Vegan Greek Pumpkin Pie

Looking for vegan Thanksgiving alternatives? Borrow this recipe from Greece. While not typically thought of as a Mediterranean ingredient, pumpkins do have a place in Greek cuisine, mainly in the form of pies. A savory Greek pumpkin pie typically includes feta cheese, while this glikia kolokithopita, a sweet Greek pumpkin pie, is traditionally made with raisins and walnuts. Plus, this dish is traditionally vegan since it was made without milk, eggs or butter so it could be eaten during fasting periods.


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The crispy phyllo pairs perfectly with the soft, sweet filling in a fairly light dessert. Serve the dessert at room temperature or reheat it in the oven before serving to get the phyllo crispy.


Glikia Kolokithopita (Vegan Greek Pumpkin Pie)

Recipe by Elena Paravantes, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing phyllo
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup finely ground walnuts
  • 12 phyllo sheets
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon pumpkin puree, olive oil, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and walnuts until well-blended.
  3. On a large surface such as a table, place one sheet of phyllo dough. Brush phyllo with olive oil. Then, place a second sheet of phyllo on top. Brush that sheet with olive oil.
  4. Carefully place 4 tablespoons of pumpkin filling on the edge of the short side of the phyllo. Roll into a log. Brush the top and bottom (the bottom is the side with the seam) of the log with olive oil. Place bottom-down in a pan. Make four to five slits on the top of the log, about 2½ inches apart. These slits will guide where to slice after baking.
  5. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the phyllo sheets and pumpkin mixture to roll six total logs.
  6. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 30 minutes, until phyllo is golden.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 30 to 36 pieces.

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Elena Paravantes
Elena Paravantes, RD, is a registered dietitian, writer, blogger and lecturer. Her blog, Olive Tomato, promotes the Mediterranean diet through articles, essays, recipes and tips. Raised in the Chicago area, Elena now lives in Athens, Greece. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.