Vegan Pumpkin Pie
By Fitness and Freebies
Pilgrims came up with this pumpkin pie idea in the 1600's since they had to figure out how to cook New World foods.
2 boxes (350 g) silken tofu, drained
2 heaping cups of cooked pumpkin
1-1/4 cups brown sugar, not packed tight
7 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 pie crusts (see recipe below)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Blend the tofu in a food processor or with a blender until smooth and cream-like; the blending may take three or four minutes total. Stop the machine every once in a while to scrape large pieces of tofu down into the machine's blades.
Add two heaping cups of cooked pumpkin and blend some more, again stopping the machine and scraping the mixture down. The result should be a light orange-colored paste with no lumps of tofu. Put the paste into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, salt, and spices. Mix well and spoon it into two pie crusts; top with small bits of crust cut into shapes, if desired.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the crusts are dark brown (but not burned). Serve warm or chilled, plain or topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Vegan Pumpkin pie refrigerates and freezes well. Recipe can be halved.
This pie takes about two hours to prepare, depending on how you budget your time preparing all the ingredients, and whether you have pie crust and cooked pumpkin available. Recipe makes two pies, because a single pumpkin yields enough material for two pies.
Hot-Water Pie Crust
This recipe could well be two hundred years old. It is English or Scottish in origin, and used to call for lard and butter. This version is modified for vegetarians. Another note: white flour works better than whole-wheat flour.
1 cup shortening
1 large teaspoon margarine
3/4 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups pastry flour or 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix up the shortening, margarine, and water until creamy. While it's still creamy and not yet cold, sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until a dough forms. Try not to knead it while forming it into a large ball. Separate the dough into two equal balls for easier rolling; each portion will yield a single 9-inch pie crust or one dozen small tart shells. Chill the dough before rolling it out, but not overnight (depending on your fridge, 20 to 40 minutes). Use all-purpose flour, not pastry flour, for rolling. To freeze: Roll the dough into individual pie crusts and place in an airtight container, placing a sheet of wax paper between the sheets of dough. Fold the sheets as necessary to fit in the container, but thaw completely before unfolding!
Using Leftover Cooked Pumpkin
You may have extra pumpkin when you are done making these pies, because it's very hard to tell exactly how much cooked pumpkin a raw pumpkin will give you. Here are some ideas for using it up:
- Place it in a casserole dish, top with margarine or cheese, and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown. Serve as a side dish.
- Make an easy stew-like soup out of it.
- Use it in any recipe calling for squash, or use it in ravioli or lasagna as a substitute for cheese.
- Add a few tablespoons to bread or cookies.
- Pasties: mix with some onions or potatoes or other vegetable, place into a pocket of pie crust, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm or cold -- great for football games and picnics!
- Freeze it immediately after cooking and use in future recipes.
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The bonus benefit of a vegan diet is the ease of kitchen clean-up after preparing a hearty meal. Unless you are using an excess of cooking oils, plant-based foods are not naturally greasy, the pots and pans will not be greasy, and the kitchen sink will not be greasy.