Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie + Basic Pumpkin Tofu Pie

By Alex Bury, VO Organizational Development Consultant

Pumpkin Pie

I’m a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America—the CIA—and I couldn’t get my degree without spending a chunk of time in the pastry kitchen.

Honestly, pastry work has just never been my “thing.” You have to be so careful and exact with everything! The savory side of the kitchen is much more forgiving of last minute spice changes or experimentation.

I do, however, have two amazing pie recipes that I’ve been making for 20 years. One is a classic pumpkin cheesecake pie and the other is a chocolate fudge pecan pie. The chocolate fudge pie will be shared in December—great things come to those who wait!

These pies aren’t fussy or fragile like so many baking recipes. Every year between Thanksgiving and December 31 I make at least 4 of each, sometimes more, and I usually serve them to non-vegans with rave reviews.

And this year I’ve added a third pie to my baking standards list—basic pumpkin tofu pie.

This fall, Vegan Outreach is hosting a series of informational meetings at churches in Los Angeles, CA. The congregations and local communities are almost completely non-vegan. Vegan advocacy, Whole Foods, kale smoothies, and Tofurky haven’t been a part of these communities.

Therefore, we needed a pie recipe that didn’t use any fancy ingredients—like agar or vegan cream cheese—didn’t need a Whole Foods to complete the shopping list, was somewhat healthy and inexpensive, and was delicious enough that a non-vegan would love it.

I found a recipe that met these criteria! It’s made with tofu, which is a good source of protein and easy to find; canned pumpkin, which is cheap, nutritious, and also easy to find; sugar; and spices.

Whichever pie you make, be sure to serve it with your favorite non-dairy ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 8 oz container vegan cream cheese (I use Follow Your Heart brand)
  • 1 container (12.3 oz) Mori-Nu firm silken tofu
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 vegan pie crust (see Recipe Tips/Variations below)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Puree all of the ingredients—the filling for the pie crust—in a food processor until you have a very smooth consistency.
  3. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 50 minutes.
  4. Allow the pie to cool for 60 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe Tips/Variations

  • It’s easy to buy pre-made vegan pie crusts in the freezer section of your store! If you’re like me and have zero patience for making pie crusts from scratch, I highly recommend buying one. If you have the time and patience, though, feel free to use your favorite vegan pie crust recipe!
  • A vegan graham cracker pie crust is also a delicious option!
  • It really helps to make the pie a day before your meal so it can set up and chill overnight.

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Basic Pumpkin Tofu Pie

Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 container (12.3 oz) Mori-Nu firm silken tofu
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice mix (see below if you want to make your own)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vegan pie crust (see Recipe Tips/Variations above)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients—the filling for the pie crust—together in a food processor. Make sure the filling is extremely smooth and blended. Once you’re sure it’s smooth and creamy, give it another 60 seconds of processing to make it fluffy.
  3. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. If the crust and top of the pie aren’t golden brown, bake for another 15 minutes.

Recipe Tips/Variations

  • Let the pie cool very well and then cover with plastic wrap, chill overnight, and enjoy the next day!

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Mix!

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie + Basic Pumpkin Tofu Pie

    1. Hi Mary,

      I think a blender would work fine. You may need to stop it occasionally and push the mixture on top down toward the bottom to make sure it all gets mixed evenly.

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