Parsnip Parsimony- A vegan baking and science blog.

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Rich and Creamy Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crumb Crust (Recipe)

Posted by Susie on November 21, 2007

whole pie

Pie slice

xtreme close up

A couple weeks ago I posted 2 attempts at perfecting a pumpkin pie formula. The second one was killer, but used tofutti cream cheese analog, and I wanted to make a third pie that was creamy and not curdled but that didn’t have to rely on tofutti. This third attempt is what I came up with. The soymilk, oil, and cornstarch are increased in this pie, and I really like the effect. I made this in a crumb crust made of storebought gingersnap cookies, but you could put this filling in any pie crust you wanted, really. I’ve actually made this pie twice, the first time, I just weighed all my ingredients, and I baked this in a 9″ springform pan. It was quite cheesecake-y, but definitely I wouldn’t call it a cheesecake. It was just a pie shaped like a cheesecake. The second one is the one thats pictured. I used the weight measurements I had written down from the previous pie, but also used measuring cups and spoons to measure out the ingredients. I wrote down how many measuring cups or spoons it took to get the weight I wanted, so that you all can use this recipe even if you don’t have a scale!

PS: If you can find gluten-free gingersnaps, this would be SO easy to make as a gluten-free pie.

Here is the recipe:

Rich and Creamy Pumpkin Pie Filling

Makes: One nice full 9″ pie, or one 9″cheesecake-shaped pie. This filling is also thick enough that it might be fun to try using it as filling for small tarts or galettes.

Hardware Requirements: Blender Or Food Processor, Pie Pan or Springform Pan, Oven

Preparation time (including baking): Approx. 2 hours


3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Soymilk (Substitute any non-dairy milk)

3 Tablespoons Oil (Any type. You could also use less- as little as 1 Tablespoon-but it won’t be as creamy.)

2 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup (Substitute Brown sugar)

1 12.3 oz box Mori Nu Extra Firm Silken Tofu (Substitute any firm or extra firm tofu)

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (Packed really densely!) (If you do not have brown sugar, use 1/2 Cup + 1/3 Cup Granulated sugar)

4 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 Teaspoon Mace (Substitute Nutmeg)

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

3/4 Teaspoon Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 15 Oz can Pumpkin Puree (Not Pumpkin pie filling)


If you are using the Gingersnap Crumb crust, and you plan on using your blender to crush the gingersnaps, it will be to your advantage to make your crust first. This way, you will not be stuck with a blender full of pie filling with no crust to pour your filling into, and no way to make your crust until you have an empty blender… (Which is what happened to me last night.) If your using another pie crust recipe, its probably a good idea to prepare your pie crust ahead of time anyway, so that the crust can chill in the fridge while you blender-er (verb) your filling.

1) Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a blender. (Everything except the pumpkin). Puree on high speed, stopping to scrape sides as needed, until mixture is uniform, and any solid chunks of tofu have disappeared. (You could probably also use an immersion blender or a food processor)

2) Dump your can of pumpkin into the blender container. Depending on your blender, the mixture might be too thick now to be able to mix. (This is why you blendered your tofu independently in step one.) If your blender can handle it, mix the pumpkin with the tofu mixture using the blender. If your Blender needs help, either stir the mixture right in the blender bowl, or transfer to a mixing bowl to stir. Whichever way you do it, combine the pumpkin with the rest of the mixture thoroughly.

3) Pour the filling into your prepared crust. Jiggle it lightly to smooth it out.

4) Put your pie into your preheated 325 F oven. It will probably take 1 – 1.5 hours to bake, but watch it carefully near the end. This pie goes through 2 distinct baking stages. The first thing you will notice is that it stops jiggling when the pan is gently shaken (about 45 minutes into baking). This happens when he tofu protein sets up- It is not done yet though! because this pie depends on cornstarch for a good deal of it’s thickness, you need to wait until the starch sets up. When you are able to poke the top of the pie with your finger, apply the slightest bit of pressure, and the pie springs back into shape and doesn’t stick to your finger, then you know the starch has set up, and the pie is done.

Gingersnap Crumb Crust

Gingersnap crumb crust


3 Cups Store Bought Gingersnap Cookies (Measure whole cookies, then grind)

3 Tablespoons Vegan Margarine, Melted. (Substitute 2.5 tablespoons oil)


1) Grind Cookies in blender or food processor. You should end up with slightly more than 1.5 Cups ground cookie crumbs, but the exact amount isn’t crucial.

2) Transfer crumbs to pie pan or springform pan, and add melted margarine. Stir crumbs and fat together until mixed.

3) Press Crumb mixture into a compact, even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan. (Or just the bottom, if using a spring form pan.) This might take more patience and time than you expect. Work slowly and carefully.

4) Your crust is now ready to be filled.

3 Responses to “Rich and Creamy Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crumb Crust (Recipe)”

  1. Dawn said

    That’s the prettiest (and probably best-tasting) lab result I’ve ever seen. Great work!

  2. bazu said

    I love your recipes, and how exact they are! For example, I never know if when recipes call for “x cups of crushed y” if they mean measure before crushing or after… I need guidance, darnit!

  3. kim said

    nice work! i made a pretty nice p-pie for karla this year. it would be interesting to have a pumpkin pie bake-off! unfortunately, no vegan pie will ever be like our mom’s (it relies on separation of eggs, etc. and is A-MAZING). keep working on the mysteries, vegan warrior!

    ps – i found that using really really fatty coconut milk for 1/2 of my liquid yielded nice results w/no coconut flavor.

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