Monday, January 23, 2012

Pumpkin Pie (no tofu here!)

I first made this recipe a couple of years ago, when I hosted my very first ThanksVegan. I ambitiously decided to have 8 people over for a full Thanksgiving meal (albeit a couple days after real Thanksgiving) made completely vegan. Most of the recipes I was making were tried and true favorites, but one thing I had never been able to get quite right was a vegan pumpkin pie. If you google "vegan pumpkin pie" you will encounter probably a hundred different recipes, and nearly all of them will include some kind of tofu. I've tried some of these recipes and sadly, never had any success. I love me some tofu, but something about the taste and texture never really worked for me. I am also very partial to the mix of spices I grew up eating in my mom's pumpkin pie, and no other mix would do for me. Thankfully for my adventurous friends, I managed to cobble together several different recipes, including the spices from my mom's version, and came up with what has become my go-to vegan pumpkin pie recipe. I made it again this holiday season for a little get together of friends and remembered to take a couple of pictures so I could post the final recipe here.

First make your single pie crust (or buy one I suppose). I'm a Betty Crocker girl when it comes to my pie crusts. Yum, shortening! Mix 1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 tsp. salt. With a pastry blender or fork, blend in 1/2 cup shortening and 3-4 Tbsp. cold water. This is important. Put an ice cube or something in your bowl of water to cool it down. Work the dough as little as you possibly can to get it to stick together in a ball. Roll the dough out, then roll it up on your rolling pin loosely to transfer it to a 10-inch pie pan. Finish the edges however you like.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and gather the ingredients for the pie filling:
2 15-oz. cans of pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
1 1/2 cup plain soy creamer (Silk makes a good one)
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
scant 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
scant 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and mix very very well
with an electric mixer. Bake the empty pie crust for about 15 minutes, until it is beginning to cook. Fill with the pumpkin mixture and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. I cover the crust completely until the last 10 minutes with these neat little silicone things, but you can also make a ring of tin foil to protect the crust from burning.

Your pie filling will still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven, but don't fear. Let the pie cool completely on a cooling rack, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. Don't worry that the color is a bit darker that the usual color of pumpkin pies. You probably did not overcook it, that's just the coloring with the spices and all. Enjoy!

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