Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Walnut Cream

VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE is appropriate for Halloween, and is certainly necessary later on in November for Thanksgiving. I've made this vegan version for years, and nobody complains it isn't as good as other pumpkin pies. I'd like to think it is better. A lot of vegan pumpkin pies utilize tofu, but this one doesn't. If you have a soy allergy, you could substitute a rice or nut milk for the soy milk. You could use a can of pumpkin, but I like to cook up some squash or pumpkin for a fresher taste.

It is called vegan pumpkin pie, but many years I've made this pie with buttercup squash, a squat, green skinned, orange-fleshed squash with a rich flavor. However, one of my sons thinks he doesn't like squash, but will eat vegan pumpkin pie (a much friendlier name), and another son insists pumpkin pie should be made with pumpkin.

So this year we bought an organic pie pumpkin, which is smaller and sweeter than the big ones. Today I washed it and cut it horizontally through the middle,discarded the seeds (somewhat guiltily, because they can be roasted and eaten, but I don't like them much), and then placed the two halves cut side down on a cookie sheet to bake for an hour at 350 degrees. When I took it out of the oven it had been sitting for an hour in there without the heat on, and the skin peeled away easily. What was left were two perfect orange halves that looked like they had been molded in a special pan. I thought they looked like they should be served that way with something interesting filling the center, but I will leave that for someone else to do.


2--pie shells in regular pie plates (not deep dish)

1--cooked small pumpkin or other squash (which can also be peeled and cooked in some water on the stove top) to yield 3 ¼ cups mashed pumpkin—or an equivalent sized can of pumpkin puree
2 cups—soy, rice or nut milk
¼ cup--arrowroot powder or cornstarch
¼ cup--almond or peanut butter (though this isn't essential, it makes for a richer tasting pie)
½ cup--maple syrup
½ cup--Sucanat or organic sugar
1 ½ Tbl.--molasses
1 Tbl.--Vanilla
1 Tbl.--cinnamon
½ tsp.--salt
dashes--allspice and/or clove

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Blend together the pumpkin and the other ingredients and pour into the pie shells. Bake at 450 degrees for fifteen minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another thirty minutes. It may jiggle when you remove it from the oven, but it will set up nicely as it cools.

Vegan pumpkin pie can be served with tofu whipped topping or WALNUT CREAM.

1 cup—walnuts
¼ cup—water
¼ cup--maple syrup
1 tsp.--vanilla
1/8 cup—rum
big spoonful hazelnut butter or organic Smart Balance margarine

Blend ingredients together and dab on cooled vegan pumpkin pie.

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