This paleo No-Bake Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Tart with Chocolate Ganache whips up in just 30 minutes, is full of fall flavor, and makes an elegant addition to your holiday dessert spread.
I admit, I’m not much of a pie-eater except for my mom’s crumble-topped apple. Maybe it’s because pie is one of those things that’s usually an all-day affair to make, or maybe it’s because it’s one of those things that’s so easy to mess up one of the components of (I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had a pasty, bland-flavored crust drenched in a soupy fruit mixture). In any event, pie just usually isn’t my thing.
No one seems to want to get on board with my pie-averse ways though, and as we all know, if you can’t beat them, join them. This year I decided that the best way to tackle my pie problems was to come up with something we would all be happy with: easy to whip together, full of fall flavor, and, dare I say it, healthy as well.
This little number takes the cake, or the pie, so to speak.
Let’s start with the filling because it’s usually the star of the pie show and most often the make-or-break component. Here I used the magic of cashews to lend their rich, creamy texture, perfectly blended with the flavors of pumpkin, maple, and warm spices. Not only is the filling smooth and velvety, but it’s perfectly sweet without being overly so, and the spice level is on-point.
And the crust. Because really, although a pie is named after the filling, if the crust isn’t good, I’m hard-pressed to want to finish a slice. This crust is not only no-bake, but it comes together in a matter of about 10 minutes from start to finish in the food processor. It has a hint of vanilla aroma and a nutty/coconut flavor. Dates add the perfect amount of sweetness and bring it together into a cohesive “dough”. I used Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Hazelnut Meal/Flour, which is a nutritious source of fiber and vitamin E and adds a lovely nutty flavor. Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut adds a bit of coconut flavor (and I love that their product is unsulphured!), which I think makes the crust taste somewhat reminiscent of raw coconut macaroons. If you want, you can bump up the festive factor in the crust and add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix.
The chocolate ganache speaks for itself. It’s the icing on the pie and adds a little bit of glam too; if you like the dark chocolate/spiced pumpkin flavor profile, this will be right up your alley. If not, you can always forgo the chocolate ganache in favor of a thicker layer of coconut whipped “cream” on top (or regular whipped cream, if keeping this paleo isn’t a concern).
This non-traditional pie takes just 30 minutes to whip up; just make sure you remember to soak the cashews an hour ahead of time, and you’ll also need to let the pumpkin layer set for an hour before topping with the ganache layer. And you can make this beauty up to five days ahead! (Because we all know the struggle is real when it comes to finding oven time for the turkey, side dishes, and dessert in the day or so leading up to Thanksgiving!) Just cover this tart and keep it in the fridge and hold off on adding the whipped cream until right before serving.
What kind of pie will be on your holiday table?
- 1 cup (112 g) Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Hazelnut Meal/Flour
- 1 cup (80 g) Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 oz (115 g) pitted soft Medjool dates (about 6 to 8 dates, soaked in hot water for 3 minutes and then drained if they’re not soft)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup (112 g) whole raw unsalted cashews, soaked in warm water for 1 hour and then drained
- ¾ cup (180 g) pumpkin puree (canned is fine, but not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 oz/60 g pitted soft Medjool dates (about 3 to 4 dates, soaked in hot water for 3 minutes and then drained if they’re not soft)
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, shaken before measuring
- 4 oz (115 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped (look for stevia-sweetened, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, and gluten-free chocolate to keep this paleo)
- Whipped coconut “cream”
- Freshly-grated nutmeg
- For the crust, add the hazelnut flour, coconut, vanilla, and salt to a food processor and then pulse a few times to combine. Pulse in the dates and then process until it forms a crumbly dough. Drizzle in the coconut oil with the motor running, and continue processing until it comes together to form a dough that holds together when you squeeze it in your hands. Press the dough into the bottom and about 1½ inches up the sides of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan or a tart pan.
- For the filling, add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes, tamping down as necessary. Spread the pumpkin filling out in the prepared crust; cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
- Once the pumpkin filling is set, make the ganache. Heat the coconut milk to simmering in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate to a medium heat-safe bowl and pour the hot coconut milk over it; let it sit 10 minutes and then whisk the mixture until smooth. Spread the chocolate on top of the pumpkin filling.
- Cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 1 hour.
- If desired, top with whipped coconut “cream” and freshly-grated nutmeg; serve.
Disclosure: I’m thrilled to partner with Bob’s Red Mill as a brand ambassador. I received the Bob’s Red Mill product that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.