For those who cannot or choose not to eat dairy or gluten, and even for those who can, this vegan chocolate pumpkin pie is the answer to the chocolate-covered good life. The pumpkin flavour is barely detected, instead acting as a structural backbone for the pudding. And, pumpkin provides antiaging skin support thanks to its high vitamin A content.
Store squash and pumpkin in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight for 2 to 3 months.
Orange zest, espresso powder, peppermint, or any other chocolate flavour pairing you can dream up may be added to the filling.
Almond Oat Crust
2 cups (500 mL) gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup (250 mL) blanched almonds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (1mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) unsweetened plain almond milk or soymilk
1 cup (250 mL) pumpkin purée
6 oz (about 1 cup/250 mL) chopped vegan dark chocolate or chocolate chips
3 Tbsp (45 mL) arrowroot flour (arrowroot starch) or tapioca flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 mL) pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, or toasted chopped almonds, optional
For crust, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place 8 to 10 in (20 to 26 cm) removable bottom tart tin on large rimmed baking sheet. In food processor or blender, blend oats, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until coarse meal forms. Pulse in coconut oil until fully combined and a loose dough is formed. Firmly press dough into tart tin, including up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
For pudding, in medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk milk, pumpkin, chocolate, arrowroot, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk constantly until chocolate is melted (about 5 minutes). Continue to whisk for 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken and large bubbles start to pop on top. Once thick and bubbling, continue to whisk for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Strain through fine sieve into large bowl. Stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap directly over surface. Cool to room temperature (do not refrigerate until poured into the crust).
To assemble, whisk cooled pudding mixture until smooth and pour into prepared, cooled crust. Smooth out top and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or up to 1 day. Garnish with pomegranate, cranberry, or almonds; slice and serve chilled.