25 October 2008

Vegan MoFo: pumpkin pie, take two

good ole pumpkin pie

A couple weeks since my last attempt at Pumpkin Pie, I knew I was ready to try again; but this time, I wanted to keep it simple. Although I enjoyed the flavors of the ginger and ceylon tea, I decided to cut back on the spices in this recipe to allow the pumpkin flavor to shine. I can see an advertisement for this pie reading:

"No gimmicks. Just pure pumpkiny goodness."

Or something like that...

Once again, I based my pie filling recipe off Bryanna's Pumpkin Pie Recipe, but I made a few changes. Instead of a non-dairy milk, I used cashew cream (recipe below) to make the pie thicker and creamier. I like making my own milk because I know there are not preservatives or additives, and I can control the consistency. I also added a little more tapioca flour than the recipe calls for. I'm not sure whether it was both of these or the combination, but my pie set up much better this time. For the crust, I made up a new recipe (very loosely based on the one I used before). This one uses light spelt flour, which still has nutritious qualities but a much lighter taste and feel (I would have like to have tried the crust without any all purpose flour, but I ran out of spelt). I also used vinegar and baking soda to help make the crust flakier. This crust turned out much better than any of my previous crusts, although I know it still probably could use some work (if you know of any great vegan crust recipes, especially ones that incorporate whole grains, please let me know!). Here are my recipes:

Part Spelt Crust:
makes one 9-inch single pie crust

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light spelt flour
1/3 cup cold shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening, careful not to over mix. Add vinegar and slowly add water, about a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it is a circle about 14" in diameter. Using the parchment paper to gently lift the dough, place it inside a 9" pie pan. Trim overhanging edges to 1" and fold under, using fingers to create decorative edge.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
makes one 9-inch pie

2 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin (I used a little more than one 14.5 oz. can, but you could probably get away with one can)

1 cup cashew cream (recipe below)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

The cashew cream recipe below is a great addition to so many recipes. It worked wonderfully in my chocolate matcha truffles, and also in my quince and chestnut bread pudding. Although you can probably get away with soymilk in the above recipe, I think the richness of the cashews is really important. If you want to make a lower fat version, try replacing the water with the non-dairy milk of your choice and adding about 1/4 cashews. The result will still be creamy and delicious.

cashew cream

Cashew Cream:

makes one cup

3/4 cup raw cashews

3/4 cup cold water

Blend ingredients in a blender on high until completely smooth and creamy.

the blended result

the creamy consistency

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