Friday, November 27, 2009
Just wanted to post a Thanksgiving update, starting with desserts. I brought the pie to our celebration: vegan pumpkin pie, and vegan apple walnut pie. I decided to do 4-inch tarts rather full size pies, because small desserts are just cuter than big ones.
I made simple short crust pastry: 1:1 flour to shortening with a pinch of salt. I used 1.5 cups flour to 3/4 cup Earth Balance, with ~ .5 teaspoon salt...(I'm not sure exactly how much, as I just eye-balled it.) I think the key to good pastry is ensuring that the fat is very cold and remains so throughout the mixing process.
I found recipes online for vegan pumpkin pie with tofu, but that didn't appeal to me, so here's what I used instead:
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling
2 cups organic pumpkin puree
1 cup rice milk
1/3 cup turbinado sugar (this is nice, because it retains some of the molasses flavor)
1/4 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each: nutmeg, allspice, and ginger
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well incorporated and smooth. Fill the pastry with the filling and bake in a 425 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 and continue baking until the filling is set, approximately 30-40 minutes.
The filling came out smooth, pumpkiny, and nicely spiced...my husband liked it and he usually doesn't eat anything with cinnamon in it....so the flavors were subtle, but well balanced.
As good as the pumpkin pie was, I have to say, that the walnut raisin was my favorite. For this one, I used Bryanna Clark-Grogan's New and Improved Reliabe Vegan Pecan Pie recipe, but used walnuts and raisins instead of pecans. In the recipe, she gives a couple variations for the sweetener; I went with maple syrup option and it came out lovely and mapley. If anyone makes this pie, I definitely recommend going with the maple syrup option.
And one last note that I have to preface with saying: my mom was a stay-at-home mom, excellent cook, and everything we grew up eating was made from scratch...so a spray can of whipping cream would have never come within miles of our house....
But all that aside, my mom (whose not vegan, but was totally cool about eating a 100% vegan Thanksgiving dinner) found a can of vegan rice whip at WholeFoods and bought it to go with the vegan pie. I normally wouldn't buy anything like this, nor would she, but given the circumstances, I had to commend her efforts.
We used this stuff on the pie, and it really wasn't bad, but I was a little scared to read the ingredient list. It's basically rice milk and rice syrup packed in nitrous oxide. It's made in Germany.