With a little help from some sugar, coconut milk, and spices, puréed pumpkin is transformed into a totally dreamy, creamy, butterscotchy filling. Teamed with good shortcrust pastry, this is a recipe for one glorious bake.
I've also made this pie with a mixture of butternut and sweet potato puree (50/50), which also works well, and is a good option if you can't find pumpkin anywhere.
Makes: One big pie (my tin was 10.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall; this made 10-12 servings)
Preparation time: 1 hour 40 minutes (excludes cooling time of 2-3 hours)
For the pastry...
400g plain white flour, plus extra for rolling
200g vegan butter (e.g. Pure), roughly cubed and refrigerated
A jug of ice-cold water
A pinch of ground sea salt
For the filling...
800g of pumpkin purée (make this yourself by steaming the pumpkin till soft, then blitzing; you can also buy tinned pumpkin in a pinch)
250ml coconut milk (tinned, full-fat)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
The juice of half an unwaxed lemon
130g caster sugar
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
Half a teaspoon of ground sea salt
1./ First, make the pastry. Add the flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together with a fork or whisk. Add the cold vegan butter to this and combine by rubbing gently through your fingers. This should make a sandy, breadcrumb-type mixture. You want this to be as even as possible (i.e. with no big lumps remaining), but don’t overwork it. To this mixture add the water, a few tablespoons at a time, while bringing the pastry together with one hand. The exact amount you’ll need is hard to predict; the pastry just needs enough to keep from crumbling, but not so much that it becomes sticky. Again, handle the pastry gently. It should come together easily. Once you have a smooth, coherent dough, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
2./ Towards the end of the 30 minutes, turn on the oven to pre-heat at 220 degrees Celsius. Take the pastry dough out of the refrigerator. On a clean, floured surface, roll this out to a thickness of about 4mm, into a circle large enough to completely line the base and sides of your pie dish or tin. Carefully transfer the rolled pastry into the tin, making sure there are no cracks in the pastry. Blind-bake this pastry base for around 5 minutes, weighing it down with pastry weights (separated from the pastry with greaseproof paper).
3./ While the crust is baking, make the filling. Add all the ingredients - pumpkin, coconut milk, oil, sugars, spices, lemon, and salt - to a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, and adjust the flavours to taste, if necessary.
4./ After the blind bake, remove the pastry base from the oven and take out the pastry weights. Then, fill the pie with the pumpkin custard.
5./ Turn the oven down to about 180 degrees Celsius and bake the pie for about 40-50 minutes, or till firm and golden-brown. Keep an eye on it throughout.
6./ Take the pie out and let cool completely. Refrigerate for a further 2-3 hours or overnight. Serve with your favourite vegan cream or ice cream.