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Pumpkin Pie without Eggs

This perfect pumpkin pie is made without eggs but you’d never know it! In fact, since this is an eggless pumpkin pie, it is not going to crack or fall like other pumpkin pies!

In fact, this pumpkin pie is so easy to make and pretty much fool proof that I’d recommend it anyone even if they can eat eggs.

This is because, believe it or not, eggs are the ingredient that causes pumpkins to fall and crack if it is over cooked.

So, while I do not recommend overcooking your pie in any case, without the eggs it is not going to fall or crack if you do.

Dairy free pumpkin pie using an oil crust

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday but even I have to admit it isn’t the easiest one… a lot of work does go into making the perfect Thanksgiving meal.

For me, it is a labor of love and I am all the more happy sitting around the table watching the family I feel so grateful for enjoying the meal my Mom and I spent hours making.

Then, when the pumpkin pie is served it is bitter sweet because I know everything is coming to an end but my Mom’s pumpkin pie is also my most beloved food – my mom makes the best pumpkin pie!

What makes my mom’s pumpkin pie so good is that it is sweeter than most recipes which really helps bring all the other flavors out too.

In comparison, a regular pumpkin pie tastes boring and bland and I simply will not eat it.

I’ve made pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie with almond milk, and pumpkin pie with oat milk but the first time I made pumpkin pie without eggs I’ll admit I was a little nervous….

I really wasn’t worried about that when making this pie, but I was concerned that this pie wouldn’t be as creamy without the eggs.

Pumpkin pie is actually made with pumpkin-based custard filling and custards use eggs as thickeners…

I honestly cannot tell you how excited I was when this eggless pumpkin pie came out perfect! It really tasted just like my mom’s pumpkin pie!

If you’re looking for another eggless Thanksgiving classic, you may want to check out my cornbread without eggs.

HISTORY OF PUMPKIN PIE

The pumpkin is native to North America and was served at the first Thanksgiving.  

It was an early export from the New World to Europe and pumpkin pie recipes could be found in seventeenth century English cookbooks.

Pumpkin pies made by early American colonists were very different than what we know today as pumpkin pie. 

Their “pies” were actually savory soups made and served in a pumpkin rather than a sweet custard in a crust.

It was not until the early 1800s that the recipes appeared in American cookbooks and that pumpkin pie became a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner. 

At the same time in England, pumpkin “pies” were prepared by stuffing the pumpkin with apples, spices, and sugar, and then baking it whole.

WHY DO WE EAT PUMPKIN PIE ON THANKSGIVING?

This is actually due to the same incredible woman who is behind our celebrating Thanksgiving altogether: Sarah Josepha Hale.

Hale was a prominent writer and editor.

She wrote the children’s poem Mary Had a Little Lamb, helped found the American Ladies’ Magazine – which she used as a platform to promote women’s issues – and was the editor for Godey’s Ladys’ Book for more than 40 years, turning it into one of the most influential periodicals in the country.

While at Godey’s, Hale often wrote editorials and articles about the holidays, including Thanksgiving, despite it not being a holiday yet.

She believed that if Thanksgiving was passed as a federal holiday, it would help ease growing tensions and divisions between the North and South at the time.

Hale advocated for the national holiday for 17 years before it was successful. She wrote presidents Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan who all ignored her.

However, this didn’t stop her. She published recipes for the holiday in her magazine so women would know what to make for it. Among these recipes was pumpkin pie!

It was finally President Lincoln who listened, though he planned on declaring the holiday in April.

Hale wrote again, and within a week, Thanksgiving declared to be on the final Thursday in November.

He hoped, as Hale did, that it would help “heal the wounds of the nation.”

Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln halfway through the civil war. 

However, since pumpkins were native to the North, southern states had no tradition of eating pumpkin pie, and sothey saw it as a symbol of Yankee culture imposed on them. 

So, they made sweet potato pie instead. This tradition still holds in the South today, just as pumpkin pie does in the North.

Do you have to put eggs in pumpkin pie?

No, you do not have to put eggs in pumpkin pie, but if you don’t you’ll need to replace them with another thickener.

What happens if you don’t put egg in pumpkin pie?

Not using eggs in pumpkin pie doesn’t effect the flavor of the pie but unless you use another thickener you’ll end up with pumpkin pie soup in a crust bowl.

How do I substitute eggs for pumpkin?

The secrete to getting the perfect pumpkin pie without eggs is using cornstarch as a thickener.

I’ve used cornstarch for sauces, gravies, and even butternut squash pie when I didn’t drain the butternut squash enough so the mixture was too liquidy,

So, knowing the food science behind cornstarch, it made sense to me to use it to replace the eggs as a thickener in this pumpkin pie.

Honestly, it turned out even better than I was expecting!

To replace eggs in pumpkin pie you need 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water per egg – it worked like a charm!

CAN YOU USE REGULAR PUMPKINS TO MAKE PIE?

Technically you can but regular pumpkins do not have much flavor. Even sugar pumpkins aren’t ideal for pumpkin pie.

Libby’s uses a specific type of pumpkin called the Dickinson pumpkin that is a more similar to butternut squash than regular pumpkin.

HOW DO YOU SUBSTITUTE PUMPKIN PIE FILLING?

If you’re not thrilled by the idea of using filling that comes out of a tin can, or live abroad and don’t have access to pumpkin pie filling, butternut squash is a great substitute.

The New York Times did a pumpkin pie test to see which squash made the best pumpkin pie. As it turns out, butternut squash puree makes for the best pumpkin pie filling!

As it turns out, the Dickinson pumpkin used in making Libby’s pie filling is actually the most in taste and texture to butternut squash.  

I can actually confirm this to be true.

After moving to Israel, my Mom insisted on growing her own Dickinson pumpkins for pumpkin pie.

Funny thing, I was growing some pumpkins in the garden at the same time as butternut squash from seeds I had saved. Then one day, we found a butternut squash growing on the pumpkin vine!

Anyway, we made pumpkin pie with the Dickinson pumpkins, and it was exactly like my butternut squash pie.

No surprise, they were both just like Libby’s pumpkin pie filling.

Can I make this pumpkin pie vegan?

Sure, to make a vegan pumpkin pie just use the coconut milk option in the recipe.

If I use coconut milk in this recipe will my pie taste like coconut?

Nope. The coconut flavor is not at all detectable if you use it to make pumpkin pie.

MAKING AHEAD OF TIME

The filling can be made a day in advance. In fact, doing so allows the flavor of the spices to develop.

Freshly baked pumpkin pie will keep for about 3 to 4 days if covered and refrigerated.

CAN PUMPKIN PIE BE STORED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

No. It has a custard filling, so it needs to be refrigerated.

HOW TO STORE

Let cool to room temperature. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.

HOW TO FREEZE

Let cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap until tightly sealed. Then wrap in a layer of aluminum foil.

If you do not have plastic wrap and aluminum foil, place it in a resealable freezer bag.

Place on a level freezer shelf and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months. After this, the pie is still safe to eat but the quality begins to degrade.

DEFROST

When you are ready to defrost the pie, transfer it to the refrigerator. Let thaw for at least 12 hours.

Yield: 8 servings

Pumpkin Pie without Eggs

Dairy free pumpkin pie using an oil crust

This pumpkin pie is made without eggs but you'd never know it! It is just as luxurious as your classic pumpkin pie and it doesn't call for any special ingredients!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin*
  • 12 ounce can of evaporated milk or full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F or 160°C.
  2. Place sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves In a medium or large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add pumpkin filling, evaporated milk or coconut milk.  Whisk together by hand until well combined.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, pour the filling into a pie shell. Bake on the middle rack for 50 to 55 minutes or until the center has set.
  5. Cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature (about two hours). Refrigerate for 2 hours or over night.

Notes

*If you'd rather not use canned pumpkin, you can use homemade butternut squash puree and it will taste exactly the same and even have a little prettier of a color.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 1g

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