you wish 
  • To serve, drizzle some maple syrup, dot with pumpkin seed oil and decorate with a few whole pumpkin seeds and julienned pumpkin peel 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie by Ayala Moriel
Pumpkin Pie, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canadians celebrating!
We've been fortunate with a glorious sunny autumn weekend, allowing us to breath in the crisp, sweetly scented fall air, gather inspiration in VanDusen Gardens, and drench our bones in some kayaking adventures in Deep Cove.
In the meantime, I invite you to try my pumpkin pie recipe, with an orange-lavender crust. FYI I used roasted fresh pumpkins for this pie in the picture - and it gives it a beautiful depth with hints of smokiness.

For the Orange-Lavender Shortbread Crust:

100gr (1 stick) butter
1 cup + 1 Tbs Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbs Orange Juice
Rind from 1 orange
1 tsp fresh or dry lavender buds

2 Tbs Sugar

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (Or use vanilla sugar instead of the sugar above)
- Using your fingers or a manual dough blender, mix together butter and flour inside the pie pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead just until a dough forms (avoid overworking the dough, as it would take away from its flakiness).
- Press the dough firmly onto the pan to spread it evenly and line the pie pan (including the sides of course!).

Pumpkin Custard Filling:

3 eggs
1-1/2 cup Cooked and pureed pumpkin (if you have fresh - all the better; if not - canned pumpkin is good too)
1 cup cream or hald&half (I prefer full cream)

2 Tbs Orange Juice
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tbs grated fresh Ginger (I freeze my ginger and than it is really easy to grate it; the taste is incomparable to the dried ginger!)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg (freshly grated), or ground mace

Bake in 350 F (170-180 c) degrees for 40-60 minutes, until the filling is set.
Serve warm or cooled down to room temperature.

Serving suggestions: I like it best on it's own with milky cinnamon or chai tea on the side. But of course you can’t go wrong with the traditional a-la-mode (be sure to use real vanilla bean ice cream) or a dollop of freshly whipped cream or crème fraiche.
Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
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