Vegan Pumpkin Pie Squares with Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust
for the crust:
- 2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (see note)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar syrup (or brown rice syrup)
for the pumpkin filling:
- 1 (14-ounce/400 mL) can pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (use only the white cream portion, see note)
- 1.5 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch fine grain sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8-inch square pan. Now, line the pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. I like to spray the first piece of parchment paper with non-stick oil so the second piece sticks nicely and doesn't fall over.
Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham crumbs, melted coconut oil, and sweetener until the crumbs are thoroughly coated in the mixture. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Starting from the middle, press the crumbs into the pan firmly and evenly. You really want to press hard so the crust sticks together nicely. I use a pastry roller to roll the crust and compact it even more. Using your fingers, press in the edges until even.
Pre-bake the crust, uncovered, for 10 minutes at 350F.
Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and maple syrup until no clumps remain. Add this and all of the other filling ingredients into a food processor and process until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. When the crust has come out of the oven, immediately pour this filling on top of the baked crust and smooth out as evenly as possible with a spatula.
Bake, uncovered, for around 41-43 minutes at 350F until the filling has darkened slightly and it's semi-firm to the touch (although the filling will still be very soft and sticky!). Place on a cooling rack for about 60 minutes and then into the fridge to set overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Freezer lover's note: The freezer will expedite this process. Just sayin'.
Slice into squares and serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream on top and a dusting of cinnamon and chopped pecans.
Store leftovers in the fridge or freeze for later.
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