A creamy, sweet pie with notes of vanilla and cinnamon in a flaky crust. This traditional Indiana pie is made vegan with the use of cashew cream.
Did you know that Indiana’s state pie is the sugar cream pie? If not, don’t feel too bad. I grew up in Indiana and I didn’t know about this pie until I was a teenager. However, once I tried it, it was the pie that I would ask my mom to make over and over again. It’s sweet and creamy, what’s not to love?
I’ll admit, this is not the healthiest pie. After all, it has sugar in the name! However, I think it’s a great dessert to splurge on occasionally, especially for holidays or other special events.
This pie is traditionally made with heavy cream. I decided to test out a version with cashew cream to make it vegan. After a few rounds of testing and some tweaking, I’m pretty happy with the final result. Now, I’m sure it probably doesn’t taste exactly like sugar cream pie that has dairy in it, but I think it is pretty close.
Making the cashew cream is very simple. First, soak the cashews in water for several hours or overnight. This step helps to soften the cashews and make them easier to blend into a smooth sauce. After soaking, rinse and drain the cashews, then place them in a high speed blender along with water. Blend for several minutes until the mixture is smooth and you have cashew cream.
Apart from the cashew cream, this pie only needs 5 other ingredients which quickly mix together, plus some cinnamon for sprinkling on top. Now, I really like cinnamon, so I sprinkle quite a bit on top. If you don’t love cinnamon as much as I do, you can use a smaller amount.
Check out my Vegan Coconut Oil Pie Crust post for a step-by-step breakdown on making a homemade crust.
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear how it went. Please let me know in the comments below!
Vegan Sugar Cream Pie
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
- 4-6 tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked for at least 3 hours (or overnight)
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt.
Add the coconut oil. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the oil into the flour until the dough is in small, roughly pea-sized pieces.
Add the ice water to the bowl 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each tablespoon is added. Only add as much water as is needed for the dough to stick together (I typically use 5 tablespoons). Use your hands to roll the dough into a ball.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out evenly on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough for your pie dish, including a little bit of overhang.
Transfer the dough to the pie dish by gently wrapping it around the rolling pin and unrolling over the dish.
Use your hands to gently press down the dough so that it is molded to the dish. Fold the overhanging dough underneath and flute the edges.
Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
Make the cashew cream. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add the cashews and water to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. This may take a few minutes. Use a tamper to push down the ingredients if needed to keep it blending.
Add the cashew cream and the vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Set aside.
Once the crust has been chilled, place a sheet of parchment paper over it and place pie weights on top (dried beans will also work).
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out the pie weights using the parchment paper. Prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.
Place the crust back in the oven and bake for 7 more minutes, then remove from the oven.
Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour the filling into the partially baked pie crust and sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top.
Bake for 5 minutes, then add a crust shield** and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the pie has puffed up some and the middle only jiggles slightly when the pie is gently shaken.
Let cool completely before slicing.
Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for longer term storage.
*Check out my Vegan Coconut Oil Pie Crust post for a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make a pie crust.
**Crust shields help to keep the crust from browning too much. You can make a crust shield out of aluminum foil. Place the pie dish over a square of aluminum foil that is larger than the dish. Use a pen or marker to trace right around the bottom edge of the pie dish. Cut out this circle from the middle. Now you have a shield that should be the perfect size to cover the crust but still leave the filling uncovered.