Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recipe: Easy as pie vegan pumpkin pie recipe

Now, when it comes to desserts, I'm still a little skeptical of some vegan variations.  I've had some awful vegan desserts in my day (just not recently, thank you very much), so when I found a recipe for tofu pumpkin pie over at, I was intrigued.  Pumpkin pie is my most favorite dessert of all time, and I was a little worried about how the recipe might turn out.  But since I've had some vegan baking "wins" lately, I thought I owed it to myself to give this recipe a try.  I mean, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year, and as easy as it would be to buy a pie from Whole Foods, it's a bigger accomplishment to make one from scratch.  Well, sort of from scratch.  I bought the crust at Whole Foods - it's surprisingly difficult to find a vegetarian let alone vegan pie crust.  Who knew that lard is still used in a lot of pie crusts.  If you don't live near a Whole Foods and need a meat-free pie crust, check out PETA's Accidentally Vegan list for vegan alternatives of all sorts of products sold in a grocery store near you.

Here we go!

1 can (15-16 ounces) pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar or sucanat (or 1/2 cup maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch to firm up the pie filling
1 package (10-12 ounces) silken/firm tofu
1 9-in unbaked vegan pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  
2. Using a blender or large food processor, blend the pumpkin and sugar.
3. Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, mix thoroughly - in the blender/food processor.  
4. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. 
5. Lower heat to 350 F and bake for another 60 minutes.  (or if you have a crazy oven like mine, closer to 90 minutes)
6. Chill and serve.  

Important notes:
- Use a blender or other high-powered device (like a food processor) to make the filling - I made two pies this weekend (good thing frozen pie shells come in two packs!) - For pie #1, I used my mixer (and the optional spices the original recipe calls for) and the pie was a lumpy, tofu-y mess.  I ate one bite and threw it away it was that bad.  The second was smooth and there wasn't a trace of tofu.
- Don't use the low fat tofu, then the pie tastes like it was made with tofu. (I used low fat tofu for pie #1 - epic FAIL here folks)
- Cracking is normal.  Don't panic if the surface has some cracks - it will still taste great!

The finished product:

The result?  A pretty tasty pie!  My guinea pig is always my meat-a-tarian boyfriend.  He really liked the pie and unless he reads this post, I don't think he could ever tell that I made it with tofu.  I liked it so much that I plan on serving it next week!

If you plan on making this pie, I HIGHLY recommend reading the comments posted with the original recipe.  After I baked my first version of this pie and it was a disaster, I got the idea to use a blender and less spices from the folks who'd already made this pie.  

Now if only I could figure out what else to serve next week.  Any suggestions?

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