This gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie forms its own crust as it bakes. Delicious and addictive–and low-fat and only 153 calories per serving!
I asked my readers yesterday to identify a close-up photo of a food. The mystery food wasn’t a mystery to most of you: it was indeed a Pumpkin or Squash Pie. But, if I were the kind of teacher who demands exact answers (and I used to be), you would have had to have written “Impossible Fat-Free Gluten-Free Vegan Cushaw Pie” in order to get full credit.
Cushaw? What the heck is that? Well, do you remember these cute squashes?
I did a little research into cushaw squash and found that much of the pumpkin that we buy in cans is actually cushaw and its close relatives; it’s less stringy than pumpkin and makes better pies. So I feel like it’s okay to call this a pumpkin pie even though it originated from a crazy little crookneck squash called a cushaw.
So that’s the “cushaw” part of the name. What about the “impossible” part?
If you grew up with a mother who relied on Bisquick baking mix, as I did, you may remember their Impossible pies. What you did was mix Bisquick in with the pie ingredients, and as the pie baked, a sort of crust formed on the bottom and sides. I’m not too embarrassed to say that the first cheesecake I ever made was the Bisquick Impossible Cheesecake–and it was really good. Flash forward to the present when I’m looking to get rid of the most fattening part of the pie–the crust–and the idea of a vegan Impossible pumpkin pie hit me.
So I went straight to my favorite cookbook–Google–and started looking for info on Impossible pies. I no longer use Bisquick, so I wanted to see if people had made this work with flour, and I was happy to find that they had. In fact, Something in Season (website no longer available) and Bob’s Red Mill both had gluten-free versions of the pie, so I knew it could be done without Bisquick.
What remained to be seen was whether or not it could be done without oil or dairy products. I did a whole lot of substituting, but I’m happy to report that the pie was a success: Though the inside is more like a custard than a regular pumpkin pie, a slight crust formed along the bottom and sides of the pan, so you can actually pick up a slice of this pie and eat it like a piece of pizza. But it’s dangerously addictive, as shown by the fact that my husband ate about 6 pieces of it yesterday!
Update 7/30/18: My husband asked for pumpkin pie for his birthday–in the middle of summer! With no winter squash available, I made this pie with canned pumpkin, and it was a complete success. I didn’t need to make any changes to the recipe.
The only difference I could detect is that the pie made with canned pumpkin is a much darker color. It looks like any other pumpkin pie, instead of having a “squashy glow.” I’m not sure why it cracked, but I’ve heard from a lot of people who had that happen, whether they used fresh or canned. It doesn’t bother me; I think the cracks are interesting. (The pie in the photos with the white plate was made with canned; the green plated pie was made with fresh.)
So if you don’t have any winter squash available, do not hesitate to make this recipe with canned pumpkin. It’s great!
When you serve this pie, don’t feel obligated to tell your family or guests that it’s crust-free, fat-free, gluten-free, or vegan, but if they do wonder what’s left after so much is left out, tell them “Flavor, pure, delicious flavor!”
Check out all my delicious, low-fat vegan Thanksgiving recipes.
Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- 1 1/2 cups soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer see Notes
- 1/4 cup water see Notes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups pureed or mashed cooked pumpkin, cushaw, or winter squash (or canned pumpkin), see Notes
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour see Notes
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. (I used a Pyrex pan, and it came out with no sticking.) A deep dish is recommended because this pie will rise a lot during cooking but will fall back down as it cools.
- Put the first five ingredients in the blender, and blend well. Add the pumpkin, and puree. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is thoroughly blended. Pour into a pie pan and bake for about 60 minutes. The top and edges should be brown, but the edges should not be over-done. (Since this is a custardy pie, using the standard toothpick or knife test does not work; it will remain somewhat moist in the center, but it shouldn’t be uncooked.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter. For best results, refrigerate until chilled before eating.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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MomoGOctober 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm
Has anyone made this with All-purpose flour?
Patricia GianneliaOctober 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Hi, I made this pie using the oatmeal option as I did not have any rice flour on hand. It was a bit “wet”, but my husband enjoyed it nonetheless. But, with all the other Thanksgiving veggies etc. on hand, we did not eat it all right away, and found the taste changed over the next few days, to its detriment. How long do you recommend for this recipe? Also, can it be made and frozen? I often find that vegan versions of things are great the day of and maybe the next day, but less so after that, so it is helpful to know which kinds of recipes can be made ahead and frozen, made ahead and how many days, or must be made on the day of.
LindsOctober 26, 2018 at 12:47 am
What cooking spray do you use to keep this oil/fat-free?
AlexzNovember 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm
Has anyone used white whole wheat flour or only oat flour or ap flour?
Susan VoisinNovember 11, 2018 at 5:24 pm
I have used whole wheat flour and didn’t like it. Haven’t tried oat or ap flour.
GayleNovember 24, 2018 at 4:03 pm
Didn’t realize I was out of brown rice flour so used spelt flour instead and it came out great. Also used about a tsp of pumpkin pie spice instead of the other spices, cut the sugar by half and added a few packets of stevia. Both my husband and I loved the texture and flavor! Will definitely make this again.
E WhiteApril 28, 2019 at 10:54 pm
Yummy! And nice to be able to lick the spatula (no uncooked egg).
I followed the variation used by Gayle: spelt flour. half the sugar (Sucanat,) and three stevia packets. The sweetness was perfect for me. I used the spices given in the recipe. I made three 5 inch diameter pies, and they were 1 3/8 inches thick when cool.
I baked these for 30 minutes and thought I’d overdone it — they pulled well away from the sides of the pan. But they were excellent, and had nice pumpkin pie texture. Happy mistake, bears repeating.
Thanks very much for this recipe. I’ll be making it again.
KatieOctober 15, 2019 at 4:31 am
Thanks so much for the recipe. Was devoured at our home. Didn’t even get to let it go cold.
Susan VoisinOctober 15, 2019 at 8:24 am
I’m so glad you liked it!
Angel ObneyNovember 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm
Has anyone made this with maple syrup instead of sugar?
Jacqui KellyNovember 12, 2019 at 11:30 am
What a great recipe! Finally a tasty way to use up the mountain of pumpkins we grew😄 used spelt flour and brown sugar, worked a treat x
KatherineNovember 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm
Well this is the first pumpkin pie I’ve ever liked in my entire life. I’ll be making it again next week to take for Thanksgiving. Thank you!
lindaNovember 20, 2019 at 8:35 am
can i use maple syrup instead of sugar susan?
Susan VoisinNovember 20, 2019 at 11:35 am
I haven’t tried it with syrup. My fear is that it would be too wet and not set up right.
JanetNovember 25, 2019 at 8:20 pm
In comments some mentioned sugar, I do not see it on ingredient list?
Susan VoisinNovember 25, 2019 at 11:52 pm
It’s 3/4 cup sugar, right after baking powder on the ingredients list.
LoriNovember 28, 2019 at 10:23 am
This is my ‘go to’ pumpkin pie recipe every year at Thanksgiving. I use canned pumpkin, unsweetened plain soy milk, cane sugar. Remaining recipe is same. Turns out slightly wet but “crust” still forms and flavor is amazing!
LisaDecember 22, 2019 at 6:06 pm
All family and friends love this recipe… I’ve added date paste (or chopped dates) and some maple syrup,+ plus coconut sugar( instead of the 3/4 cane sugar)…then my secret ingredient is 1/2- 3/4 c. of raw cashews…firm and delicious!
Sally Marie SprungJune 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm
We’re out of Corn Starch – could I use more brown rice flour? TY
Susan VoisinJune 22, 2020 at 3:49 pm
If you have arrowroot, tapioca, or potato starch, I would use one of them. More rice flour *might* work, but I’d hate for your pie not to set.
MelodyOctober 22, 2020 at 6:46 am
Great pumpkin pie recipe! I made my own brown rice flour in my vita mix. Followed the recipe, used a flax egg. Mine never formed a crust. It was a nice thick pumpkiny pie but more like a crustless pie. Should I have allowed to sit before baking?
Susan VoisinOctober 22, 2020 at 10:54 am
No, I don’t think sitting would have helped. It may be that there’s some small difference between homemade rice flour and packaged. Also, the crust isn’t really crust-like: it’s not crunchy or noticeable, just thicker along the edges so it comes cleanly out of the pan.
ACCOctober 17, 2020 at 9:20 am
Do you think a spring-from pan would work for this?
Susan VoisinOctober 17, 2020 at 9:22 am
I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say. If you do, please let me know how it works.
JoanneNovember 26, 2020 at 6:03 am
Do I use 2 flax eggs in place of 2 eggs or is 1 flax enough?
Susan VoisinNovember 26, 2020 at 11:14 am
I haven’t used flax seed in this recipe, and I can’t recommend it because it might cause the whole pie to fail.
ctDecember 26, 2020 at 3:58 pm
i use two flax eggs, and the pies come out great every time. i have not used the energy egg replacer because i don’t have that product,
ChristineOctober 10, 2021 at 7:44 pm
I have been making this for a few years now. It is my go to pumpkin pie and I make it just as stated here. I double the recipe and make two very good sized pies, although it does fill the blender jar very high. Great flavours. Easy .… as pie! Everyone loves it, and people are happy not to have a heavy crust pie at the end of a big meal.
Suzanne CocoNovember 6, 2021 at 1:37 pm
Can this pie be made ahead of time and frozen???
Susan VoisinNovember 6, 2021 at 4:41 pm
I haven’t done it myself, but I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t freeze well.
LizNovember 24, 2021 at 11:43 am
I have a couple questions about ingredients. #1 – I bought Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer in the past and have never opened the package. It’s been sitting in my pantry and the “Best By” date was two years ago! It looks good, but I don’t want to ruin this pie by using it. I have never used an egg replacer before, but I wouldn’t think that 1 Tablespoon of the older product could hurt. Do you think it would be better to use this or use a substitute like flax and water mixture listed in your link? This pre-packaged egg replacer that I have has baking powder in it, so I wondered if it is in this pumpkin pie recipe as a binder, a leavening agent, or both.
#2 – I have coconut palm sugar, date sugar, and cane sugar on hand. Somehow, the date and coconut sugars sound a bit healthier than cane, but that is probably not the case. Do you have a recommendation about which would be best for this pie recipe?
Thanks, Susan. I’m looking forward to making your Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie. Happy Thanksgiving!
LizNovember 24, 2021 at 11:49 am
I mentioned that the egg replacer that I have has baking powder in it, but it is actually baking soda. Also, I just checked on my brown rice flour. It is also well past the “best by” date. Do you think that could be a problem? I don’t use flour often, so all of my flours are probably past their expiration dates!
Susan VoisinNovember 24, 2021 at 5:33 pm
Hi Liz, I hope it’s not too late to answer your questions. I think the old Bob’s Red Mill would be better than a flax mixture because it does provide some leavening. As it’s old, it’s strength is probably weakened, so if you wanted to add a pinch of baking powder, that might help.
As for sugar, I usually use cane sugar, but I think any will do.
I think as long as the rice flour hasn’t gone bad (smell it), it should be ok to use.
LaurieNovember 20, 2022 at 1:27 pm
I LOVE this recipe and have made it aa million times! I use baked sweet potatoes (orange flesh ones for color) instead of pumpkin. I also decrease the sugar to 1/2 cup. So darn good and keeps well.