Pumpkin Pie with Speculoos Crust

The idea for this recipe was so clear and simple in my mind, I was assured of its immediate success. 

The pie, yet unmade, begged to differ. 

It took three trials and much, much research to get it right. Before anyone tells me three trials for a dessert recipe is nothing, consider this: I am but a humble student who needs to feed herself well enough to keep alert during lectures, and this on a budget tight as a corset. This isn’t exactly a cheap pie to make–not by my standards–so shopping at Waitrose for pumpkin puree was getting a bit pricy. 

Third time’s the charm. 

But finally, finally it all came together to form a deeply satisfying creamy texture, along with the right autumny flavours and the right colour. My first pie was too spicy; the second’s filling sunk tremendously; they were both too dark. But after all that effort I am rewarded with a recipe I will be able to use every year for the rest of my life, and providing my future children won’t be too picky, I’ll pass it down to them. 

They better be grateful, after all I went through. 

Makes a small, 8 inch pie
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes

For the filling:
1 +1/2 can pumpkin puree
50g firm tofu
1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder (more makes the pie firmer–choose how gooey you like your filling)
3 tbsp maple syrup
75ml coconut cream (or scoop the fat out of a chilled can of full-fat coconut milk, not shaken or stirred)
2 tsp mixed spiced (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the crust:
250g speculoos biscuits
75g vegan margarine or fat spread

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. 
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they have become a fine, sandy powder. Add the vegan margarine and keep on processing until the powder starts to clump together. Transfer to a buttered/lined springform pan and press the crust mixture down with your fingers, making sure it forms a solid base. Don’t worry too much about pressing it to the sides. Leave it in the fridge to set while you get on with the filling.
In a food processor or blender, whizz together the tofu and maple syrup until you obtain a smooth paste. Transfer this to a mixing bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients, using a spatula to fold them in. Have a taste to make sure the spices are to your satisfaction. 
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. 

Do make sure to let the pie cool before you attempt to release it from the springform; while it is hot, the base will be fragile and the filling may not have set completely. Your patience will be rewarded in the end, I promise 🙂

— Clem

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