I for one have never been over the moon for any vegan pecan pie recipes that I’ve encountered. It’s possible that I just can’t shake the ghost of my grandma’s famous eggy, buttery pecan pie extravaganza. (And maybe some of you can help by directing me to your favorite vegan version?) But in the meantime, I have become pretty enamored with a variation on the theme inspired by a recipe from Whole Foods Market: A vegan pumpkin pecan pie. I (truly, seriously) love pumpkin pie, and my feelings for pecan pie are just as deep–so I wasn’t quickly sold on the idea of combining the two already perfect species. But as a way to get a very scrumptious vegan pecan-y pie, I think it’s very clever. I’m sold. What do you think?
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Sucanat (see notes)
1 cup trans-fat free vegetable shortening (see notes)
16-ounces extra firm lite silken tofu
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned, or fresh–here’s how)
1/2 cup Sucanat (see notes)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pecan halves
1. For the crust: Pulse flour, pecans, salt and Sucanat in a food processor until ground, then add shortening and pulse until almost combined. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just blended.
2. Collect dough into two balls and flatten each into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours until firm. When chilled, roll out into a 9-inch circle on a floured board and place into an 8-inch pie pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Make the filling: Preheat oven to 400F. Place tofu in a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. Add pumpkin, Sucanat, 1/4 cup of the maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and blend well.
4. Set aside some pecan halves for garnish. Toss remaining pecan pieces with remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a small bowl and then place evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. Pour filling into pie shell and bake approximately 1 hour, or until tester inserted in the center comes clean. Set pie aside to let cool. garnish with remaining pecan halves.
Sucanat is a great natural sweetener that you can read about here. If you don’t have Sucanat, you can use the sugar of your choice.
For vegetable shortening, I like Spectrum Organics which is trans-fat free and made with 100% Organic Expeller Pressed Palm Oil.