Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt to the bowl – mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. Note: you may want to soak more cashews than needed and make two pies – or use in other recipes like my vegan pumpkin spice cashew cheese!
Soak this cashew bowl overnight in the fridge. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy. I soaked my cashews for about 18 hours. At least 8 is optimal. Don’t soak for more than two days or the cashews can get grimy in my opinion.
The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the water from your cashews. They should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor – or even better, a Vitamix or high speed blender. Get your own Vitamix here with free shipping!
Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason – you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1/3 tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.
Pour your mix into a par-baked vegan pie shell (I toast my raw pie shell in the 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes). You can buy a frozen crust or make your own per instructions linked in recipe above.
Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet – but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference.
I serve chilled with a swirl of my vegan coconut whip on top!!