Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The year our family became vegan, I immediately began my quest to find a great pumpkin pie recipe. Thanksgiving was still a few months away, but I knew the lack of a dairy-and-egg-free version of our favorite dessert would derail any hopes of keeping the holiday vegan. My kids love,love,love pumpkin pie. And so began the Summer of 100 Awful Pies. Well, maybe not 100, but I baked enough terrible pastries to make us wonder if we ever wanted to eat pumpkin again. Our criteria for the perfect pie was that it had to be smooth and sturdy, not a goopy mess (as many were), with just the right amount of spice. So I baked pie after pie. Some were flavorful but pudding-like, some sturdy, but with way too much tofu and not enough pumpkin taste. In the end, not finding one we liked,we developed our own recipe. We took the best components from the non-vegan recipes we used to enjoy as omnivores and created this one. It's spicy, smooth, delicious, and slices beautifully. To help it retain its firmness, it's best served cold. We prefer pumpkin served chilled anyway so as not to have a pie which tastes too vegetably. Our family likes this recipe better than our old non-vegan one. And with  Vegan Whipped Cream, we don't miss the cool whip.

1 can(15 oz.) pumpkin(I prefer Libby's)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 package Mori-Nu Extra Firm Silken Tofu
1/2 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 & 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Add ingredients one at time and blend in a food processor until smooth, scraping the sides of processor bowl with a rubber spatula between each addition. Make sure all the tofu is blended with no white bits remaining. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate pumpkin filling overnight.
Prepare one unbaked pie crust. I use the Classic Crisco Pie Crust. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour filling into pie crust. Use a pie crust shield or aluminum foil to keep the crust from browning too much. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until center is completely set.
Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until cold. Enjoy!

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