Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten-Free

269 comments

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Making a pie from scratch has to be one of the most feared tasks of all time. I would say it ranks right up there with bread baking, public speaking, and drinking something green. I always had this expectation that everything had to go perfectly for the pie to turn out. If my dough ripped while putting it in the dish I would just about have a heart attack.

IMG 4684   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

These days I’m more relaxed when tackling a pie crust. That comes from practice (and a bit of bourbon-spiked apple cider doesn’t hurt the process either!). I’ve learned that each pie crust tends to turn out a bit differently. Some of them I like to burn to hell, while others I’m more mindful of the timer function. Anyway, when a pie crust doesn’t turn out as expected, you call it a “rustic” pie and everyone thinks you are a culinary genius. bahaha… fools!

burn the crust? It’s rustic.

the crust crumbles to pieces? rustic

Pie explodes when you cut it? yup, rustic

you find your dog licking the pie before dinner? it’s rustic with a hint of dog breath

No biggie.

If you want a sure way to loathe making pie, then my advice is to expect every outcome to be perfect. If you want to have fun with the process and get a bit better with practice, then stick around for pie crust class!

IMG 3756   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Check out my pages of scribbled notes and recipes galore over the past couple months. Why must I insist on writing my recipes in chicken scratch and losing them all over the house? I am truly my own worst enemy.

IMG 4644   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

When it was all over, I think I said the words “never again” and “if I see another pumpkin pie I may hurl”.

With that being said, I think you will love these recipes!

I tested 3 kinds of crusts:

Classic flaky pie crust:

IMG 3766 thumb thumb   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

My rustic spelt pie crust from 2009:

IMG 4630   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

A gluten-free pie crust made from pecans, GF oats, etc.:

IMG 4679   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

I also tested 3 kinds of pumpkin pie fillings:

  • Classic pumpkin pie filling using arrowroot or cornstarch powder
  • Cashew cream pumpkin pie filling for extra creaminess
  • Coconut flour pumpkin pie filling to thicken filling

 

The results:

Favourite pie crust winner –> Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (gluten-free, all-natural, amazing flavour, paired perfectly with the filling!!)

Runner up: Rustic Spelt Crust (super easy to prep, no chilling dough, healthier flour)

Least favourite pie crust: Classic flaky (the most curb crust appeal, but lacking flavour, greasy, and very labour intensive/fussy)

IMG 4474   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Favouite pie filling winner: Classic (the most classic tasting pie filling whisked together in just 5 mins)

Least favourite pie fillings: 1) Coconut flour (it dried out the filling a bit too much although it set much quicker) & 2) cashew cream (I could detect the cashew taste slightly, fussy prep with cashews, and it took longer to set)

First up, I’ll talk about the classic pie crust:

IMG 3717   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Classic Pie Crust Ingredients (least favourite crust):

While this has the most traditional flaky crust and appearance, it was not my favourite tasting and greasy on the bottom! Make at own risk!

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance (I used 1 shortening stick and 1/4 cup soy-free Earth Balance), frozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 7-8 tbsp ice water

 

I followed the directions to a tee for making a classic pie crust here. I tested this crust using a few different combinations of Earth Balance and was just never impressed with the outcome. The top crust baked well, but the bottom was always quite greasy and bland.

It did make a gorgeous lattice crust though! I also paired it with a pecan praline on top of the filling.

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Pretty, but lacking in the taste department.

IMG 3739   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Next up, the hearty spelt crust and classic filling!

IMG 4634   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Rustic Spelt Crust

While this spelt crust is anything but classic and flaky it’s one of my favourites simply because it’s easy, there’s no chilling required, and it’s healthier than than most. The crust is very dense and firm with a hearty, lightly spiced, sweet flavour. The filling is quite traditional, however not too sweet to let the pumpkin flavour shine. Serve with non-dairy ice cream or whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Print this recipe

for the crust (from here):

  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry sugar (Natural cane sugar, brown sugar, or Sucanat)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted OR Earth Balance, melted

 

for the filling:

  • 2 & 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)*, softened
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (other sweeteners may work, but the flavour will change slightly)
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves

 

For the directions, and to print the recipe, click here.

IMG 4659   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

The beauty of this spelt crust is that you don’t chill the dough! It’s hands down the quickest pie crust I have made.

(note: these pictures are from my classic crust dough and not the spelt):

Tuck under the overhanging dough:

IMG 3840   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free IMG 4466   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Now crimp/flute your pie edge using your fingers. Work your way all around the edge.

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Prick crust with a fork and pre-bake for 7 minutes at 425F. Cool for 10 mins. Add filling and smooth.

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Add your cut-out shapes on top (I cut 4 big leaves, 12 small leaves, and 5 balls)

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[These photos are of the actual spelt crust now!]

Before baking the spelt crust:

IMG 4587   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, remove and cover crust with a shield or tin foil, and bake for another 15 minutes at 350F. Cool on rack for 1 hour and transfer to fridge for a minimum of 3 hours to set. <—very important step!

IMG 4595   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Does anyone know the best method for covering the edges of a pie crust? I find tin foil so annoying to use…it always falls off! Any good crust shields out there?

IMG 4643   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

While I enjoyed the spelt crust, my favourite crust award goes to the gluten-free Sweet & Salty Pecan crust! It wins in the flavour department by a landside and it’s worth every single calorie.

IMG 4680   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (Gluten-free)

Absolutely worth every calorie and then some! It’s a bit sweet, buttery, lightly spiced with cinnamon, and enhanced with a bit of salt to bring out the flavours. This crust goes so nicely with the pumpkin pie filling! This crust is very sensitive to changes, so I caution against changing things in the recipe.

Print this recipe.

Inspired by Manifest Vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF certified rolled oats, processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (acts as the binder, honey may work if you prefer that)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance

 

For the directions and to print the full recipe (including filling) recipe, click here.

The pecans need to be ground very finely until they release their oils and start sticking to the side of the machine (this took me 35 secs exactly in my processor, fyi). You should be able to form a ball with the pecans. If you don’t process the pecans enough the crust will be too dry. With that being said, you don’t want to make pecan butter either!

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After mixing all the ingredients, the dough should be a bit sticky like this:

IMG 4692   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

You should be able to form a big ball with it. If it’s too dry, add a touch more melted Earth Balance, a teaspoon at a time.

Crumble it into a greased pie dish:

IMG 4693   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Press down and outward to form the crust (press firmly!) and pre-bake for 10-12 mins at 350F. Cool for 10 mins before scooping in filling and baking. Make sure you let the pie chill for at least a few hours in the fridge before carefully slicing with a sharp knife.

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Ding, ding, ding we have a winner!

IMG 46791   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

This pie crust also makes the house smell divine. Mmm. For the full recipe (including filling) to print, click here.

 

i got enough pie to go around   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

[source]

If you made it this far, bless your soul. That was one long post!

Here’s to a stress-free pie season!

 

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{ 269 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika - The Teenage Taste November 20, 2011

Wow, Angela! You are the pie queen! Thanks for sharing these recipes – I love the idea of a gluten-free one! It looks heavenly! :-)

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Cait's Plate November 20, 2011

I agree! You definitely win the “Pie Queen” award!! Incredible!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

heh thanks girls!

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Rachel November 20, 2011

OOO I was juuust asking about a pumpkin pie recipe that was cashew and tofu free…and you save the day, Angela!

Quick question…do you think it would be okay to use maple syrup or agave in the GF pie crust, instead of Brown Rice syrup? Also, walnuts in place of pecans?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Hey Rachel, The pecan crust is very sensitive to changes, so I really can’t say if it would turn out or not. The brown rice syrup acts as a binder since it’s so thick, so my guess would be that agave or maple syrup wouldn’t hold together as well and may be crumbly. As for walnuts, I think they are more bitter, so you’d probably need more sweetener. I find the pecans really suit the pie though! Goodluck

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mandi October 14, 2012

I made a version of the pie crust with maple syrup and it turned out great!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 15, 2012

good to know, thanks!

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Kendra November 24, 2014

Hi Rachel, I made the GF crust with half pecans and half walnuts, and it tasted delicious–nowhere near bitter. I would encourage giving 100% walnuts a try! Be sure to report how it goes!

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Zoe November 20, 2011

Wow! You put so much work in to your posts. Thank you for sharing so much information. I made my first green monster today and it ain’t grandmas sweet potato casserole. Both were great. Thanks again.

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Char @ www.charskitchen.ca November 20, 2011

Mmmmm and now I want PIE! :D

“If you want a sure way to loathe making pie, then my advice is to expect every outcome to be perfect.” <—- love this!! I made a beautiful blackberry pie in August, but when I tried to re-create the crust for a new recipe, it just wouldn't. I tried several times, yelling multiple curse words and finally throwing it in the garbage. Next time I make pie, I'll remember to enter the kitchen with patience :D

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Kris | iheartwellness.com November 20, 2011

You are AMAZING!!!!! Vegan Pumpkin Pie…I’m swooning over here. I think I would try the Spelt or the Peacn crust because I steer clear of wheat as much as I can, but they all look so gorgeous!!

Brown Rice Syrup is such a gorgeous touch and much healthier for you adding a nice flavor I bet!!

WOOOO HOOOO!! I’m gonna make PIE!!! YAY!
xxoo

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lauren@spicedplate November 20, 2011

oh. my. goodness. I’m so excited to try out the GF crust — it looks fantastic!

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Rebecca November 20, 2011

Oh my. You take “dedicated foodie” to a whole new level!! That pecan crust looks absolutely divine…rethinking my T-giving dessert menu ;)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 20, 2011

Angela this all looks beyond amazing. Now I know why you mentioned last week you’d be revealing the results and the recipe(s) in a future post…you have about 10 combos and no doubt, MANY recipe trials that led up to the final result. And then some :)

I love the nut-based sweet n salty crust idea that turned out to be your fave. Two years ago I made a no-bake vegan GF pumpkin pie and just kept the crust very simple with almond meal, dates, agave, a few spices and just pushed that into the pie plate and for all my raw crusts, use a variation on that theme. And then the filling…easy to whip together. Sometimes no-bake has it’s benefits :)

What you did in this post with the recipes, the recipe testing, the photos!! My hat is soooo off to you. Amazing job!!!

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Coco November 20, 2011

Wow, that’s a heck of a pumpkin pie line-up! Funny, I just popped my gluten-free pumpkin pies into the oven as you put up this post.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 20, 2011

I have been waiting for this post! Yippppe! Everyone looks fantastic! I am definetly trying all the different crusts especially the GF one! :)

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Richa@HobbyandMore November 20, 2011

All of the pies look gorgeous.. amazing job and a great post to keep for ages!

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Julie @ Shining From Within November 20, 2011

Next time, try prebaking the crust without the filling to avoid that greasy uncooked texture! Then fill w filling and bake again until done rather than just filling and baking all together :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Yea I did that for all my trials…still wasn’t happy with it! :\

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 20, 2011

I’m jealous of your tasters! :) The gluten-free option sounds wonderful I love the pecans in the crust!

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Amanda November 20, 2011

I can’t wait to try the sweet and salty pecan pie crust! I generally don’t consider myself a crust person when it comes to pie (I love the filling!), but this may just convert me.

It’s obvious that so much thought and time went into this post. Thank you so much for sharing the outcomes of the various recipes!

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Anna November 20, 2011

i love the “rustic with a hint of dog breath.” LOL! that’s how it would be at my house!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 20, 2011

Oh. My. Goodness. I’ve been waiting for this post and you did not dissapoint!!! These look amazing Ange, and major kudos to your for snapping that photo of you fluting the pie crust if you did it yourself!! ;) Pumpkin pie is my absolute favourite kind and I’d happily gobble any one of these up. You’re awesome!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 20, 2011

And by dissapoint I meant disappoint. ;)

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 20, 2011

wow, I bet this was one intense day (or couple of days) of pie making! This was seriously perfect timing though b/c literally as I was just reading this my husband is in the kitchen baking me a celebratory apple pie (ran a half today) and was just asking how to do a lattice design! haha

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Tina November 20, 2011

um. where is the classic filling recipe??

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Alyssa November 20, 2011

oooh, with the praline topping recipe too please:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

I linked to the recipes :)

I didn’t post the praline recipe, but I’ll see if I can find it. It’s basically 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour, and 1/4 cup sugar I think?

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Alyssa November 20, 2011

Thank you so very much! I don’t know what I would do without your deliciousness!!

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Robyn November 24, 2011

I don’t see the link to the classic filling recipe either- I guess I must be blind (even searched the recipage). Fell asleep last night while my silken tofu pumpkin pie was in the oven, And awoke to near petrified remains. which may be just as well since I don’t know that tofu is gonna do it for the omnivores I’m serving. This is my first time making a pie since I went vegan so I hope the soy flavor present in the filling goes away after baking?! Need to run out to grab more ingredients while the store is open this morning and was interested to see if this recipe includes it among the 5 ingredients.
Every other thing on the recipage with pumpkin looks deeeeeelicious.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

Hey Robyn,

Both links are in the post to the full recipe…as well as the recipes are in recipage if you still can’t see them. Enjoy!

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dana @ my little celebration November 20, 2011

Wow! You did a lot of testing! Thanks for doing the hard work for us and delivering such a beautiful recipe!

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Moni'sMeals November 20, 2011

OH MY WORD!! Good Golly, I think when I say I love you and this post, I speak for all of us!

You said it right…”here is to a stress-free pie season!” You nailed this for sure.

:)

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 20, 2011

I am so very impressed!!! They all look wonderful!

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Sierra November 20, 2011

Just in time for American Thanksgiving….I love you, Angela! You’re the best! :)

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Rebecca November 20, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’ve been looking all week for a vegan, gluten-free pumpkin pie recipe. I did find one I was going to try but it was about a mile long in the list of ingredients and directions. This one looks fantastic! For once, we get to go someplace else for Thanksgiving dinner and it funny because I’m now going to make this pie but I’m also making your This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole (one of the best recipes on earth!). I could hug you! You make cooking healthy so easy!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Aww thank you Rebecca…you are so sweet! Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you like the pie…let me know!

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Rebecca November 21, 2011

I did a trial run of this recipe last night and the pie was absolutely delicious!!! I tried a tiny piece this morning before I left for work (it smelled too good to resist!) Thank you for all the work and effort you put into creating this! :-)

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 20, 2011

How could I *not* make it this far? I love pie!!!

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Sarah November 20, 2011

Looks like I will have to torture my fiance with one more dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe! I bought crust covers last fall. They didn’t work well at all. I have the best results if I cover the entire pie with aluminum foil and remove towards the end to brown the crust a bit.

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Kit-Kat November 20, 2011

Very Delish looking!
My mom just made pumpkin pies from two of our pumpkins yesterday (the real deal is SO much better than the canned pumpkin! Mmmm!). She had a crust for one of the pies (rustic crust, almost EXACT in the ingredients you used!) and the other one was crustless: it had oats mixed with brown sugar coated on the bottom for the “crust”. Both were SO yummy! (One was for dessert lastnight, and the other was for this afternoon’s high tea). I love squashes, both summer and winter varieties!
Have you ever tried a “crustless” pumpkin pie?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Wow I love the idea of oats and brown sugar on the bottom! Sounds amazing. I haven’t had a crustless pie before.

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SarahT November 20, 2011

This looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

I’m from Australia though and canned pumpkin isn’t sold here. If I were to make it from scratch do you have any suggestions as to the type of pumpkin I should use? Also would I just roast the pumpkin and then puree it? Is that all canned pumpkin is?

Thank you :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011

Hey Sarah, I found this tutorial that may be helpful for you http://www.pickyourown.org/pumpkinpie.php

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SarahT November 21, 2011

Thank you!!

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Jen @ keepitsimplefoods November 20, 2011

Delicious post! Love the step by step instructions and the hilarious take on “rustic” crust! You are a hoot! Will def be trying one of these recipes soon!

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Margaret November 20, 2011

Yes it was a long post and I really appreciate the time and effort you went to.
Mmmmmmm, pecans. :)

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Erin Harris November 20, 2011

Think almonds would work in place of pecans? Pecans make my husband’s mouth erupt in canker sores. Walnuts too.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

hmm I’m not too sure. I would think if you could get the almonds to the same texture of the processed pecans it MIGHT work (you can form the dough into a small ball with it in your hands), but the almonds will take longer to process as their oils don’t release as fast as the pecans. Goodluck if you try it and let me know how it turns out!

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Deborah November 20, 2011

Just curious about the crust. Why not try a nonhydrogenated shortening like Spectrum for the crust? Even before my vegan days I never could make a good pie crust using butter or margarine. I use Spectrum now and my crusts are always flaky and yummy.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Hmm I didn’t think of that! I did try Earth Balance shortening…is it much different?

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles November 20, 2011

Thanks for all the effort! Your lattice pie is gorgeous, but I agree. Last time I made a traditional crust like that it was really oily and heavy, and not entirely tasty.

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Casey @ Insatiably Healthy November 20, 2011

Love you for making a gluten free, vegan, healthy, and delicious treat for the holidays. Someone has alreayd called making the pumpkin pie for the Thanksgiving potluck but I am definitely looking forward to making a smaller serving of this for myself!

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Michaela November 20, 2011

Angela, I cannot believe how much work you put into everything!
And now, can I please come over for some pie? ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

yes please do!

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Ashley November 20, 2011

Great post! I love seeing all the different variations you tried. You did such an amazing job of fluting the pie edges. Mine never turn out so beautiful. :)

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Kat November 20, 2011

Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial! I’m slightly less intimidated by pie-making now.

Slightly.

Best!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

you can do it! ;)

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radioactivegan November 20, 2011

Those look great! Thanks for the ideas. I have a Pampered Chef pie crust shield that works super well (I agree that tin foil is extremely finicky to use) https://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=7928&words=pie%20crust

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2011

Thanks I will try it out!

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Allysia November 20, 2011

So seriously, thanks for that lesson in lattices. I always ogle pies with latticed tops, and they’re one of those things that seem far too freakin’ intimidating to make. I mean, like you said, pie crusts are already intimidating enough to make, let alone this super elegant topping. The pecan crust looks great too, and I love making nut-based crusts because they’re so simple…it’s like playing with play-dough. Because I’m a little kid like that. I haven’t had a lot of luck in the pumpkin pie making department, so this whole tutorial/recipe extravaganza is a definite bookmark. Thanks again! :)

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Lys November 20, 2011

Wow, just wow. Thank you so much for putting all the effort into giving us all the options for healthier pies! This is so great! And it looks absolutely divine. :)

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Natasha Kay November 20, 2011

Thank you for this! My family are coming to visit and one of them is gluten-free while the other is allergic to dairy. The vegan GF pie is a perfect recipe for both!

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