Thursday, October 27, 2011
Vegan Mofo #24 Colleen’s Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust...
Vegan Mofo #24 Colleen’s Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust
The Book - The Joy of Vegan Baking
The Author - Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
The Recipe - Pumpkin Pie & Pecan Crust
Page - Pie #104 Crust # 213
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Pie - Roughly 1 hour for prep and bake time 2 hours cool time. Crust - 20-30 minutes
Pumpkin Pie, is there any better way to celebrate autumn? Is there any dessert more perfect to serve after your Thanksgiving feast? I think not. I love pumpkin pie, absolutely adore it. Honestly I love pumpkin flavored anything, but pumpkin pie in particular is one of my favorite sweet treats. It’s the sort of thing I only eat maybe two or three times a year, so each holiday season I really look forward to it. It’s so warming, and comforting, and the aroma is so heavenly that it really locks you into the moment. There’s nothing better then enjoying a good sized slice with a cup of tea after a good holiday meal.
As much as I love pumpkin pie however I notice at least amongst my friends that it seems to be something of an acquired taste. So many people hate pumpkin pie, my husband amongst them. Since I see no reason in baking an entire pie just for myself each Thanksgiving, I hadn’t baked a pumpkin pie in the years since we’d been married. That all changed this year though when I invited my good friends J and L for Thanksgiving, both of whom enjoy pumpkin pie.
I was very excited to try Colleen’s recipe, and have had my eye on it since I first got "The Joy of Vegan Baking" a year ago. However I was a little concerned about the ingredients. You see she uses tofu in the recipe and I really try to avoid using tofu in baking things like pies or cakes. I find such things baked with tofu usually have a chalky consistency and a soy aftertaste. Maybe my tastebuds are just sensitive to the taste of soy because so often that’s all I can taste in certain baked goods, dips, sauces etc... and I always find it unpleasant. Of course since Colleen has never steered me wrong before I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
First I started by making her Pecan Crust. I’ve never had a pecan crust on a pumpkin pie before and originally I was going to make a simple traditional pie crust, but I was also making an apple pie and decided it wasn’t worth the time or the trouble to make that much crust from scratch. The pecan crust was so much simpler, and faster. I am so glad I decided to use it, because in the end it was phenomenal. The taste was amazing, the texture was great and it went so well with the pumpkin flavor that I can’t believe I’d never thought to use a pecan crust before. The two were a perfect marriage, and in the end I wasn’t sure which I liked more the pie or the crust!
When making the crust I followed the recipe exactly, however when it came to the filling I ended up doing things just a little bit differently. After opening my tofu and squeezing out what water I could - I may have bought the wrong kind here, the recipe calls for silken firm but the store didn’t have any that said silken and firm on the same package whoops! - because it was nearly impossible to squeeze out the water. After adding just over half the contents of the package to my food processor which already contained the pumpkin puree, the spices and a third of a cup of Maple syrup - it was suppose to be a half cup but I ran out - the mix was looking a little too thin and watery. I added in the half cup of brown sugar, along with the remaining ingredients blended it all together, tested it and decided not only was it indeed more liquid then solid but it was also very under-spiced in my opinion, and I could definitely taste tofu. After a bit of fiddling and fussing I ended up adding in much more cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg then the recipe originally called for along with extra corn starch and just a little over 1 cup of brown sugar. By that point I’d tasted the batter several times and never really found myself convinced but I decided what the heck, what more could I do? Tired of messing around and eager to get on to the next holiday task I ended up pouring the filling into the pie crust and popping it into the oven. As it baked it smelled incredible and so I hoped for the best. When it came back out I gently pressed the toasted pecan halves into the pie and again hoped for the best.
I’ll tell you, in my life I’ve eaten a lot of different pumpkin pies, prepared by a lot of different people. A lot of home made, a lot of store bought, almost all of them non-vegan and this pumpkin pie was hands down one of the best I’d ever eaten. No lie. It was the best pumpkin pie I’d ever made, and I can’t at the moment recall any pumpkin pie I might have eaten that was better. Absolutely fantastic and my guests seemed to enjoy it as well! There certainly wasn’t too much left over at the end of the night. This has now become my go to pumpkin pie, and just FYI it’s completely necessary to add a dollop of rice or soy whip to your slice. I have never liked whip cream, but pumpkin pie was always the one exception. They go together like love and marriage.