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 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!
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.
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!”
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