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

263 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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{ 263 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy November 21, 2011

Thanks for the step-by-step pictures for the lattice. I have always wondered how that was done. lol I have a simple ring that I use for part of the baking time and it works well. I think it was a Dollar Store purchase.

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Lia November 21, 2011

Thank goodness for you! I was in desperate need of a better crust recipe that my GF brother would eat. Angela saves the day again!

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Marian November 21, 2011

It’s as if you made this post just for me. I was in need of a vegan and gf pumpkin pie. Thanks Angela:)

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Kathy November 21, 2011

Thanks for sharing these 3 awesome recipes!
I can’t wait to make a pie from scratch this year, rather than let my cousin and aunt order a frozen, pre-made pie with who-knows-what ingredients!

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LEM November 21, 2011

I am so excited to make this pie! Thank you for creating wonderful things to eat!!

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Christine @ The Brighter Side of Life November 21, 2011

Wow – these look fantastic! Multiple versions of my favourite pie! I don’t have much experience with making crusts, so I look forward to trying the pecan. In the past I tried all-purp flour and whole wheat flour crusts, and found the ww to be very dry – the crust split way too easily before it was even put in the oven! Thanks so much for taking the time to put all the details and beautiful pics together. It makes the process much less intimidating for us pie crust newbies!

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf November 21, 2011

I tell you what, I am SO excited to see a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that does not use tofu! I’m pretty sure I have some intolerance to eggs, so I’ve been looking for a vegan pumpkin pie filling, but I didn’t know how to go about replacing the eggs without using tofu (definitely intolerant to processed soy). Thanks so much!

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Kirstie @ Musings of a Happy Life November 22, 2011

I’ve never tried either pumpkin or pecan pie. After you post I feel I need to rectify this!!

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Drisana (SoulShineBlog) November 22, 2011

Yum! I’ve never been a big fan of traditional pumpkin pie crust, but the GF pecan looks awesome!!!

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tweal November 22, 2011

Wowee that’s a lot of pie! And a lot of pie research! What a yummy responsibility that must have been. Though I understand how you may not want to see pumpkin pie for a while now.

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LizAshlee November 22, 2011

I was making a raw pumpkin pie…quick n easy and Travis asked me to bake one..so of course I made my own special creation and I made the crust with oats…it actually turned out really yummy! Too bad I didn’t write the recipe down-it seems like a lot of the time my recipes turn out best when I am just creating and not measuring! Does that happen to you?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

Yes that does happen to me a lot! Although I’m trying to be better about writing stuff down lately…

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Shirah November 22, 2011

I made the salted pecan crust/classic pie yesterday. Turned out amazing!! I had to cover the crust edges earlier because it was starting to get toasty (I covered them right after I put the filling in). I didn’t have a pumpkin so I used butternut squash and I don’t think anyone would be able to tell a difference. yummm. and I split the recipe in half to make a smaller pie (even had a little filling left over to put on my oatmeal this morning). Thanks for the great recipe

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

So happy you enjoyed it!

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LauraJayne November 22, 2011

This GF pie recipe just made my day! I can’t wait to try it!

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Coby November 23, 2011

I made your pecan crust today and it was fabulous! I used a rolled 5 grain hot cereal instead of plain oats and honey instead of brown rice syrup. It turned out well and held together. I pulled one completely out of the pan to serve. I used individual pot pie pans to make mini pies and my own vegan pumpkin filling (a mixture of spices, molasses, sugar, almond milk, pumpkin and cornstarch). As someone who never eats the crust, it was nice to have one I actually liked! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 23, 2011

Hey Coby, I’m so happy to hear that the crust turned out so well for you!

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Jesica November 23, 2011

AH! So delicious. I was super pumped about making version #3 … the pecan crust and classic filling — the pecan crust dough tasted fantastic & my family (a little suspicious of my GF and often vegan cooking) thought it delicious as well. I pre-baked at 425 for 14 minutes as directed (in an oven I’ve been baking in all day with no problems), and the crust turned into charcoal. :( Wanted to check in to see if you had any suggestions, or a different temperature, or something. Ended up using the filling in another GF crust I whipped up – hoping it’ll turn out okay!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

Hey Jesica, I’m so sorry that happened…it’s supposed to be 350F and not 425F :( I’m so sorry for my typo…I will change it now.

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Lauren November 24, 2011

:( This happened to me too. I thought I did something wrong.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

I’m so sorry Lauren…I feel terrible! :(

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Stephanie November 24, 2011

Hi!! I am so excited about trying this–but almost blew the crust. Your printer version notes to pre-bake the crust at 425, not 350, for 15 minutes. I think I can save it by just running aluminum foil for the whole bake time, but hopefully I haven’t altered the taste too much. (I ran it for about 9 and it smelled like it was starting to burn.) Thanks for such a great recipe, btw!! Steph in Austin, Texas

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2011

Hey Stephanie, I’m so sorry about the discrepancy! Someone let me know today and I changed it this morning. I feel horrible…esp after spending so much time testing it. :\ I hope it still turns out for you…if anything it was a lesson to triple check my recipes! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Stephanie November 24, 2011

Gonna scrap off the burny bits and call it “rustic.” HA!! :)

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Ashley the "Ashleytarian" November 24, 2011

I’m currently attempting to make the GF Pumpkin pie. Should be interesting to see how it turns out considering I totally left the finely powdered GF Oats in the Vitamix! Yes, really. I didn’t put it in when I made the crust. Whoops. ;) Accidents make some of the best recipes….right? Thanks about for putting up these great recipes. Happy Eat A Lot Day to all you Gobblers out there! Gobble Gobble!

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Dawn November 25, 2011

I made the GF pecan crust with the classic filling= it was amazing! Thanks for the great recipe :)

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Lauren November 25, 2011

Angela,
I used your Vegan pumpkin pie recipe for thanksgiving dinner and it turned out great! I used date sugar instead of brown sugar and I thought the results were great. The pumpkin flavor was strong (not too sweet) and the crust was the perfect consistency for the creamy filling. Thank you again for the recpipe!! I will be making it again and again. :) Lauren

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Lauren November 25, 2011

p.s. I too baked the pie crust at 425 degrees per the print instructions, but I also saved it by covering the edges when I noticed the crust getting a little too brown.

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Stephanie November 25, 2011

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! The sweet & salty pecan crust was AMAZING even though I used the old instructions with the 425 typo. It will become my new go-to pie crust for SURE. I bet it will go swimmingly with apple and peach goo, too. I wonder if one could make a top out of it, if one were very careful? Thanks again!

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Teresa C November 25, 2011

The pie was excellent! I wondered about the pie crust temp, but reading other comments I will definitely make that change the next time I make it. Mine is slightly burned, but still delicious. I can’t wait to make it again with a less “rustic” outcome. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Hey Teresa, I’m sorry about the temperature mix-up! What a lesson in not only double checking things but triple checking! I guess it was my fault posting 3 long recipes ;) Happy Thanksgiving!

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Teresa C November 25, 2011

I also wondered about a top, but not a pie top, maybe a topping for apple or peach crisp.

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Anna Fisher November 25, 2011

Wow. you saved my thanksgiving! not only was it vegan but also gluten free?! that’s incredible! i made the one with the pecans for crust and the traditional filling -it and it was phenomenal!

seriously, thank you so much for this.
i did substitute the oat flour for brown rice flower and i used agave instead of honey but just to let everyone know that turned out just fine.
THANKS AGAIN!!!
<3

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

I’m so happy to hear that Anna! :)

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Lexi November 26, 2011

Agree! I forgot to mention that I did the same with substituting honey with agave syrup and it turned out phenomenal. :)

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Haley November 25, 2011

Great post, I just wanted to mention that the image at the end was made by NatalieDee.com – She is super awesome, you should check her out :)

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Vanessa Thiel November 25, 2011

I made the coconut/pumpkin gluten free recipe and LOVED it! I have been eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is SO much better than the tofu/pumpkin combo. Thanks!

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Lexi November 26, 2011

I just saw your comment on your home page that the temperature wasn’t supposed to be 425; I ofcourse baked my gluten-free pecan crust pie before seeing that update! but, I ended up covering the slightly burnt edges early enough to keep them from burning further, and cut down on the baking time a little, and it turned out delicious anyways!

You were right; just call it “rustic” and nobody will even care! Everyone in my family still loved it.
Also made your gingerbread w/ buttercream frosting; my mom is still telling me how amazing it is!
Thanks for giving us the chance to be master bakers like you!
[or at least get to pretend!]

You are so inspirational, Angela; thank you :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2011

Thanks for your feedback Lexi!

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Alli December 18, 2011

I just wanted to tell you how wonderful the pumpkin pie was. We especially loved the pecan crust. My husband is newly diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and it’s been pretty frustrating for him to give up the foods he loves. This made him very happy and so me happy as well. The crust was delicious enough for his family too which is amazing bc they think the way we eat is weird. It was nice to show them gluten free can be just as good and in this case better than the way they eat! HA!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 18, 2011

Im so happy to hear that Alli!

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Deanna December 20, 2011

How many pie crust does the recipe for the “sweet and spicy spiced pecan crust” make?

Thank you
Deanna

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 20, 2011

it makes 1 pie crust Deanna. Enjoy!

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Rebecca C December 25, 2011

Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday treat. This is the first time I’ve had it in ages. It is delicious! I made the GF crust and it is like candy. The filling is super pumpkin-y, firm, and delicious. I’ve already eaten half the pie by myself. Thanks for such an amazing recipe.

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Kat August 18, 2012

How long does this keep in the fridge? Also, can it be frozen? I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday three days too early, and don’t want it to spoil before I can give it to him.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 19, 2012

It should keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Im not sure about freezing it, but let me know if you try it!

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Stacey Shepard August 30, 2012

Hi Angela,

I’m relatively new to your web-site, but I must say, I’m ADDICTED!! You’ve got some really amazing recipes, and you present them so beautifully with the perfect amount of humor mixed in.
I have a quick question about the GF pecan pie crust. I was thinking of making it and using your chocolate pudding recipe as well as the coconut whipped cream as filling. Obviously the pudding and cream don’t need to be baked, but how long should I bake the pie crust?
Thanks so much, and you are so appreciated!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 30, 2012

Hey Stacey, Thank you so much for your kind words!
I would probably bake it for 12-14 minutes, watching closely during the last 4 mins of baking so it doesn’t burn. Allow it to completely cool. Let me know how it goes…sounds great! I was thinking of doing a similar recipe for my book. maybe banana cream pie would be nice too.

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Kate September 20, 2012

For the Sweet & Salty Gluten Free Crust, can we sub oil or nuts or should we sub egg replacer for that? I like abroad and am having trouble finding flax seed. I can order online… but that means I have to wait and I don’t want to! haha Please let me know. This looks AWESOME! Thank you ^^

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Gloria September 30, 2012

I’m definitely making the pecan crust version this weekend! I can’t wait :)

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Lily October 3, 2012

I am so looking froward to making your pecan crusted pit. I do have a few question, I have never heard of earth balance – it is not available in Montreal. Is is an alternative to butter? Also your GF oats – what they stand for ? do we food processs the oats until its powdery. For the pecas is it best to burst on-off or let the shred automatically for awhile. Thank your for help. Do also have vegan punpkin cookie recipe !!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2012

Hi Lily, Earth balance is a vegan replacement for butter. I also believe Becel makes one, but I havent tried it in cooking before. GF oats = gluten-free oats, but you can use regular rolled oats if that works for you. :) For the pecans, I think in the directions I wrote that you process them for about 30-35 seconds constantly. I hope this helps!

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Lindsay October 5, 2012

Thank you!!! This is what I’m going to make for our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend!!

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BA Knowles October 8, 2012

Just made your winning pie yesterday and it was a huuuuuge success. All of our Thanksgiving dinner guests raved about it. I topped it with homemade whip from a can of coconut milk and everyone said it tasted like something they would order in a fancy restaurant. And our kids had 2nds and wanted thirds! Thanks for coming up with this amazing recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 8, 2012

awww that is so great to hear! THanks for letting me know. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ginny October 8, 2012

Hi there, I just wanted to leave a comment to let you know that your recipe for the vegan pie with the pecan crust was a total hit at our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. I used honey instead of agave and coconut oil instead of Earth Balance and it all turned out amazingly. Both my kids said that they were “proud” of my pie and that it was their favorite part of the meal (I’d have to agree!!)

I feel like I am so lucky to live in a time where I can type some very precise words into a search engine and be connected with a lady in another country who has just the right words of wisdom and support for me to get exactly what I need. Thank you!

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Sandra October 9, 2012

This was hands-down the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever tasted. It was easy to make and it turned out exactly as pictured. Thank you for posting this recipe, I am officially a new fan of your website.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2012

Aw thank you Sandra! I appreciate it :)

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Clarissa October 24, 2012

I’d really like to try making this pie with the classic spelt crust but I don’t have any spelt flour on hand. Is there any substitute for it?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 25, 2012

I haven’t tried it with another flour, but I suspect an all-purpose would work fine. let me know how it goes!

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Clarissa November 6, 2012

I tried it with all purpose flour and I think it was fine. However I over baked it and it was too hard to eat although I liked munching on it like a biscuit :x I’m a crust lover teehee.

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