Pumpkin brownie tarts (or pie)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a Thanksgiving dessert? Here in Canada, the obvious answer would be a creamy, nutmeg-spiked pumpkin pie with a light, flaky pastry crust. If you want to kick it up a notch this holiday, here is a delicious and unexpected dessert that combines spiced pumpkin with a rich, fudgy brownie base–no crust required! Of course, Martha Stewart has already thought of the pumpkin and brownie combo, but she hasn’t veganized it!

Pumpkin Brownie Tarts (or Pie) | A Dash of Compassion

Thanksgiving can be a sad holiday for animal-loving vegans, but it’s also an opportunity to visit with friends and family, reflect on all that we are thankful for, and share a beautiful meal together. I love holidays that give me the opportunity to share delicious and healthy vegan fare alongside my family’s traditional recipes.

This rich, after-dinner treat will definitely be on my table this holiday. It highlights the flavour and spices of pumpkin pie but it doesn’t involve the fussy and time-consuming aspects of chilling and rolling out a pie pastry crust. I loved how this dessert came out when I used individual tart pans with removable bottoms, but it also works using an 8-inch flan tin or springform pan. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Brownie Tarts (or Pie) | A Dash of Compassion

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Pumpkin brownie tart (or pie)

Yield: one 8-inch pie or 8 individual tarts


For the brownie layer:

    • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 tbsp arrowroot
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

For the pumpkin layer:

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice


For the brownie layer:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F and oil 8 individual tart pans with removable bottoms (or an 8-inch flan tin or springform pan). Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking soda and salt.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract.
    4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the melted chocolate.
    5. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press the brownie batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan(s). Set aside.

For the pumpkin layer:

  1. Whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, nondairy milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the arrowroot, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.
  3. Add the spice mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Spoon the pumpkin batter on top of the brownie layer in each tart pan, leaving a little room at the edges.
  5. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes (for an 8-inch pie, about 35 minutes) or until the brownie edge looks done and the outermost inch of the pumpkin filling is slightly cracked and set. Don't worry if the centre is still soft; it continues to firm up as the pie cools.
  6. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least one hour to set. Place toasted pecan halves on top and drizzle with melted chocolate before serving, if desired.

Brownie layer adapted from Isa's pumpkin brownie recipe.



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