Just wondering...Why do we spend so much time and effort attempting to make the relatively bland pumpkin into a sweet and creamy pie using tons of sugar and other add ins? Pumpkin pie is absolutely delicious, don't get me wrong - but I just think it makes more sense to use a base that has the same flavor profile but is sweeter, creamier and richer from the get go. Call in the humble sweet potato. Of course, this is no mystery, sweet potato pie is on the menu at plenty of holiday gatherings but I might ague that this recipe is the healthiest and most delicious one out there. What I'm trying to say is....you will never, ever, ever wish to make the classic pie again.
With minimal ingredients added (think magical coconut milk powder - get some!) and cinnamon the filling is light, airy and so, so creamy. The crust is crispy, and full of ginger snap cookie flavor - inspired by a buttery crushed cookie crust my Mom used to make but this one has real fresh ginger and blackstrap molasses.
Overall the pie is only lightly sweet which I think makes it the perfect thing to finish off a rich holiday meal - although if you wish to make it sweeter, I make suggestions below. I finished this recipe with a maple syrup drizzle, cinnamon spice and crushed walnuts but coconut cream or vegan ice cream would also be delicious.
Now, this epic pie does take a little time to make and isn't my usual no-oil thing but it's Thanksgiving, in these trying times we need to indulge a little. The work load to make this pie is almost effortless if you split it over a few days - roast the potatoes and bake the pie crust two days before you want to serve and bake the pie one day before so it can set up overnight. Breaking up the process like this makes it all come together effortlessly.
Give this one a try - it's a plant based, whole foods update on a classic that I hope will find it's way onto you holiday tables year after year.
Serves: 12-14 • Active Time: 30 minutes • Inactive Time: 10 hrs
Ginger Snap Crust
- 1/4 cup walnuts, ground
- 3/4 cup oats, ground
- 3/4 - 1 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free 1-to-1 flour, if desired)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 medjool dates, soaked and chopped into a paste (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses (I use this one)
- 1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon/ allspice/vanilla extract/salt
1. Preheat your oven to 375*. Boil hot water pour over two large dates, soak for at least 10 minutes until totally soft and gooey. Remove the pits and chop the two dates into a mashed paste. Set aside.
NOTE: If you don't have dates, add 2 additional table spoons of maple syrup
2. In a food processor pulse the oats and walnuts into a flour and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Add in the flour and dry spices and stir with a whisk to evenly combine.
4. Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together - allow to cool slightly - then pour over the flour mixture.
5. Add in the date paste and grated ginger. Use your hands to form a loose dough (make sure the coconut oil/maple syrup is cooled enough). The mixture should easily come together between your fingers but still be quite crumbly.
6. Transfer the dough into a 8" pie pan. Firmly press the crust into an even layer around the bottom and sides of the pan. Poke a few holes with a fork around the bottom of the crust.
NOTE: I used a disposable tin to bake this pie. If you are using a glass or metal pie tin, I would rub the pan with a little more coconut oil just in case of sticking.
7. Add the crust to your oven and blind bake for 25 minutes, checking at the 20 minute mark. When done the crust should hold together nicely, and slightly pull away from the sides (if you used a metal tin). Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before adding the filling.
NOTE: You can also bake the crust up to two days before baking the pie - just store in your fridge.
Sweet Potato Filling
- 3 medium/large roasted and peeled sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup plant milk
- 3 tbsp. organic non-geo cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. coconut milk powder or coconut cream (optional, but recommended)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice/vanilla extract
1. Roast whole sweet potatoes in a 425* oven until very soft (apx. 50-60 min). Allow to cool and peel the potatoes. This step can be done up to three days in advance, store peeled sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge.
PRO TIP: You may be wondering why you wouldn't boil the potatoes. Whenever I make pie or puree with sweet potatoes so I always am sure to roast them, a little hack I was made aware of a long time ago - it provides a sweeter, more concentrated flavor and a thicker, fluffier consistency.
2. While your pie crust is baking, add sweet potatoes along with all other ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and puree until totally smooth and creamy.
NOTE: Give your puree a taste to make sure your flavors are on point. The natural taste of the sweet potatoes is plenty sweet for me, but if you like things a bit sweeter, add 1/4 cup to 2/3 cup of coconut sugar to taste.
3. Add the sweet potato puree to the pre-baked pie crust and put back in the oven for 40 minutes at 375* taking care to wrap the edges of your pie tin with tin foil as the crust has a tendency to burn.
4. After 40 minutes remove the pie from the oven, it should appear totally firm. Allow to cool on the stovetop for an hour and then cover with tin foil and put it in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours. If you fail to do this,the pie will taste great but fail to set up properly.
5. Serve chilled. Top with coconut whipped cream, toasted walnuts, a drizzle of blackstrap molasses, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.