My reaction when first tasting this Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Not because this is good for a “sugar-free, low fat, vegan, whole grain” pie, but because this is a Damn. Good. Pie.
Creamy, smooth, and light pumpkin custard with a flaky crust.
Yes. The crust is whole grain. And… Yes. There’s TOFU in there. But I promise you can not taste it!
I still can’t believe how beautiful and delicious this pumpkin pie turned out, and I’m the one who made it! 😂
This year, I’ve had my share of both healthy and non-healthy pies, and if I’m honest, I’d say this particular one with tofu and flaxseeds, a whole wheat and oat crust, and is mostly vegan* is the best pie I’ve had this year… and possibly ever. *Vegan if you use coconut oil instead of organic butter in the crust… I’ve tried both ways! See below.
Not to toot my own horn but just being honest. 😅
Not only is this pie healthier, being whole grain, low-fat, sugar-free and all, it’s a lot easier to make than your traditional pumpkin pie because it’s filling only requires two main ingredients: silken tofu & pumpkin puree.
Like I said, this fall, on my kitchen quest to make a healthier pumpkin pie, I’ve tested non-vegan pumpkin pie fillings and made a total of 3 pies… Wasting my youth away in the kitchen I know.
In all three pumpkin pies, the crust was amazing: whole grain + low-fat yet flaky + delicious. Look below to see how flaky and nice this whole grain crust is!
However, I couldn’t get the filling right for the first two pies. I was trying to healthify a more traditional pumpkin pie filling that had pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, and maple syrup, but it still turned out bleh.
Below is a picture of my first trial pie. Pretty and yummy crust, but filling was so-so.
The filling in pumpkin pie is a custard, so then I remembered that I actually know how to make a darn delicious custard that is dairy-free, fat-free, sugar-free, and vegan because it uses silken tofu as its base.
I did this for my Banana Cream Pie 🍌 (click for recipe).
So, I tried mixing together pumpkin puree, silken tofu, spices, maple syrup and put it in the pie. I had no idea how it’d turn out. After an hour in the oven and waiting for the pie to cool, I sliced into it and revealed this glorious, beautiful, amazing PUMPKIN PIE… My first reaction…? Whoa, this looks good.
Then I tried it. HOLY SHIT. This has tofu in it?! And it’s vegan?
The tofu filling is creamy, smooth, and light. The whole grain crust is flaky. Can you tell I’m still surprised how good this is? 😂
I had never knew that healthy pie could taste this damn good.
But here’s why it works. Silken tofu is great for custards, which typically requires lots of sugar and eggs to hold it together. I also added flax, which is good for holding the pie filling together but also adds nutrition and giber.
It is also easier to mess up traditional custards, as I did in my first two pumpkin pies. The pie filling was too watery, too thick, etc. This pumpkin tofu custard, on the other hand, is super easy because you basically need 1. Silken Tofu and 2. Pumpkin Puree (+spices, sweetener, etc.)
Also, in custard pie recipes like pumpkin pie, you usually blind bake the pie crust, which means that you first bake the pie crust, fill it with filling, and then bake it again. While this ensures a non-soggy crust, it kind of is a hassle. I made it a lot easier by adding some crushed pecans to the bottom of the pie filling. This not only adds a nice crunch but prevents the crust from getting soggy and also removes the need to blind bake the crust. #doublewin 🙌
Anyways, I think you got the point… which is MAKE THIS PIE NOW because IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!
Oh before I give you the recipe, I want to give you some tips!
- On size. I made a miniature pie that was only 5 inches wide, so if you have a regular 9″ pie pan, double this recipe!
- On timing. This pie will bake in the oven for at least an hour, and you need at least 30 minutes for cooling. So you can make this pie the day before /or/ the morning of Thanksgiving or any of your holiday dinner parties. The only bad thing about baking it the day before is being tempted the entire day to not eat a slice, but it saves time and oven space.
Ok. Finally, here’s the recipe!
Tofu Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Whole Grain Oat Crust
makes 1 small 5″ pie // healthy, dairy-free, sugar-free, easily vegan
PART 1. Make the Whole Grain Oat Crust
When making pie crust and ensuring that it turns out flaky, it is very important that you start with cold ingredients, particularly the butter or the coconut oil. For extra insurance, you can put the flour in the freezer beforehand as well, but that’s optional.
Also, you have a choice between butter or coconut oil. I’ve tried both ways, and they both yield a yummy flaky crust. I will say, however, the one with butter has a better flavor (in my opinion), but the one with coconut oil has a better texture (more flaky). And obviously, the one with coconut oil makes it vegan.
Lastly, the recipe for this whole grain pie crust is a little bit more than you need. I like having extra dough for decorations and just in case.
45 g whole wheat flour
30 g oat flour (or whole wheat if you don’t have oat)
5 drops stevia
21 g organic butter or coconut oil (cold / frozen)
3 tbsp water (cold)
In a food processor (or by hand), combine the flours and a pinch of salt. Pulse to distribute the salt. Then add in your butter / coconut oil by pieces like so.
Then process until it represents wet sand, and when you pinch it together, it should stay together… like sand on the beach! 🐚
After than, add in your cold water and stevia drops. Process until a ball of dough forms, which should take maybe 10 seconds or so. Now you can roll out the dough!
On either silpat or wax paper, put the dough and form a circle.
Roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 inch thick. Notice that you can also use a glass cup as a rolling pin. 😉 I made this recipe at home (where I had a rolling pin) and at school (where I had to get a little creative).
It does not have to be a perfect rolled out circle! Obviously, mine wasn’t.
Line your baking pan with a little bit of parchment paper cut into a circle. You don’t “have to” line the pan because the pie won’t stick, but I just like doing it just in case…
Place the rolled pie dough into the pie pan.
Trim the edges.
Don’t trim it too much because you’re going to crimp the edges like this!
Now, here’s an important step! After you’ve crimped the edges, put the pie crust in the fridge. This will keep it cool, so that when it goes into the oven, it flakes up.
PART 2. Use extra pie dough to make leaves.
This part is fun. While your pie dough is chilling, get out your cookie cutters and cut little fun shapes! I used these cute fall-themed cookie cutters, but if you don’t have cookie cutters, you can simply use a sharp knife and carefully cut little leaves. I did that as well in my “test” pies.
After you’ve done that, put the leaves in the fridge as well. I simply placed them in the pumpkin pie crust.
PART 3. Tofu Pumpkin Pie Filling
As the pie crust and leaves chill, make the AWESOME tofu pumpkin pie filling! Note that I am using silken firm tofu, which has this amazing creamy texture. Make sure you use silken. That’s important to ensure that you do not taste the tofu.
6 oz pumpkin puree
4 oz organic silken firm tofu
4 tbsp organic soymilk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 dropper’s worth of stevia (to taste – I use 1 dropper full of stevia.)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp turmeric ~or~ ginger
1 tbsp ground flax meal
+ 15 g (2 tbsp) raw pecans for bottom of the crust
Preheat your oven to 350*F.
*Or you can preheat it to 400*F.* The 350*F is a slower bake and your pie won’t be as brown and won’t sink as much like mine did. I was also using the oven for other dishes like sweet potatoes, which is why mine turned out a little brown and sunk a bit…
Anyways, in the same food processor you used to make the crust, combine all the ingredients from pumpkin puree to flax. Process until smooth.
Smell. It should be heavenly. ❤ My favorite part is the nutmeg.
PART 4. Pie assembly! (Fun part!)
Take your pie crust out of the fridge. Add the pecans to the bottom.
Pour in your filling.
Smooth it out and decorate. NOW. QUESTION FOR YOU. Do you think it looks better with just 1 little pumpkin on the pie like this…?
Or this… with many leaves and other decorations? Let me know in the comments below!
PART 5. Bake + Let cool.
Bake it at 350*F for 60-70 minutes. OR… Like I said, you can bake it at 400*F for 50-60 minutes if you have other stuff in the oven. The 350*F will result in a lighter colored pie and won’t sink as much as mine did!
It’s done when the pumpkin pie filling is no longer “wet” and doesn’t jiggle (sounds so funny haha). It’s tempting to just dig in right here, but it’s best if you let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. 😉
Please enjoy!!! ❤
I really hope that you LOVE this healthy pie as much as I do. Try it out and let me know what you think. Does it taste as good as the unhealthy stuff? I think it tastes better, how about you?
And I put a lot of work into the step-by-step pictures, so let me know if you found it helpful. 😉
Don’t forget to snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram @vivanttang! ❤