Knock-Out Vegan Pumpkin Pie

V stands for Very Tasty

V stands for Very Tasty

This pie was a revelation. The pie itself is fantastic, and is a stand-alone favorite, V or no V. It comes from the November issue of Self, the one with UFC star Ronda Rousey on the cover. That’s where the revelation comes in. I’ve been staring at that cover for a solid two weeks, flipping to the pie occasionally to remind myself of what ingredients not to forget this time I go to the store. Each time I flipped past the story on Ronda, looking at the pictures but not tempted to read a word of it (or to even google UFC. It’s Ultimate Fight Championship. Pretend you knew that—I won’t tell.

Then she got knocked out. Suddenly I heard her name pop up a lot. Even my husband commented on the great Ronda Rousey losing a match. Now, give me a loser and you have my interest. It’s not schadenfreude, but a strong aversion to packaged success stories…especially when they double as fashion spreads.

Anyway, I finally read the article (in which she is interviewed by a comedian) and it was hugely compelling: revealing, honest, unusual. She did talk about leaving a legacy as an undefeated champ. So much for that, but by losing she got at least one person who was only interested in pie to read her story and now care about her.  I am still not sure I could actually watch a UFC match—way too much blood, guaranteed—but go Ronda.

Now, on to pie. This is awesome. I made it with kabocha squash that I had baked. You could also use fresh pumpkin or butternut squash or the canned stuff. I can’t use the canned stuff, having recently been burned by a legacy can in the pantry. Oops.

With pumpkin pie the Vegan situation means no eggs, milk or cream in the pie and no butter in the crust. Coconut milk subs for the liquid and somehow enough squash just makes the egg factor go away. The crust—where you can really do some dietary damage with pies—is pretty darned healthy, and even easier to put together than a graham cracker crust. It’s a total win. Top it with whipped coconut cream for the full V experience, or with regular whipped cream from happy cows. It’s time to get your pomegranate game on, so you can get fancy and sprinkle some of those on top too. Either way, you’re going to wish you had room for seconds.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie


  • 1  Pecan-Coconut Crust, frozen
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (13 oz) coconut milk


Heat oven to 375°. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add vanilla, pumpkin puree and coconut milk and mix until well combined. Place frozen shell on a baking sheet and slowly pour in filling. Bake on center rack of oven 25 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and continue baking until filling is set and no longer looks wet at center, 20 to 30 minutes more. (Mine took longer. No eggs means it won’t set as firmly but it will set more as it cools.) Cool 2 to 3 hours. Serve lightly chilled.

Pecan Coconut Crust


  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast pecans until fragrant; set aside and cool. Reduce heat to medium-low and toast coconut, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes; cool. In a food processor, process pecans, coconut, sugar and salt until mixture is fine and sticks together slightly. Pour into an ungreased 9″ pie pan. Press into bottom and sides of pan. Freeze until solid. Makes 1 crust.