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.
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
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!
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.
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:
My rustic spelt pie crust from 2009:
A gluten-free pie crust made from pecans, GF oats, etc.:
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
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)
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:
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.
Pretty, but lacking in the taste department.
Next up, the hearty spelt crust and classic filling!
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.
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.
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:
Now crimp/flute your pie edge using your fingers. Work your way all around the edge.
Prick crust with a fork and pre-bake for 7 minutes at 425F. Cool for 10 mins. Add filling and smooth.
Add your cut-out shapes on top (I cut 4 big leaves, 12 small leaves, and 5 balls)
[These photos are of the actual spelt crust now!]
Before baking the spelt crust:
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!
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?
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.
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.
Inspired by Manifest Vegan.
- 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!
After mixing all the ingredients, the dough should be a bit sticky like this:
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:
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.
Ding, ding, ding we have a winner!
This pie crust also makes the house smell divine. Mmm. For the full recipe (including filling) to print, click here.
If you made it this far, bless your soul. That was one long post!
Here’s to a stress-free pie season!
I LOVE this recipe but when I click on the links to get a printable version the recipe doesn’t come up! Can you fix this?
Hi Joy, It should be fixed now :) Recipage had some issues last week.
It’s fixed! Thanks so much!
Wow, I made the Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust for an Apple pie. I needed a top, so I made another 1/2 batch and kept the oatmeal whole and cut in a little butter to make a crumb topping…..Absolutely delish!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!
I am going to try the pecan crust with apples too.
Ha – your chickenscratch wrinkley pages look just like mine. :) Nice work on this blog, I’m going to try the pecan crust…with walnuts as that’s what I have on hand.
I was very eager to try your Gluten Free Pecan Crust and saved up to buy all the ingredients. Followed all your instructions to the t and while the crust turned out great, the filling did not set right. :( I am quite disappointed as it was a lot of work. I think that cooking the filling on the stove top may help set the pie? I put it in the fridge overnight – is there anything I can do so it sets?
Hey Sofia, I’m sorry about the middle not setting – I’ve made this many times and never had it not set on me! Did you change anything to the ingredients or use something inadvertently? is your oven temp correct? There are many factors that go into it, so it’s very hard for me to know why this happened to you.
I made this again for thanksgiving this year and it helped to cook the filling on the stovetop for a few minutes for it to to set. Served with coconut cream and it was delicious!
Hi! I made the classic filling with the pecan crust. It is absolutely delicious. I have been vegan for just over a year, and last year’s attempt at vegan pumpkin pie was lackluster. This is my new replacement for the non-vegan version. Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful recipes! I know I can trust that all of them will be delicious.
I made the your classic pumpkin pie filling in a store bought GF crust today as a test run for thanksgiving. The filling was delish!! But the crust, surprise surprise, was a fail. I want to try again with your GF Pecan Crust but I have a family member who is allergic to flax- what can I use instead?
Hey Jules! You might be able to try ground chia seed? I havent tried it, but thats what I would use if I was going to. It absorbs more water than flax though, so maybe only use 2 tbsp ground chia (just guessing) Let me know how it turns out if you make it!
Hi! I just made your vegan gf pumpkin pie and its really good! I was worried about the crust at first…it looked like a lot for my pan but it was great. I love that its not too sweet but just enough. I was wondering if you can use pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices you listed?
Yes you probably can…just add it slowly to taste :)
I am very interested in trying out the classic pumpkin pie filling for this thanksgiving but was wondering, does the coconut cream have a strong presence in the flavor of the pie? I know it is needed as a binding agent, but I’m not a huge fan of coconut and am wary of it being very prominent in flavor. P.s this is my favorite food blog of all time! I refer to it above anything else :)
Hi Katrina, Yes you can taste the coconut in the filling, but I wouldn’t say it’s overly prominent. Hope this helps!
I see an asterisk after “coconut cream or almond milk” in the vegan filling recipe, but I don’t see an explanation. I assume some modification needs to be made if using almond milk?
Hi Kristie, There doesn’t need to be any modification at all…I’ll clarify this in the recipe. thanks!
Thank you! I didn’t want to ruin my first attempt ;-)
Your pies look fantatic!! Can I use ground chia instead of ground flax for the pecan crust? I don’t have flax :(
My first Thanksgiving living with a host of food sensitivities, but your blog is inspiring me so much! I am just getting into the world of alternative baking and can’t wait to try the pecan crust since it has such rave reviews. Just one question… I am sensitive to oats, is pthere any other type of flour I can sub it with? I saw a comment about brown rice flour, does this work in place? Thanks!
Can I use regular cow’s milk instead of the coconut cream/almond milk? I need an egg-free pie, but we’re OK w/ milk.
To answer your question about the pie shield- pampered chef has a really good one :) Thanks for the recipes and tips
I also make it with no crust, right in the pan. Yummy! Or I mix melted butter and almond flour and press into pan. Works well and easy to do.
Hi! Love the recipes. I’ve made this pie twice and both times I had trouble getting it to cook in the middle. I’d bake it for 55-60 minutes and it would still be totally jelly in the middle like it hadn’t been cooked at all! I’ve used two different ovens and also two different pans and crust thickness. Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution?? Oh and I made the gluten free pecan crust :)
Hey Jordan, Did you let it sit overnight in the fridge? It needs time to set, so keep that in mind.
I just wanted to thank you for the Salty and Spicy Pecan Crust recipe. I used it last year and loved it. There are quite of few of my colleagues at work who are also gluten free and/or vegan. It was great to be able to recommend your recipe and say, “it works and is delicious.”. I pies for this year are currently cooling :) I also just made the Cranberry, Orange and Apple Vinaigrette. Delicious.
All that to say I Thankful on this Thanksgiving for your website and recipes.
So happy to hear this Ingrid! Thanks for trying it :)
I just made the rustic GF pie crust and classic pumpkin filling for Thanksgiving. Ive made vegan pumpkin pie before but usually with a store bought crust. This was the best crust and the best filling ever. I altered a few things which I wanted to share:
Crust – we dont use added oils so I used a nonstick pan. Didnt pre-grease, added a TB of applesauce instead of the oil for the crust. I also used half honey and maple syrup instead of the brown rice syrup. Cooked the pie for 50 minutes – the crust was a bit too thick right at the corner of the side and the bottom of the pan. The crust also got a bit too dark. I didnt mind the thickness as it is similar to the best oatmeal pecan cookie one has ever had. next time I will try to go thinner.
Filling – used a TB of applesauce – it set really well and was just so flavorful. I didnt use the clove but used a bit more cinnamon.
Greatest pumpkin pie ever… thank you
This is great to hear, thanks Andrew!
I made the gluten free pie crust, as my mom avoids it as much as possible. It was the best pie I’ve ever tasted, the crust didn’t try to mimic a regular crust and just tastes absolutely wonderful. I can hardly stay way from the leftovers. I love all your recipes I’ve tried and this is surely no different. Keep up the tasty treats and great posts.
Hi Courtney, Awesome, thanks for letting me know! :)
Thank you! I made the pecan/gf oatmeal crust ang pumpkin pie for our guests and it was a hit!
Awesome gluten free pie crust!!!! I made this version of the pie crust for both pumpkin bars and pecan bars (had to serve almost 20 people on Thanksgiving, so pies would have been too small!) The crust was soo delicious with both, although the pecan bars earned the most rave reviews at the potluck. And this was a gathering where people weren’t commenting on the food being delicious unless it really was. I used maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup since I had it on hand, and also used coconut oil, not earth balance. I pre-baked one crust for 9 minutes and the other for 11, and the longer baked one held up better to added ingredients. Maybe it was the maple pecan pie filling I put on top of the 9-minutes-baked crust, but the crust floated up into the filling on that one. It was still amazingly delicious!! The pumpkin pie crust (11-minutes-baked) stayed put. Definitely keeping this recipe – Thank you!!
I love that you show the three different ways to make vegan pumpkin pie! I did make the second one for thanksgiving and my non vegan family loved it. I also like your step by step photos and how you write, its clear and easy to understand. Thank you for your blog, I’m always telling my friends about it.
I wanted to let you (and everyone else) know that I made your Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling with your Gluten Free Crust and it was by far the best pie I have ever tried. This is the way this pie should always be made. The Pumpkin Filling was almost the star of the show, however, the pecan crust put this recipe over the top. AMAZING!!!!! AMAZING!!!!
Awesome to hear! Thanks for your feedback :)
I made the Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (Gluten-free) again this year for Thanksgiving and my 6yo and I could NOT stop eating those pies. So good! I need to try it with cheesecake next.
Made the GF version, but with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds- because we were also a nut-free (eating wise… we are nuts, rest assured…). It was sooooooo good and soooooo easy!!!!!! THANK YOU!
Then I used Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Pumpkin Pie filling recipe- two winners right there!
This is sooooooo good! We made this with the pecan-oat crust and it was INCREDIBLE! This is my first pumpkin pie in 4 years (since going vegan) and it is a wonderful recipe! That crust…. = Wow!
Thank you so much Angela, this has totally made my year, and definitely my Thanksgiving next year!
Very awesome pumpkin pie! I love it!
I would also love to see a cherry pie recipe, since it is a favorite for some of my loved ones.
Flan and berry pies are also loved in my family so I hope to find some of these kinds of recipes in this website.
All of the recipes I have tried so far have been great so I would love to see many more.
WHERE is the Classic pie FILLING recipe? I see the classic crust recipe but there is no classic filling recipe.
Hi! I had a question about the recipe where it said:
“1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)*, softened”
Does that mean use a can of coconut cream, but drain the juice and blend it? Just a little confused on the “soften” part :)
Looks soo delicious! I just want to make sure I follow it exactly so it can turn out as perfect as yours!
Hey Jessica, Sorry for the confusion! Yes, I do use the cream from the full-fat cans of coconut milk. I find when refrigerated the cream can get really hard (depending on the brand), so sometimes softening it is necessary (whether that is leaving it at room temp or a gentle heat in a pot) hope this helps! By all means, almond milk works too – it’s just not quite as decadent.
I am wondering if the spiced pecan crust would also be suitable for an apple pie. Has anyone tried this crust with other fillings?
I’m also wondering: is the ‘chill for 3 hours’ step needed to set the filling, or is it necessary to set the crust?
Can you reheat the classic pumkin pie with pecan crust to serve or will it crumble?
Hi Ashley, Im not certain but I think it would reheat ok in the oven at a low temperature. Maybe test 1 slice just to be sure?
How did you do the pecan praline topping? It looks delicious and i wanted to try it with the spelt crust.
Once chilled, can I bring it to room temperature before serving? I don’t like cold pie!
I made the pie with the pecan crust, and it’s in the oven now for Canadian Thanksgiving! It smells amazing, thank you!
What a winner, even my ‘I don’t want any Vegan. healthy or anything that you’ve fiddled with Mom’, daughter ate all all this pie and didn’t know the difference (still doesn’t)!!! I used the pecan crust though didn’t quite have 2 cups so added almonds and it was great.
A sure winner and will definitely make again.
Hi, I’m probably very late with this suggestion but I found a great pie crust shield at Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s silicone and adjustable to different sizes pie plates. I can’t tolerate spelt. Is there a substitute flour or blend I could use instead? I am having such frustration finding a dough pie crust that doesn’t crumble when I roll it. Thanks for your help. PS. I have your book and love it. Regards from Winnipeg.
My daughter has had ALL grains, including rice removed from her diet – is there any way I can make a pie crust that would be edible? Please and Thanks,
I’ve made the pecan crust/classic filling version twice now and it’s been a massive hit! In fact, everyone (all non-vegans) said it was the best pumpkin pie they’ve ever had! (The second time around I blitzed the filling in the blender and the result was buttery smooth bliss.)
Well done, Angela – the pecan crust is especially amazing!
I absolutely love the filling recipe! Any experience freezing pumpkin pies? Not sure if freezing/thawing would ruin everything! Thanks :)
I have a store bought graham cracker crust. Would I be able to use one of the filling recipes with it?
Thanks for sharing! The spiced pecan crust sounds delicious and a great option for gluten-free diners.
What a hit this pie was at our family Thanksgiving! I used roasted blue Hubbard squash instead of pumpkin and the taste and texture of the filling was divine. Though it didn’t taste burnt, the crust seemed overdone. It was hard. If mixed properly I think you could reduce the prebake time because it bakes so long with the filling. I used a metal crust shield, but still the edges looked burnt. Was it perhaps because I used honey as a binder? In all,a definite winner and now part of our holiday tradition! Thank you. P. S. Also added the vegan Caesar salad!
Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (Gluten-free)… After being vegetarian for 5 years, I’m a new vegan trying to become GF as well… This is my first ever vegan dessert, I followed the recipe to the letter and it was scrumptious, delicious, PERFECT! I didn’t miss anything from my “previous” life. Thanks Angela for sharing such a wonderful recipe for free! I’m subscribed to your posts and have tried several recipes from your blog –Although this is my first time commenting or pinning on a recipe. You are a fabulous cook, Congratulations on your gorgeous baby…
Thank you for sharing these recipes! I added a vegan touch to our family Christmas dinner with the spelt flower traditional pumpkin pie. Everybody loved it! I served it with a scoupe of ice.
Greetings from the Netherlands,
Thank you so much for your great book and your homepage!
I´ve been making your red lentil-kale soup for what feels like a couple of weeks over and over and over again. (OMG, I could live in it!) and decided I have to move on. Now I wanted to give your raw pumpkin-maple pie a shot for my mums birthday and was wondering, if I could use freshly pureed pumpkin puree from my mixer instead of canned? (In my typical German supermarket I would´t know where to look for it…)
And if so, does it have to be raw or should I bake the pumpkin first and puree it then?
Your help would be very much appreciated! Thanks!
On the pumpkin pie with spelt crust, one of the ingredient lines states “1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)*, softened”
but the astrix after almond milk isn’t explained anywhere. Is it a typo or did you forget to add “*the pie has a 67% chance of spontaneously combusting if you use almond milk.” because that may be an important detail… Thanks!
I just made this but with a traditional, non-vegan frozen crust because that’s what I had (family is not vegan) and it turned out just great. It set up wonderfully without even the refrigeration time. I used coconut cream and cornstarch.
Flavor note – it is definitely not the traditional custard-y, evaporated milk creamy pie you are used to if non-vegan! It tastes wonderful and my kids thought it was perfect but don’t expect the same level of “creaminess” if you are just new to vegan cooking:-) I will be making it forever with the spelt crust in future!
Pampered Chef makes a good pie crust shield.
I just discovered your site and love it!
I have a question about the pie filling…. do you have any suggestions to thicken it up a bit? I like a pumpkin pie that is a little firmer and I tried to add more arrowroot but it didn’t bake/set all the way through. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Hi Darlene, What about a tablespoon of coconut flour? It absorbs really well!
I just made the classic filling pecan crusted pie. I used maple syrup and it turned out fabulous
I also cut all the sugars in half as I do with all my baking and there were no negative effects from that. I will for sure be making this again!!