Perfect Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This really is the perfect pumpkin pie. It comes together quickly, it has perfect pumpkin pie flavour, the texture is firm and silky, and there’s no soy aftertaste. I couldn’t ask for a better pie. You might want a more spicy pie, so add a bit more of the spices- it tastes pretty much the same raw or cooked, so make sure it tastes good to you before filling your crust.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup firm silken tofu
1/2 cup Silk coffee creamer, other brands might work too.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 cups canned pumpkin- I used an organic brand that was very dry and firm- it needed to be spooned out of the can, it wouldn’t come out on its own. You want your pumpkin to be this dry, so consider straining it in cheesecloth.
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger, nutmeg, salt
1/4 tsp cloves

You will need a 9″ pastry crust that has not been blind baked- stick it in the freezer for at least 30 mins before your bake time. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and place your rack in the middle. In a food processor blend first the tofu and creamer until smooth, then blend in the sugar and corn starch until smooth, then all the remaining ingredients. Fill frozen pastry crust and wrap the crust edges with strips of tinfoil to prevent burning. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for another hour, checking every so often to ensure the crusts aren’t burning and the filling is setting. Let cool on a rack, then transfer to the fridge over night to set completely. If you can wait that long. I decorated mine with pretty pastry stars, but you probably aren’t as nerdy as me, so a dollop of cashew cream will do fine for garnish. Or a cup of coffee, if you are like me and think pie=breakfast food.

Vegan Chocolate Candy Cane Ice Cream (a recipe in progress)

Here’s the scoop. I don’t really like sugar. Sweet things don’t do it for me- I’d take kale chips over fudge any day. However, I do have a thing for chocolate. Exquisitely dark, complicated chocolate, not too sweet, just plain, bitter chocolate. Sometimes I like it with some heat from cayenne, ginger or cinnamon, maybe some peppermint, alcohol and chocolate go swimmingly, of course some nuts stirred in will be fine, and I do have a fondness for tart raspberries with chocolate. But too much sugar, cheap fat or poor flavour really ruin it for me. I like my chocolate like I like my coffee, dark and bitter, maybe with some more chocolate stirred in.
So. That said. Ice cream tends to dilute chocolate just a bit too much for my taste. I know, it’s called “ice cream” not “iced chocolate”- but really, I want iced chocolate… with a creamy texture. How to make this? Coconut milk is a good start, the fats melt seamlessly with dark chocolate without changing its melting point. I want real chocolate, but also some good dark cocoa stirred in to help counter all that coconut milk. A bit of vanilla. And additional dark chocolate shavings stirred in at the last minute. Yes, that will do.
I tried my hand at making chocolate ice cream for the first time tonight, this time with candy canes and peppermint oil stirred in (’tis the season- I used this recipe as a starting point). I tried using chia seeds and a bit of starch to make it a bit thicker. I couldn’t get the chia seeds fine enough in my grinder, though I think they have potential. Instead of starch, I will use custard powder next time. And 3/4c sugar is too much for 3c coconut milk and 1 1/2 c dark chocolate. I only added 1 1/2 T cocoa powder and 1 1/2 c chocolate, and it’s not chocolatey enough. So. More cocoa, I think, and perhaps some chocolate extract. And maybe some shaved chocolate throughout. It will likely take several more tries til I make a recipe worthy of sharing, but rest assured, dear reader, I will produce one! Hopefully I won’t have to eat too many not-quite-right batches of ice cream in the mean time….