Blog Flog: Coconut Pumpkin Pie


It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’ve made this pie twice.

As you may know, pumpkin pie has never been my first choice – but I’m starting to change my mind about it. I make at least one a year regardless for the pumpkin pie lovers in the family – and for the most part, since I’m not really the one eating it, I stick to the same recipe. But this year, since I adore coconut milk – and coconut cream pie – and since both Mike and my dad have recently developed an intolerance to lactose, I decided to give it a try in place of the cream or evaporated milk I typically use in pumpkin pie filling.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!


For pie beginners, pumpkin is about the easiest kind to manage. Stir together the pumpkin, coconut milk, sugar – I’ve been experimenting with coconut sugar, which is kind of the New Big Thing – eggs, spices – yes, pumpkin pie spice in actual pumpkin pie, where it was meant to be. Shall we call this pumpkin pie spice pumpkin pie? The coconut flavour is subtle and complementary – it still tastes like pumpkin pie. If you want to boost it a bit, a capful of coconut extract along with the vanilla would do the trick. Or shower the top with thick-cut sweet toasted coconut. (I would have tried this, but I ate the whole bag before the pie was done.)


Some people pre-bake their crusts – I do not. There is no shame in a store bought crust – as I’ve said before, no one will complain if you’ve made pie. I admire those who produce stunning pies adorned with pastry leaves and the like, but I don’t have much patience for doing it myself. Besides, it’s all going to get smothered with whipped cream anyway.


Yes, Grace Foods asked me to come up with a seasonal recipe using their coconut products – an easy challenge, as they were already on my shelf – and crazily enough their coconut cream is, lately at least, the product I most often find myself describing to people: that little green box alongside the coconut milk in the international foods section! – even more so since my friend’s mom Theresa used it in her coriander chutney, which was a revelation. It’s quite easy to find – a condensed, more streamlined version of coconut milk, halfway between coconut milk and coconut oil, that adds more richness to curries and dishes of that ilk. Inside the little box is a little package of pure coconut cream – nothing else is added. I’ve seen it in many of the kitchens I’ve been invited to cook in for my Swerve series.


I’ve since made this pie with an entire can of Grace coconut milk – regular and organic – and I’ve kept back about 1/3 cup in the can because I was making a curry and just wanted a splash, and used the rest in the filling. If you’re planning to whip some of the solids that often settle on top of a can of coconut milk – YES, YOU CAN DO THIS! – you could spoon it out and pour the rest into the filling – it works just fine either way. If you’re using one of those deep dish Pyrex pie plates, you may want to lean toward the whole can; if you’re using a smaller tin pie plate because you like the aesthetic it adds, like I did, expect it to be full.


The trickiest part, I think, is the knowing when it’s done. It will be set, but not completely – sort of evenly jiggly, without looking liquidy in the middle, and like most pies of this sort the cooking time will fluctuate by about ten minutes depending on the pie plate you happen to have. The egg will make it puff up a bit as it comes out of the oven, and don’t worry about a slight crack around the edge. As it cools, it will settle into itself, flattening on the surface and firming up. It’s a good idea to let it do this, rather than attempt to slice it hot – it can be cooled on the countertop, or chilled in the fridge – whichever you like.


Big thanks to Grace for pushing me out of my pumpkin pie comfort zone – and making it so the men in my life don’t have to take Lactaid with their pie this Thanksgiving.


Coconut Pumpkin Pie


October 7, 2016


1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

1 14 oz (398 mL) can pure pumpkin puree

1 14 oz (398 mL) can Grace coconut milk

1 cup Grace coconut sugar or packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 Tbsp. molasses (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

Whipped cream:

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream or the thick layer from the top of a can of coconut milk (or a combination)

1 Tbsp. sugar or coconut sugar


1Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, coconut milk, sugar, eggs, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt until well blended and smooth. Pour into the crust.

3Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until the filling is set but still a little wobbly in the middle and the crust is golden. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the pie lightly with a sheet of foil as it bakes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

4When you're ready to serve it, whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Serve dolloped on top of the pie.

5Serves 8.


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14 comments on “Blog Flog: Coconut Pumpkin Pie

  1. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    October 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    This looks fabulous – I am not a pumpkin pie fan but I do like the sound of this and think the subtle coconut flavour would be great! I’m working on a little something with coconut milk and coconut sugar myself right now 😉

    • Maureen Wielinga
      October 11, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Julie, this recipe was awesome! It was a real hit at Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and will be the new standard for pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving! Thanks Julie for another JVR hit!

      • Julie
        October 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        I’m so glad Mardi! 🙂

  2. Shauna
    October 8, 2016 at 9:35 am

    We have a dairy and egg intolerance in our family. Could I use flax eggs for it or any other suggestions?

  3. esmeralda
    October 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Oh Julie – two of my favourite things in one pie? THANK YOU. I love pumpkin pie and I adore the flavour of coconut. And now I have JvR-tested recipe, I’m in pie heaven. Haopy Thanksgiving.!

  4. Crystal
    October 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    My fave Pumpkin Pie right now is also made with coconut milk! It’s made with a GF Oat n’ Coconut Crust, and then I just blend up the pumpkin with the coconut milk and coconut oil (maybe I’ll swap for coconut cream, didn’t think of that ’til your post!), pumpkin pie spices, maple syrup, and then chillax. Bliss for the intolerants and healthyish too! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Julie
      October 9, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Ooh that sounds delicious! and yes, coconut cream would work so well, I think!!

  5. Linda
    October 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    My sister-in-law made this pie for dessert yesterday….WINNER!!!!

  6. Lesley
    October 11, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I baked this pie yesterday morning, and there is only one slice left in the fridge. It was a hit! I used a Pyrex pie plate, but did not have room for all the filling. At 60 minutes, it was still very wet and bubbling in the middle, but not breaking through the surface. I thought I did something wrong that it wasn’t setting, but I let it keep baking and kept checking it. I think it took about 1:25 in my oven. I found it a bit sweet. Next time, I will leave out the molasses and increase the cinnamon and ginger and add nutmeg and cloves for a stronger spice kick.

  7. Marlene
    October 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t see any pumpkin pie spice in the recipe, it was mentioned in the intro so I’m wondering what I’m missing?

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