Ultimate Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie

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This is truly the ultimate non-dairy pumpkin pie--complete with a fluffy topping. To give the pie a smooth and silky texture, we traded evaporated milk for silken tofu, and swapped traditional whipped cream for a homemade toasted marshmallow topping.

ULTIMATE PUMPKIN PIE

To get started on your Thanksgiving prep, make parts of this pie in advance. 

The crust can be made up to a day ahead, wrapped in foil, and kept at room temperature. 

Roasted pumpkin can be prepared up to 3 days in advance as well. Just cover and refrigerate until it’s time to make the filling.

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PUREE

And while this recipe is the ultimate for a scratch baker, anyone can easily make this pie with a couple of time-saving swap outs: canned pumpkin for the filling and a store bought crust. And if you have a jar of spice mix at home, you can substitute the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves listed for 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 9-Inch PieServings

Ingredients

Pie Crust:

  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces chilled non-hydrogenated shortening (not margarine), cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Special equipment: pie weights, dry beans, or dry rice for blind baking

Pie Filling:

  • 3-pound pie pumpkin or 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 8-ounce silken tofu
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon*
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger*
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • Pinch of cloves*
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Bruleed Marshmallow Topping:

  • 1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
  • ¼ cup plus ⅓ cup cold water
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Pie Crust:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in the bowl of a food processor. You can also mix dough by hand, in a bowl using a pastry blender or your hands. 

3. Add chilled shortening and egg yolk. Mix/pulse until shortening is broken up into small pieces, about the size of peas.  Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and mix/pulse until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, add 1 more tablespoon of water, if dough is still crumbly and dry and has not come together in a ball. Turn dough out on the counter, and give it a few turns with your hands. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

4. With a rolling pin, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, until it’s about 13-inches in diameter. Brush off any excess flour and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Fold the overhanging edges under, and crimp the dough around the rim of the pie plate.

5. Prick the dough a few times with a fork. Place a sheet of foil inside the pie, covering the dough. Fill pie halfway with beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes, until dough is golden brown.

6. Lift out the foil with the weights, and bake 5 to 8 minutes more, or until the dough is well-browned. The crust can be made up to a day ahead of serving and kept, wrapped in foil, at room temperature.

Pie Filling:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If using canned pumpkin puree, skip to step 3.

2. Drizzle pumpkin pieces with evoo, and lay cut side down on prepared sheet. Roast pumpkin pieces in a 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until very soft and lightly caramelized. Cool completely.

3. Scrape cooled pumpkin flesh (or 2 cups canned pumpkin puree) into the bowl of a food processor. Discard outer skin. 

4. Add tofu, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves (*or 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice), and salt along with the pumpkin in the food processor. Pulse until very creamy and smooth. 

5. Pour pumpkin into prebaked pie shell. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until just set, and the center of the pie is not jiggly. Cool on counter before refrigerating, or before adding Bruleed Marshmallow Topping.

Bruleed Marshmallow Topping:

1. In a small bowl, gently sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup cold water in a small bowl. Avoid pouring out clumps of gelatin.

2. In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat remaining ⅓ cup water, corn syrup, and sugar. When sugar syrup reaches 210°F on the candy thermometer, start whipping egg whites in a stand mixer, until frothy. 

3. When the syrup reaches 245°F, remove from heat. Increase mixer speed to high, and slowly pour syrup into the whites as they are whipping. Avoid pouring on the whip. Aim for pouring in between the side of the mixing bowl and the whip.

4. Scrape softened gelatin into the warm, now empty syrup pan. Stir until dissolved. Slowly drizzle gelatin into the whites as they are whipping. Pour in same spot as syrup, and avoid pouring it on the whip. Add vanilla. Continue beating for 5 to 10 minutes, until the bottom of the bowl is at room temperature.

5. Swirl marshmallow topping over the cooled pie, making billowy peaks and crannies. Brulee the topping with a kitchen torch, or your oven’s broiler. 

6. If using the broiler, adjust the oven rack to the middle, turn your broiler on high. Place pie in oven with door cracked, constantly watching for browning. Topping will burn quickly, so keep an eye on it. Allow pie to cool slightly, slice, and serve.