Coconut Kissed Pumpkin-Persimmon Pie with Millet Carob Crust

by Maria Theresa Maggi on November 20, 2014

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Persimmon Pie with Carob Millet Crust

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Persimmon Pie with Carob Millet Crust

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Pie with Banana

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Pie with Banana


(Or, “My, My, Me Oh My, I Love Pie”)

Does anyone remember the John Travolta movie Michael about an angel who behaves most unlike an angel? Nora Ephron wrote the screen play. Pie is very important to the plot of that movie and its off-beat treatment of disillusion and faith. So if you’ve never seen it, or if you have seen it, and the little song Andie McDowell’s character Dorothy sings on Michael’s command about loving pie is something that you have sung to yourself over the years every once in a while (come on, you know you have), then I hope you’ll enjoy this scene from the movie when her pie ditty first appears all over again.

Now that we know how to sing about pie, let’s go on and learn how to make one that those of us who need to be gluten, sugar and flour free to keep feeling good can enjoy.   This unique pie is a delicious holiday treat for anyone. But it’s especially for my internet friends who can’t have the things that usually go into more traditional vegan pies (like sugar, flour, gluten, soy or oil), and also for my non-banana eating friends. Because everyone should be able to celebrate with a little treat over the holidays, and not have to pay for it with a bout of serious pain or debility. And there’s just something about pie, that is, so, well, fun. And, like the song goes,  “me oh my,” it  sure does remind me “I love pie.”  (And, if you can’t find or don’t like persimmons or bananas, read on to find out about yet another option.)



The first time I made this version of pumpkin pie, I was going to use leftover homemade date paste to sweeten it, but alas, I only had less then 1/4 of a cup and it just wasn’t enough (which I discovered in the middle of adding it). So it was ripe banana to the rescue. I threw in half a banana and a tbs of maple syrup. Here’s what that pie looks like:

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Pie (with banana)

It’s yummy too, and a little darker and more dense. I think that’s because the banana darkens as it cooks and acts more like an egg than the persimmon. Also, in this version I used potato starch (by mistake), which is the thickest of all the starches. And no coconut milk, just almond milk and coconut extract. The crust did not have any fruit in it. I wanted to try just the sweetness of the carob, so I added a little more of that. I like it fine, it tasted really good, but it stuck to the pan, as you can probably tell in this photograph:

Coconut-Kissed Pumpkin Pie with Banana

That’s why in the persimmon version I added a little fruit rather than more carob, and “greased” pan pie pan with less than 1/4 teaspoon of almond butter. It came right up off the pan and stayed together. If some of you are telling yourselves you will make this with cocoa powder instead of carob, remember that carob powder is sweeter than cocoa powder so you will probably need to have sweetener of some kind in your crust.

If you wanted a more rich and calorie dense pie,  you could try using all coconut milk or more coconut in the crust. But honestly, that might be over the top in taste as well as calories. This little bit of reduced fat coconut  and milk and/or extract is more than enough to give just a light kiss of coconut. More than that might overpower the taste of the pumpkin and the fruit and cause you to add more sugar. . .and on down the slippery slope, which is fine, if that’s where you want to go. I like staying here, though, where I can have two pieces at a time if I like and no regrets. Rich as it looks, this pie is a bit like those so called two-ingredient cookies. You can have a lot if you want to.

And now that I’ve sung the praises of this pie, I have a confession to make. I came up with this to begin with because one of my favorite fall desserts has become a dessert dish  full of cooked leftover squash with a dollop of the carob fudge from A Tale of Two Ingredient Cookies on top of it, and maybe a sprinkle of ginger, cinnamon, or cloves. But that’s too weird to bring to Aunt Millie’s, right? So I made it into a pie. For extra guilt free decadence, make a little extra of that fudge and put a spoonful on top of a wedge of pie. Oh me, oh my.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’m so blessed to get to write for such amazing readers. Thank you for helping me have so much fun!!


Maria (moonwatcher)







Leave a Comment

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pam November 20, 2014 at 8:57 am

This sounds great! I love your confession at the end! I just had a bowl of butternut squash with a date and a couple of walnut halves for a snack this afternoon. Once I find carob again, I’ll make the fudge!


2 moonwatcher November 20, 2014 at 9:23 am

Thank Pam! Your butternut squash snack sounds heavenly to me. And when you find carob again, I bet you’ll love the fudge with it too. 🙂


3 Veronica November 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

You’re always so creative with delicious desserts and flavors! This is definitely no exception. It’s wonderful to have a guilt-free dessert amidst the holiday excess – thanks for sharing! Oh me, oh my, I do love pie! 🙂


4 moonwatcher November 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Veronica! I love it too. Especially in the colder weather. I love playing with flavor and texture–so happy you appreciate that! 🙂


5 Jo-Ellen November 21, 2014 at 8:30 am

This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make it. I can’t see in the directions how long you bake the pie and at what temperature. Can’t wait to make this!!


6 moonwatcher November 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi Jo-Ellen–so glad you will try this out–and OMG forgot to add the temperature and times–it’s the same as Pumpkin Pie in the Free World–375. Bake the crust first for about 10 minutes, then after it cools, put the filling in and bake for 35 minutes at 375 also. I will go add this info right now! Thanks for pointing it out!


7 Stephanie November 22, 2014 at 9:10 am

Oh me, oh my, I am SO gonna make this pie!
This year my family will be grateful for Maria’s remarkable persimmon-pumpkin carob-crust pie. : D


8 moonwatcher November 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

Thank you Stephanie, for this wonderful comment, that made me laugh out loud!! 🙂 I hope your family enjoys this unique Thanksgiving pie. 🙂


9 Stephanie November 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I made this for my family for was super simple to throw together and baked up beautifully. It was delicious and everybody loved it.
The millet crust had a texture somewhere between a traditional crust and a graham cracker one. We skipped the coconut (didn’t have reduced fat) and used canned pumpkin. It was perfect! Thank you!


10 moonwatcher November 27, 2014 at 11:35 pm

So happy to hear this, Stephanie! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂


11 Bonnie November 22, 2014 at 10:23 am

Sounds delicious! What do you mean by reduced fat coconut? Do you mean reduced fat coconut milk? cream? flakes?


12 moonwatcher November 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Hi Bonnie! Thanks for your question. I mean both reduced fat coconut flakes for the topping and the crust, and also reduced fat coconut milk ( in a small amount). Here are the links to the two products I found at the Moscow Food Co-op. Reduced fat flakes:
Reduced fat coconut milk in small containers:

I use a small amount from this small container and then put the whole thing in the freezer, thaw it out and use a little more again, when I want a small coconut kick, but not too much saturated fat. Hope you can find these products near you. If not, no worries, just use a little regular coconut on top of the pie if you want and some coconut extract in the crust. You could also use coconut extract in the pie, along with the vanilla and leave off the coconut.


13 Nicole O'Shea November 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

LOL, I love your confession, too! I mean, when we eat this way…why not?

Maria, all the pictures look so good! I don’t know how you do it. Amazing! Thank you so much for applying your culinary wisdom and magical baking creation talent to this recipe! I am so totally going to make this <3 <3 <3




14 moonwatcher November 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Thanks Nicole!! You are so welcome and so very sweet to make these kind comments. And triple Yay! that you are going to make it. <3 <3 <3


15 Eric Jackson November 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Great pie! Awful movie… Can’t wait to serve this pie for the holidays.


16 moonwatcher November 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thanks Eric! 🙂 Glad you like the pie, movie notwithstanding. 🙂 Enjoy!


17 April December 21, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Have been wanting to make this for a few weeks now, and finally got to today! It’s delicious, very easy to make, and I love that millet and persimmons are used! I also love that it is a healthy pie and I can eat many pieces! (: I had been avoiding desserts prior to this, now I don’t have to! Thanks for the recipe!


18 moonwatcher December 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm

You’re welcome, April! Thank you for your comment–I’m so happy to read your found the pie easy to make and delicious. Really happy too, that you appreciate the use of millet and persimmons. 🙂


19 Airyfairycelt December 31, 2014 at 3:54 am

I think it is wonderful and I am a bit of a pie crust recipe collector you know!
In my opinion a pie-less person is not a happy one…. But I have never seen anyone not look at a pie and smile. have you noticed that too?
No persimmons to be had here but I just have to shimmy about and try other fruits. Pear and chocolate? Orange and chocolate? I cannot ever recall having a plum with chocolate and I wonder… I should not to spoil the whole pie but a mini on the baking tray might be a good experiment (I agree with you.) We are all very unscientific mad scientists and our kitchens are places of mystery where things appear that the cook or the (fortunate or unfortunate guest) were not expecting at all.
I am finding your posts so enjoyable. So many references and inter-connecting going on. It all makes fascinating reading (and sets me off on quests… Aren’t vegans or those on particular dietary restrictions interesting? Being an ideas person really lifts it all so much.


20 moonwatcher December 31, 2014 at 9:42 am

Hi again Airyfairycelt–thanks for these kinds words about the writing and the recipes. So happy you enjoy the references and the inter-connecting. It’s one of my best pleasures in doing this. I think pear would be a good substitute, though it’s texture is different than a persimmon. Maybe even an orange ground up in the blender. Why not? Let us know how your experimenting goes. 🙂 Here’s to the kitchen being a place of mystery and wonder and alchemy too. 🙂


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