In my search for WFPB Thanksgiving dessert ideas I stumbled across Detoxinista’s No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts. They are basically miniature pumpkin pies…perfect! They are easy enough to make, but I had trouble finding unsweetened shredded or flake coconut. Try a whole foods or health food store. If, like me, you are not a coconut fan, rest assured! You can barely taste or feel the texture of the coconut. The pumpkin flavor and sweetness of the maple syrup and dates overpowers the coconut completely.
The “mini pies” are very sweet and easy to make. I think they took me about 20 minutes from start to finish on my first try.
Servings: 8 mini-pies (if you’re making this for multiple people, I would recommend allotting at least 2-3 pies per person)
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup shredded (0r flake) unsweetened coconut
- 2½-3 tbs. maple syrup (add up to 3 tbs. if needed for sticky consistency)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pie filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½-¾ cup almond milk (add ½ cup to start, add more if consistency seems too thick)
- ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates (soaked for 10 minutes or not, your choice, but it blends better if you soak them)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
Notes: Try ¼ cup almond milk and ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (instead of using full almond milk amount) for a creamier, slightly sweeter pumpkin pie filling. I liked it when I made it without the applesauce, but it’s good both ways.
Line a standard muffin pan with 8 paper cups and set aside.
First we’ll make the crust. Put the walnuts and coconut in a small food processor. I didn’t have a small one available so I was stuck using my large container. It blends the same, it’s just a pain to scrape down the insides over and over to ensure proper blending.
You want to blend the nuts and coconut until it’s a fine meal. Don’t overdo the mixing or you’ll turn it into walnut butter.
Add the maple syrup and salt and process just enough to get everything sticky. It should be clumping up and sticky to the touch.
Scoop out the crust mix and try to roughly get about the same amount in each of the parchment cups. Press the mix down with your fingers and push it around to completely fill the bottom of the cup. Put the pan in the refrigerator to start hardening up the crusts while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling.
The pie filling is easy. Throw all the pie filling ingredients in the blender and blend until they are completely smooth. You may need to periodically scrape down the sides and continue blending to get it as creamy as possible.
The pie filling is going to stay a pretty dark color and a little thicker because we aren’t adding any oils or other ingredients that will thin out the pumpkin or make the recipe non-WFPB. Don’t worry about the color! It still tastes great 🙂
Take the pan out of the fridge and scoop the pumpkin filling over each of the crusts. Smoosh it around (spoon or your finger) to cover the crusts and smooth the tops (as much as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth).
Refrigerate them for at least 4 hours, though longer is better. I put them in the fridge overnight and they weren’t dried out or anything by the next morning.
That’s it! After chilling, they are ready to serve! I would definitely recommend serving them as immediately as possible to preserve the integrity of the shape, although I’ve had them out of the fridge for a couple hours and they seem to do alright.
The pies will not be “firm” to the touch. They will hold their shape when you peel the paper cups away, but the pumpkin filling will be pretty mushy. The easiest way to eat these would be to eat directly from the cup with a fork, or pull the paper away and eat with a fork. It’s tricky picking them up or sliding them out from the paper cup wrapper. If you want to preserve the integrity of the shape of the pie, the best way may be to peel back the sides of the wrapper, set the pie on a plate, and push it gently on the crust with a fork while you hold the wrapper until it slides away.