If you’ve been reading my blog for a little bit, or following me on Instagram, you know I am in love with Minimalist Baker. Dana’s recipes never fail to surprise and delight. They are everything I want in a recipe: healthy, simple, quick and delicious. While furiously scrolling through my Instagram the other day, I saw these mini pumpkin pies from MB, and I thought “VEGAN PIE! Bring it on!” And, there is something about mini food. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with a Dutch mom who thought mini cookies would make me eat fewer of them. (It didn’t.) Whatever it is, I had to try make these little bites of pumpkin heaven.
I have to tell you guys: I am not a baker. My sister got the baking gene, and I got the cooking gene. So, making regular pie dough is a stretch. Making coconut oil crust pie dough is, well, nothing short of an adventure.
The actual recipe is simple, but if you aren’t an experienced baker (which I am not!), heed some advice from these lessons.
Lesson 1: Buy quality coconut oil. It will affect the outcome. High-quality ingredients will give you a high-quality product.
Lesson 2: Whole wheat flour makes a heavy pie crust. This would be one of maybe two situations where I would use white, processed flour over whole wheat. The crust was flaky, sure, but also very grainy and heavy.
Lesson 3: You don’t need a pastry cutter. In fact, it’s more fun without one. But, please wash your hands.
Lesson 4: Don’t wear black. You will be covered in flour. Unless you’re into that, then by all means, wear black on black on black.
Lesson 5: Have all the equipment you need. I didn’t have a rolling pin (baking fail) or corn starch or a pastry cutter. A few (dozen) text messages later, I managed to gather all the necessary tools and made my crust.
Lesson 6: Have fun. Obvious, but important. Whether your pies turn out at the end or not, have fun with the process. Get messy. Make mistakes. Baking is a delicate alchemy that takes patience and passion.
Now, the recipe.
[recipe title="Vegan Mini Pumpkin Pie" servings="12" time="approximately 2 hours"]
- 2 3/4 cups (~466 g) pumpkin puree (~1 1/2 15-ounce cans)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Grade A maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (55 g) dark or light muscovado sugar (or sub organic brown sugar or coconut sugar)
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp (17.5 g) cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups (272 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup (160 g) coconut oil, scoopable (not liquid)*
- 3-6 Tbsp (45-90 ml) ice cold water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add all pie filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust flavor as needed (it shouldn’t need anything). Set aside.
- To prepare crust, add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Next add coconut oil in spoonfuls (see photo) and use a pastry cutter (or fork) to cut the two together, until it resembles wet sand – about 30-45 seconds.
- Add ice cold water 1 Tbsp at a time and use a wooden spoon to gently mix. Add only as much water as needed to help it come together and form a dough – about 3-4 Tbsp.
- Use your hands to gently knead/form the dough in the bowl and gather any loose scraps. Then transfer directly to a well-floured surface and form into a disc with your hands.
- Roll out your dough into a circle about 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour if the crust sticks. Then use a large, round cookie cutter (~3 1/4-inch in diameter) to cut out as many circles as the dough will allow – you’re aiming for 12, and you should have more than enough dough.
- Dust a large wooden cutting board (or other surface) with flour, and use a spatula to scoop on one circle at a time.
- Lightly flour top of circle, then use your rolling pin to gently roll it out slightly larger and thinner – about 1.5 times its starting size. Be careful not to get it too thin or it will be difficult to work with.
- Use your spatula to lift the crust, then use your hands to drape the crust into your muffin tin, allowing the edges to fold and curl over itself to accommodate its shape (see photo). Use your hands to carefully form the crust into the tins, being careful not to stretch the dough, but rather fold and push it down to meet the tin’s shape.
- Repeat until all tins have been filled and most of the crust is used – reserve any leftover for future pies or other baked goods.
- Pour filling into pie crusts a generous 3/4 full, and use a spoon to level the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is light golden brown and the filling appears golden brown and slightly cracked on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving – about 2-3 hours. Serve at room temperature, or transfer to a serving platter, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or overnight. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.
For all the notes and tips for the coconut oil crust, check out the original recipe here.
I ended up making the coconut whipped cream, but only by request. Be careful when buying coconut milk – not all cans are created equal. The coconut milk did not harden, so I had to get creative to achieve the “whippy” texture. The taste, though, was amazing. It’s what I imagine whipped cream tastes like in heaven. Here is the recipe: Coconut Whipped Cream.
XO | britt