The holidays are fast approaching, and many of us are planning the menus for the special dinners we’ll share with family and friends. Among the host of amazing foods that make an appearance on the table, pumpkin pie will most likely be on the list.
Maybe you have a recipe that’s been handed down for generations from your great-grandmother to your grandmother to your mother and now to you. Maybe this year, you would like to attempt baking your own pie rather than buying a store-bought one. There’s one hitch, though. You want to bake a pumpkin pie without using eggs. Now, what?
Eggs are used in baking as binders, leavening agents, or for taste. The good news is that there are lots of ways to replace eggs in baking. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to make the most delicious, authentic, mouthwatering pumpkin pie ever – sans eggs!
1. Silken Tofu, Yogurt, and Mayo
Silken tofu can be blended until it’s light and fluffy and then used to replace eggs in baking. To replace one egg, use 1/4 cup of blended silken tofu. If you don’t have silken tofu, you can also use non-dairy yogurt plus 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Don’t have yogurt either? Guess what? You can also use vegan mayo! Yup, use three to four tablespoons of vegan mayo for each egg you need to replace. This Simple and Healthy Pecan Pumpkin Pie uses silken tofu for a light and delicious dessert.
2. Commercial Egg Replacers
There are several egg replacers you can buy in the store. Ener-G Egg Replacer is made mainly of potato starch and tapioca flour. You just add it water and then add it to your recipe. The Neat Egg is made from chia seeds and garbanzo beans. Mix it with water and add it to recipes. The Vegg Baking Mix simulates the function and taste of eggs for baking. It’s made with pea protein, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, guar gum, sodium alginate and black salt. When you add it to water, it smells just like eggs and really helps lighten up baked goods. Try using one of these egg replacers in The World’s Healthiest Vegan Pumpkin Pie.
3. Fruit and Veggies
In baking, any high-pectin fruit and some veggies can replace eggs for binding purposes. To replace one egg, use 1/4 cup of mashed bananas, canned pumpkin, or sweet potato puree or unsweetened apple sauce. Keep in mind that the fruit will add flavor to your recipe. It may also add some heaviness, so you might want to add a bit of baking powder to lighten things back up. This Pumpkin Pie Recipe EVERYONE Will Love uses banana in addition to the pumpkin.
4. Flax and Chia
Both flax seed and chia seeds can be used as egg replacements. One pound of either type of seeds can replace up to 45 eggs! Both seeds can accomplish the same goals as eggs: they can act as a binder in baked goods, add moisture to baked goods and help baked goods rise. The usual ratio is one tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds added to three tablespoons water and let it sit for ten minutes until it thickens. For all the details, read Tips for Using Flax and Chia Seeds to Replace Eggs in Baking and Cooking and Baking With Chia and Flax in Place of Eggs? Don’t Forget These 5 Tips.
5. Coconut Oil
We all know that coconut oil is magic in and out of the kitchen but can it replace eggs? When coconut oil is used in baking, it definitely can replace fats but because it becomes a solid when chilled, it actually works to help firm up recipes such as pies that will be chilled. Try replacing one egg with three tablespoons of coconut oil. Remember, you may get a bit of coconut flavor in your pie with this method. Try it out with this Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews can be used as egg replacers. They help give desserts rich texture and consistency as well as add lightness. Toss the nuts into your high-speed blender and process them until you have a creamy, smooth blend. Use nuts to make these Pecan Pumpkin Pie Cups or make rich, smooth pumpkin cheesecakes like this Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake and Raw Vegan Pumpkin Mini-Cheesecakes.
By now, you’ve most certainly heard about aquafaba; it’s the latest biggest thing in the egg-free baking world. The next time you open a can of chickpeas, stop before pouring the brine down the drain because that’s aquafaba and it actually works as an egg white replacer. Aquafaba can act as an emulsifier, leavening agent and foaming agent because it has properties similar to those of egg whites. That means a new way to make vegan macarons, marshmallows, and meringues. To replace one egg, use three tablespoons of chickpea brine (other bean brines work also). To see more about how people are using it, check out All About Aquafaba: 13 Amazing Recipes Made With Chickpea Brine.
8. Other Replacers
Here are a few other ways to replace eggs in baking. For leavening purposes, mixing two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of oil and two tablespoons of baking powder will add lightness to your recipes.
If you only need to replace the egg whites, try adding a combination of one tablespoon of agar powder with an equal amount of water that has been whipped, chilled, and then whipped again. For more tips, read How to Cook and Bake Without Eggs.
There are more ways to replace eggs than you may have thought. With all these different methods, your pumpkin pies will be rich, creamy, light and fluffy, no eggs required. Happy Holidays!
Lead image source: Butternut Squash Apple Pie