Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’m already hard at work testing pies and casseroles and all sorts of pumpkin-related things.
I wanted to make sure you were prepared for the holiday with the best dairy free Thanksgiving recipes because I don’t want you to miss out on your favorite dishes just because they have dairy in them.
What is a dairy free substitute for evaporated milk?
Pumpkin pie has been a tricky one for me. Traditional recipes call for evaporated or sweetened, condensed milk, which tend to be hard to substitute with making your own condensed almond milk.
But, as you know, I like to keep things as simple as possible, and this was just not a step I was willing to add to my pumpkin pie recipe.
I decided to make my pumpkin pie with coconut milk in place of evaporated milk.. The full-fat, canned kind. It’s a little thinner, than evaporated milk, but since the base is a custard, I knew it would set just fine in the oven.
I did change the ratio of liquid-sugar-eggs just a little to make sure we didn’t end up with a soft, gooey mess when it came out of the oven. See also: are eggs dairy?
Here’s what you’ll need to make dairy free pumpkin pie
Do I need to pre-bake the crust for pumpkin pie?
I should start by saying that I am a fan of store-bought crust. I don’t think it’s worth the energy to make your own, especially since dairy free cooking can be so complicated and time-consuming.
If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, than definitely use it. To give myself a little more crust to work with for the edge, I always roll mine out just a little.
You don’t need to blind bake your crust for this recipe, but it wouldn’t hurt. The process of blind baking just allows the crust to crisp up a little more, so you don’t end up with a soggy crust.
If you have the time, I would recommend it because Thanksgiving pies tend to get made in advance, and the added moisture of covering and storing the fridge can further affect the crust.
How to blind bake a crust for pumpkin pie
Preheat your oven to 375˚F. Place your crust into the pan and place a piece of parchment on top. Gently fill it with dried beans, rice or pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling up in the center.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then, let your crust full cool before adding your pumpkin pie filling and baking as the recipe instructs.
How to make dairy free pumpkin pie
Prepare your crust (see instructions above).
Bake your pie. Pour the filling into your prepared crust and pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes at 425˚F, and then reduce the heat to 350˚F for the next 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let your pie cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for making the best dairy free pumpkin pie
- Choose the right coconut milk. I recommend using a full-fat, canned coconut milk that contains about 60% coconut. If your coconut milk contains too much water, you will end up with a soggy, mushy pie.
- If you have a pie crust shield, use it when baking your pie to prevent the crust from getting too brown.
- Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the very center of the pie. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
- Serve your pie with dairy free whipped cream or your favorite dairy free vanilla ice cream.
10 EASY DAIRY FREE SUBSTITUTIONS
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- 1 store bought pie crust
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Roll your crust to fit your pie plate and trim or flute edges.
- Blind bake with pie weights for 15 minutes. Remove and allow crust to cool completely before filling.
- In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into cooled pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚F and continue baking for 40 – 45 minutes, or until filling has set.
- Remove from oven and allow pie to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Published: September 17, 2018. Updated: April 2, 2022.
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