If you’re like me, Thanksgiving can be stressful.
Not because it’s a holiday centered on gratefulness and food, but because when you’re married and then have kids, it becomes quite busy. We usually have at least two family gatherings to attend on Thanksgiving.
Now that doesn’t sound like a big deal...until you realize you have to make something for both sides of the family and whatever dishes you prepare need to feed 20 to 30 people at each affair!
On top of that, factor in our plant-based family lifestyle. Since we've adopted it, I typically make our own meals to travel with us since there is maybe one diet-friendly side at each party.
Don’t get me wrong, there is far more to be grateful about than I’m making it out to sound like right now...I’m just painting a picture here.
So you can see that on Thanksgiving, any dishes I can make ahead of time will be incredibly helpful!
After my husband, daughter, and I tasted the meatloaf from Damaris’ cookbook, Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, we knew that would be our main dish for the day. And since I already posted about that recipe in Challenge #4 (Damaris Wrote a Book! Let's Cook!), I thought challenging myself to a dessert this time around would be fun!
If you follow Bluebird + Blackberries on Instagram (@bluebirdandblackberries), you might have been one of the many who were interested in the vegan, gluten-free, nut-free pie I made recently (and if you don't follow us, you should!).
And so, that seemed to be the obvious dish to share with you today!
It's pie! Slab pie!
Because of the versatility of this amazing dessert, I want to briefly lay out some key notes about adapting the recipe to suit your own needs:
- So you aren't vegan?...Well, this pie tastes amazing regardless, so try it. I guarantee that it will pleasantly surprise any skeptic. Also, if you like, you can substitute ¾ cup of the shortening called for in the crust with butter.
- So you aren't gluten free (you "love the 'glutens'!", as my friend's daughter says)?...just replace the gluten-free flour with your favorite all-purpose flour.
- Need more than one pie?...The pie-filling recipe can actually be doubled to make two pies since the crust recipe already makes a double (traditional) crust. Or you can stick to the original plan and use the full-crust recipe to make a slab pie, like I did. (Disclaimer: I did have a little crust left over, but since when is that a problem?! Hello! Mini muffin pies, here I come!)
- You're vegan but you want a butterier crust?...You can substitute ¾ cup of shortening with cold, cubed, non-dairy butter for a buttery crust versus a flaky one.
- Wondering why I used sunflower oil?...It lends a light, nutty flavor to the pie, but nothing overwhelming. I like using it because I get a little tired of coconut-flavored-everything in vegan baking. 😉
- Where did I get my inspiration for this incredible recipe?...My slab pie is adapted from a recipe shared by a blogger named Lisa at a site called the The Viet Vegan.
- And—last but not least—what kind of pan did I use?...I couldn't find the exact pan I used for sale anywhere—I've had it for years. It’s by Danny Seo and I got it at TJMaxx. However, I did find a pan that is close in shape and size if you decide you'd like to make a slab pie!
Now that you've got all my notes, I'll share with you my last truth, which is that this recipe takes technically more than 20 minutes because of the crust's chill time (1 hour). But since you’re not baking it off right away, the recipe still involves only 25 to 30 minutes of active cooking time.
As a vegan, I’m used to things taking a little longer from scratch anyway. 😉
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
Vegan Pumpkin Slab Pie
servings: 1 slab pie or 2 traditional pies
- 2½ cups gluten-free 1:1 flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup vegetable shortening (preferably organic), cold + cubed
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh is amazing, but canned will work great, too)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup sunflower oil (or melted coconut oil)
- ¼ cup vanilla non-dairy creamer or milk (I used almond, but use soy for nut-free)
- ¼ cup aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas) or 1 flax egg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse just a few times to combine.
- Add the shortening to the flour mixture and pulse about 10 to 12 times until coarse, pea-sized meal forms.
- With the food processor running, add 6 to 8 tablespoons of ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to form a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball. Cut the ball in half (if making two 9-inch pies) and then flatten each half into a disc. If you are making a slab pie, flatten the ball out into one large rectangle. Wrap the discs/rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Once the crust dough is chilled, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, creamer (or milk), aquafaba, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract; set this mixture aside.
- Place the dough between two large sheets of plastic wrap, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to your desired thickness (mine was close to ¼-inch thick for the slab version).
- Very carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin to pick it up and place it into the pie or tart pan. Then gently use the pads of your fingers to help push the dough to fill all the edges of the pan. Trim any excess dough that hangs over the edge of the pan.
- Pour the filling into the crust, then place the pie on a flat surface, such as a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Place the pie on the pan in the freezer, unwrapped, until it is frozen solid. Once the pie filling is no longer sticky, carefully wrap the pie with food storage wrap and keep it frozen until you are ready to bake it.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the frozen pie on the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350°F for approximately 30 to 45 minutes more.
- It helps to chill your shortening (and/or butter) in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before you’re going to make the crust.
- If you want to bake immediately without freezing, place the pie in an oven preheated to 350°F and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let it cool completely at room temperature before serving. Please do not chill the pie before allowing it to cool completely; this will create condensation on the filling and make it look wet. The pie would still be edible, but not as pretty. Refrigerate the baked pie overnight on ThanksVegan Eve to enjoy the next day!
- Prep Time: 25 minutes; active time: 25 to 30 minutes; inactive time: 1 hour.