Happily, it isn't particularly complicated, but it's a touch fussier than the original, since you'll chill a can of coconut milk for a day in order to skim off the thick cream before assembling (a bit more on that below). In terms of actual assembly, it's every bit as simple as the original. If you aren't familiar with shopping for some of these foods, there's some detail here to prepare you.
Starting with the crust, Oreos, Newman-O's, Joe-Joe's—none of these chocolate-and-creme sandwich cookies contain dairy or eggs, so the crust is adjusted simply by using refined coconut oil.
Both Tofutti and Kite Hill brands of nondairy cream cheese worked in this recipe. (I can't recommend any other nondairy cream cheeses I've tried.) Kite Hill has a lighter texture and a more mild, fresher, and saltier flavor. It's also more expensive and only carried by Whole Foods. It's distinct and rather lovely—if there's one nondairy cream cheese to spread alone on a bagel, Kite Hill is it. Tofutti brand tastes less fresh, but a bit richer. The texture is aces, and it works great as a recipe component, like in this pie, where its stronger flavor holds up well to the coconut cream.
For the coconut cream, Trader Joe's brand canned coconut cream is the cheapest, easiest route. Once the can is chilled, you'll find nearly the whole can comes out cream, whereas with Thai Kitchen brand, you'll need two chilled cans of coconut milk in order to get enough coconut cream for the recipe. Note that Trader Joe's brand does taste more strongly of coconut. That flavor—quite assertive once the filling is mixed—will mellow a bit over the course of the pie setting. Thai Kitchen brand will provide a more subtle effect throughout.
An option for the (slightly) rushed or coconut-averse is this dead-simple no-bake vegan cream cheese pie. It's just the thing when you have a casual gathering to attend, and you can't be bothered to think much about, or work too hard at, your contribution.
With extra cream cheese and a little yogurt to fluff everything up, it's not as rich as the Tomato Head pie but has a lightness that's perfect for the warm months. It, too, uses a blissfully easy cookie crust. The pie above was taken to a party last June. A friend hosted a group viewing of a U.S. Men's National Team game during the 2014 men's World Cup, and she put together a classic suburban "all-American"-style cookout menu. Enter this red, white, and blue number to help her out with her theme.
In this version, a round springform pan is lined with parchment around the sides before adding the filling, then peeled off after setting, so there's no side crust. Naturally, make the version you prefer.
Tomato Head's (Vegan) Strawberry Cream Pie
adapted from Mahasti Vafaie, via WBIR
1 TBSP melted refined coconut oil
8 oz nondairy cream cheese (Tofutti or Kite Hill recommended)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 cup loosely packed coconut cream (from 1-2 cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours)
Topping ingredients and all recipe instructions can be found on the original recipe—use the stand mixer for the airiest texture.
MSV's Dead-Simple No-Bake Cream Cheese Pie
7 oz Mi-Del brand ginger snaps (or other cookie)
1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil
16 oz nondairy cream cheese (Tofutti recommended)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/2 cup plain nondairy yogurt (Whole Soy Co. or So Delicious recommended)
2 pints mixed fresh berries, marinated in 1 TBSP orange liqueur or balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes, to serve
In a food processor, process the cookies to fine crumbs. Add oil and process until evenly coated. Transfer to a 9-inch round springform pan, sides lined with parchment. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Wipe out the processor well and add cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar. Process until very smooth. Add yogurt and process until smooth, ensuring the sugar is fully dissolved. Add to prepared pan, smooth the top, and chill 8 hours. Remove side piece of pan, gently remove parchment, and serve, letting each diner top their slice with marinated berries, to taste.