This rich and creamy vegan sweet potato pie is infused with the flavors of chai tea and and topped off with whipped coconut cream topping!
My brother makes pies. Not sweet potato pies. Apple raspberry pies are his thing. It's been his traditional Thanksgiving contribution for a few years now. His inspiration came from a little gourmet-type shop up near where my parents live. They sell all kinds of goodies, including pies.
If I recall correctly, he made his first pie to take to a social event. I can't remember if it was to impress girls or if he was just super happy about the fact that it unexpectedly resulted in impressing girls, but he did do a great deal of bragging about the ladies' responses to his pie. He was pretty proud of his newfound baking skills and from that point forward has brought pie to Thanksgiving dinner, year after year. So proud in fact, that he's apt to order every person at the table to try his pie as soon as he arrives.
"Dude, we haven't eaten dinner yet. Not ready."
"I don't care! Taste the damn pie! It's fantastic!!!"
My family has pie covered. This year and every year. In fact, my mom will in all likelihood bake a pumpkin pie as well. Assuming that happens, we'll have two pies for six people.
So, I opted to serve this one to some friends, pre-Thanksgiving. Interestingly, I almost didn't serve it to them, initially thinking I didn't like it. Hasty me, I baked this pie on a Friday afternoon and started slicing it up within minutes of taking it out of the oven. I was in a rush to get some photos snapped before the daylight ran out.
I was a bit disappointed with the texture. I set it aside, thinking I needed more time to consider this problem, gave it a little taste later on and was pleasantly surprised. It totally transformed into deliciousness. I had to ask for honest confirmation when I served it the next day and everyone seemed to dig it as much as I did. Oh, and it was even more improved by the addition of some coconut whipped cream, which I highly recommend serving it with. So, the verdict? This vegan sweet potato pie is awesome, and doubly so with topping.
I didn't add much sweetener. This is really a personal thing. In fact, I was initially all excited, thinking I could get away with a no-sugar-added vegan sweet potato pie. Upon tasting the batter I realized at least a little extra sweetness would be needed. I recommend tasting your batter to decide if you'd prefer a little more or less.
Finally, if you buy a premade crust, watch out. Most store bought pie crusts contain either dairy and/or lard. If you can't find a suitable vegan crust, go and make your own. Most recipes are as simple as flour, salt, water and vegetable shortening. If you can find yourself some vegan graham crackers, they would make a nice crust for this as well, given the not too sweet-spicy flavor.
Chai-Spiced Vegan Sweet Potato Pie
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger*
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom*
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg*
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 vegan pie crust of choice
Preheat the oven to 400°. Poke a few holes in each sweet potato using a sharp knife. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until very soft, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave them for about 8 minutes, checking every minute or so after the first 5 minutes.
When the sweet potatoes are done baking, slice them open to allow the steam to escape. Allow them to sit for a few minutes to cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 375°. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides and place them into food processor bowl. Add the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Pour the batter into the pie crust and smooth out the top with a rubber scraper.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until set. Remove the pie from oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Serve with coconut whipped cream and a spinkle of cinnamon if you like.
This amount is for a just slightly sweet pie. If you like a sweeter pie, add a bit more maple syrup. Taste test the mixture until you're happy with the flavor.
* I've updated the spice amounts since originally posting the recipe, after getting quite a few comments that it was too spicy. But feel free to taste test the sweet potato mixture and adjust them based on your taste.