A divine vegan Pumpkin Praline Tart with a cookie-like almond flour crust and a pecan praline topping that's out of this world. This recipe has no added fats, and it's gluten-free and soy-free.
In the past few weeks, I've noticed something strange happening to my family. I've been trying to get my sugar-loving son and my dessert-loving husband to eat more desserts that are naturally sweetened, or made with very little or no fat. A lot of this food has also been gluten-free, not because I'm consciously trying to avoid gluten, but because I've really been enjoying baking desserts with almond and coconut flours.
I've surprised myself with the great results I've got. But what has surprised me even more is that both Jay and Desi have actually been loving these sweets. A lot.
Grain-free, naturally sweetened chocolate chip cookies? Gone in 60 seconds. Breakfast chia seed muffins? Mom, can you make more soon?
So while coming up with ideas for great vegan Thanksgiving desserts, I've been trying to incorporate more grain-free, gluten-free ingredients. The Pumpkin Praline Tart I have for you today is going to the top of my dessert list.
This is a delicious tart, and it probably has way fewer calories than you'd find in your average tart, not least because it's made with absolutely no added fat. That's right. There's no added fat in the crust, or the filling, or the topping.
The crust is a cookie-like almond flour crust sweetened slightly with maple syrup. For the pumpkin filling, I went a little overboard and roasted and pureed up a kabocha squash. A kabocha squash, if you're not familiar with it, is a rotund, green-blue beauty that works perfectly for desserts, because of its naturally sweet flesh.
Of course, you can also just use a regular pumpkin, or canned pumpkin puree.
The praline topping is made up of pecans, of course, and lightly sweetened. Together, all of these layers add up to a divine dessert that'll leave you licking your fork.
One of the things I love about this tart is that everything comes together in the food processor. Separately, so you do have to rinse out your processor bowl a couple of times, but it's still quite a convenience.
One thing I would do a little differently the next time I make this tart is to spray the sides of my tart pan with some cooking spray. I found that the almond crust was a little hard to release from the sides, although the bottom came off without any problem.
On to the recipe now. Hope you try it -- and love it -- as much as we did!
Looking for more pie recipes?
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Vegan Pecan Pie
- Vegan Cherry Pie
- Vegan Strawberry Pie
- Vegan Peach Berry Pie
- Vegan Pecan Pie Bars, gluten-free
- Vegan Tarte Tatin
Vegan Pumpkin Praline Tart, gluten-free and with no added fats
For the almond cookie crust:
- 2 cups superfine almond flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
For the pumpkin filling:
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned) If using kabocha squash, bake the whole gourd for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. Remove seeds, cut into 16 wedges lengthwise, and spread on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil, skin side down. Bake 45 more minutes or until tender enough for a fork to go through. Separate the skin from the flesh, and puree the flesh.
- ½ cup maple syrup (can sub unrefined sugar like turbinado)
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup almond or cashew milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
For the praline topping:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the almond cookie crust:
- Place all ingredients for the crust in a food processor and add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together.
- Dump the almond cookie dough into an 8-inch tart pan and press down with the heel of your hand to form an even layer. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers until the entire pan is covered. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork and refrigerate until you make the filling.
Make the filling:
- Place all ingredients for the filling in the food processor and process until smooth. Pour into the tart shell. Use a knife or spatula to spread it evenly.
Make the praline:
- Place all ingredients for the praline in the food processor and process until the nuts are chopped into fairly small pieces. You can stop earlier, if you prefer larger pieces of pecans.
- Spread the praline evenly over the top of the filling.
- Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake 40 minutes or until the top feels firm.
- Remove and let cool thoroughly. Chill for an hour before serving.
I have an 12 inch tart pan, should I make one and half amount pastry crust and filling?
Also, can I make the crust place in pan and freeze it?
Yes for both!
I have made this recipe and it was absolutely amazing! I was wondering if I could use a different type of squash? I have a couple of red kuri squash and was wondering if you know if that would work?
Hi Karen, I’ve never cooked with Kurt squash unfortunately.
Vaishali, thanks to you I will now be having a pumpkin dessert like most people every Thanksgiving! I just couldn't get into commercial (or for that matter, homemade pumpkin pies). The crust never did much for me---was just there to be solely utilitarian, just a container for the pumpkin. Sometimes the spices were cloying. Sometimes it was too sweet. And all that pumpkin just seemed so one dimensional to me---kind of boring texture.
But this! First, the crust is fantastic. The filling is perfect. And the praline topping gives it so much interest and flavor. Amazing that something so easy to make turned out so well. It even looked liked your photo! I still don't think I will ever do regular pumpkin pie. Maybe I'm just a praline pumpkin TART type of person.
We are freezing half of it to enjoy later.
And we now (after 40 years of marriage) have a tart pan! Bought just for this recipe (I've made enough of yours to know how reliable and good they are, so it seemed a worthwhile investment). Maybe a quiche with it will be in our future---years ago who knew there could be eggless quiches?
My husband very happily and gratefully said yesterday that we were having a Vaishali Thanksgiving (your green beans and this). Thanks so much.
Hi Ellen, that is so wonderful to hear -- thanks to your husband and you for thinking of me at your Thanksgiving. I am so happy you liked the tart. I am just like you-- not a big pumpkin pie person, but with that praline topping and the crust, it really works for me.
You're going to love your tart pan. I love that it makes everything look so pretty for so little effort.
Hi Chana, you probably made the crust too thick -- 2 cups of almond flour was enough to give me a good crust, as you can see in the photos. And it's likely your oven temperature is off -- did you start off in a preheated oven? The pie certainly shouldn't take that much longer or you could burn the crust.
In reality there wasn't enough crust. Next time I will make a little more so it can fill the whole pan. Also it took way longer than the time listed to cook. I had it in oven for at least 30 minutes longer.
mmmm i love pumpkin
Because so many have corn sensitivity I have switched to using Sweet Potato flour. It is amazing! You can use it in any recipe that calls for cornstarch. It is light and behaves just the same! Let me know if you try it. It would go great in this recipe and is gluten free!
That's a great suggestion. Thanks, Ambika!
I now know, a month ahead of time, what we will be having for Thanksgiving dessert! Thanks so much. I've never really loved pumpkin pie. Not sure if it's the texture or that some of the spices can be overpowering, much as I love spices, like in Indian cooking. Or perhaps it just seems so one-dimensional and one-note, just all this pureed pumpkin. I do like stuff like cookies with pumpkin in them and love squash (your kabocha was gorgeous). But your tart seems like something I'd love, with all the praline.
But----I've gone through 63 years without a tart pan (would probably have gone through my whole life if it hadn't been for this recipe!), so now we are in the market for one. Can you recommend one or describe yours? I looked up the difference between pie versus tart pans---it seems that tart pans are usually metal, but come in all different sizes. Did yours have a removable bottom? I'll use some cooking spray as you suggested since it would be frustrating to have the almond crust stick.
I love that you, like me, aren't zealously avoiding gluten but are enjoying the alternative stuff and decreasing oil as possible. And to think that the men in your life are enjoying the healthier desserts just as much!
Hi Ellen, hope you try it! I understand how you feel about pumpkin pie-- I have never been a huge fan myself, but we really loved this one and it's very likely going to be my Thanksgiving dessert too. The almond crust and praline give it that something extra.
On the tart pan, I have the one with the removable bottom, but I got it a long time back and it's a regular Wilton pan I picked up at Michaels', I think, nothing fancy. You can also just use a pie dish if you don't want to invest in a pan-- you won't get the fluted edge, and the tart won't come all the way to the top, but with the praline topping this tart would look good anyway. 🙂