Best Pumpkin Pie

A smooth, spiced pumpkin filling and sweet, nutty pecan crust make this pumpkin pie recipe the absolute best -  two slices for me, please!

Pumpkin pie recipe

Growing up, my favorite part of Thanksgiving was the pumpkin pie. All year, I’d look forward to that creamy, cinnamon-y, custardy filling. I loved pumpkin pie filling so much that I’d scoop it right out of its pie crust, leaving a triangle-shaped shell of pastry on my plate. I’d then pass it to my Dad (who ate everything my sister and I left behind), and ask for another slice.

As an adult, I often opt for apple crisp because I don’t think Jack will eat all of my empty crusts (ok, actually, he might), but either way, that’s not an issue anymore! Today, I’m here to tell you about the BEST pumpkin pie recipe, which uses a delectable brown sugar pecan crust in place of traditional crust. Toasty, nutty, and crisp, this crust contrasts perfectly with the creamy filling… and, of course, the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and pecans just belong together. This is pumpkin pie perfection and you won’t want to leave a crumb behind!

The recipe comes from Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer’s gorgeous new book Fraiche Food, Full Hearts, which came out at the perfect time. Not only is it filled with delicious looking (mostly plant-based) recipes, but it’s organized around celebrations. Right now I have my eye on their vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, which has a Mushroom Wellington recipe as the main course, and their Christmas menu, which includes Potato Garlic Cauliflower Mash, Sticky Apple Date Toffee Pudding, and Vegan Eggnog. Tori’s recipes have a healthful slant (she’s a registered dietician), and she also has a a beautiful blog, Fraiche Nutrition, that I recommend you check out!

Now let’s make pie!

Pumpkin pie recipe ingredients

Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this homemade pumpkin pie recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree – Use canned, or make your own.
  • Cashew cream – This homemade cream takes the place of evaporated milk, and it makes the pumpkin pie filling wonderfully rich.
  • Eggs – They give the filling richness and structure.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves combine to create an amazing homemade pumpkin pie spice for this recipe. They give the filling a warm, full, and well-balanced flavor.
  • Brown sugar – I’ll never make pumpkin pie with granulated sugar again! Brown sugar adds a deeper, caramelized sweetness to both the crust and the filling.
  • Pecans – Toasty pecans + pumpkin are a match made in heaven. This gluten free pie crust is so delicious, you won’t miss a traditional pie shell at all.
  • Oat flour – You can use store bought oat flour, or make your own by blending whole rolled oats in a food processor until they form a fine powder.
  • Butter or vegan butter – It acts as the binder for the nutty crust. Use whichever you keep on hand!

Pie dough in a pie pan

How to Make Pumpkin Pie

Ready to bake? Here’s what you need to do:

First, make the crust. In a food processor, pulse the crust ingredients until they are finely ground and stick together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch pie pan and press it evenly and firmly over the bottom and sides of the pan to form the crust.

Homemade pumpkin pie recipe

Next, bake the crust in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes, until it looks slightly cooked, but not brown. The crust may puff up a bit as it bakes, but don’t worry! There’s no need for pie weights here – it will deflate as it cools.

Pie crust

While the crust cools, whisk together the filling. Combine the pumpkin puree, spices, cashew cream, brown sugar, and eggs in a large bowl, and whisk until smooth.

Whisking wet ingredients in a bowl Pumpkin pie filling

Then, assemble and bake the pie! Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center is set, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow it to cool completely before slicing. I recommend serving it with whipped cream or coconut cream. I also like to sprinkle mine with extra toasted pecans for crunch. 🙂

Enjoy!

How to make pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Tips

  • Let the crust cool before adding the filling. After the crust pre-bakes, allow it to cool slightly before pouring in the filling. It doesn’t need to be completely cool, but a piping hot crust will start cooking the filling before it goes in the oven. Giving the crust a few minutes to cool will help the pie bake evenly.
  • Use a glass to make an even crust. To ensure that your crust has an even thickness, Jillian and Tori recommend smoothing it with the flat bottom of a glass. If the crust mixture sticks to your glass, cover it with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Make it ahead! Like all the best Thanksgiving recipes, you can make this pumpkin pie ahead of time. Just make the recipe from start to finish, allow the pie to cool, and store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. I made a double recipe when we took these photographs, and I can attest that it still tastes great on days 2 and 3 (and even on days 4 and 5).

Pumpkin pie

Without question, I’ll be making this pumpkin pie recipe for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and I hope you do too! If you want more ideas for putting together a beautiful, plant-forward holiday meal, I heartily recommend you check out Fraiche Food, Full Hearts!

Fraiche Food, Full Hearts Cookbook

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re looking for more ideas for your Thanksgiving feast, try any of these favorite recipes:

Best pumpkin pie recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews

Best Pumpkin Pie

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The BEST pumpkin pie recipe! You'll love the smooth, spiced filling inside the homemade pecan crust. From Fraiche Food, Full Hearts. Reprinted with permission.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Cashew Cream (makes a little extra)
  • 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight*
  • 1½ cups water
Pecan Crust
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter or vegan butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
Filling
  • 1½ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cups Cashew Cream (recipe above)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Toppings (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make the cashew cream. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. In a high-speed blender, blend the drained cashews and the water on high speed until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Make the crust. In a food processor, combine the pecans, oat flour, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground and sticks together well when pressed between your fingers.
  4. Tip the pecan mixture into a 10-inch pie pan and, using the flat bottom of a glass, press it evenly and firmly onto the bottom and up the sides to form the crust.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crust looks slightly cooked but not brown. Set aside.
  6. Make the filing. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, Cashew Cream, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center of the pie is set (a butter knife should come out clean), 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes
*You can skip soaking the cashews if using a Vitamix Blender.

25 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Elizabeth
    11.03.2019

    This looks amazing. Is there a way to make the filling vegan? Can I use Flax Eggs? Thank you!! Kindly Elizabeth

      • Elizabeth
        11.03.2019

        Hi Jeanine! Ok, I’m glad I asked! I’ll try the Parfaits. They look amazing too. My families has enjoyed SO many of your amazing recipes. Thank you so much! Kindly Elizabeth

  2. Elizabeth
    11.03.2019

    We always appreciate the vegan variations for non-vegan recipes.

  3. Nancy Wurtz
    11.03.2019

    this looks amazing! My son is allergic to cashews (he can eat pecans and some other nuts–like almonds). Is there any good substitute the make the cashew cream? thanks, love your recipes!

    • Katemonster
      11.03.2019

      Usually, coconut cream can take the place of cashew cream. It’s available on Amazon in 13.5oz cans, and at some grocery stores in the international food section next to the canned coconut milk. Most grocery stores only carry small cans of coconut cream, about 5oz if they have it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.03.2019

      I actually think full fat canned coconut milk would work here – the cashew cream in this recipe is about that same consistency. Without trying it myself, I can’t be 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure that would work.

      • Melissa G
        12.10.2019

        I made this with one can of whole foods 365 brand full fat coconut instead of the cashew cream. It was delicious! My whole family and extended family loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe. This is going to be a new fall staple in our home.

  4. Sandy Hopper
    11.03.2019

    I definitely want to make this. However, I do not see a link as to how to make cashew cream. Did I miss something?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.03.2019

      Hi Sandy, it’s in the very beginning of the recipe, above “Pecan Crust” and then in the instructions in Step 1.

      • Sandy Hopper
        11.04.2019

        OF COURSE! There it is! Sorry!

  5. Natalie from lilcookie.com
    11.03.2019

    I love pumpkin pie! Looks so creamy and delicious – perfect for upcoming Thanksgiving ♥

  6. Ruth S.
    11.06.2019

    I used to love making pies for my husband. Ever since he passed away I stopped baking. I never know what to do anymore, I just cry when I think of baking now.

    Looks delicious! Mmmm mmm!!!

    • Rachel
      11.07.2019

      What a sweet comment. Sending you a big hug!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.08.2019

      oh, I’m so sorry to hear.

  7. Wow! It’s really the best pumpkin pie ever! It was really easy to make and it turned out awesome! Thank you!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.12.2019

      Hi Joshua, I’m so glad you loved it as much as we did!

  8. Caitlin
    11.24.2019

    Not sure I can get my husband on board with the cashew cream. If I use regular evaporated milk, do you think the recipe will still work? Love all of your recipes by the way!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2019

      Hi Caitlin, I promise he won’t taste the difference! This pie tastes so decadent and not at all healthy :). I haven’t tested it with evaporated milk, so I couldn’t say what the result would be.

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes!

  9. Carrie
    11.27.2019

    I accidentally put in all the cashew cream (I think 2 cups) and my pie won’t set. Been in the over for 70 minutes now and stopped wiggling but the knife comes out liquidy in the middle and sides of the filling. Any ideas to save it or is it safe to eat? I’ll have to buy a pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow but I hate to waste it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.28.2019

      Hi Carrie, oh no! That’s definitely the problem if there’s too much liquid vs. egg ratio. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix it if it’s already been baking.

      • Carrie
        11.28.2019

        Thanks for getting back to me! I plan on spooning some in my oatmeal this week. The flavor is good just hate I goofed up. Happy thanksgiving!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          11.28.2019

          I think that’s a good reusable idea :). I’ll try to write that direction more clearly. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Claire
    12.05.2019

    Hi! This was so delicious, but I did have some issues getting the pie to set. It didn’t form slices when I cut it. Any tips? Regardless, the flavor was excellent and no one minded my presentation. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.05.2019

      Hi Claire, it sounds like it could bake a little longer. I baked mine until the center felt set to the touch while still in the oven (the longer side of the time range). I hope that helps and I’m glad everyone enjoyed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.