Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vegan (or not) Pecan Pie

A perfect, delicious pecan pie right out of the oven.
The holidays are over, and as I reflect back on the delicious food I made (and ate) between Thanksgiving and New Year's I'm proud of all the new things I tried in the kitchen. Some of my experiments flopped, but others turned out fantastic! One recipe that I plan to make every holiday from here on out, and just have to share with you all, is for Pecan Pie that can be made vegan or not. As someone who is allergic to eggs, I usually find that when it comes to baking, vegan recipes are the easiest for me to modify. It's easy to replace margarine with butter, for example. In my search for a pecan pie recipe, I found a great vegan recipe resource: Post Punk Kitchen. This woman seriously has a recipe for anything!

The story about the pie goes like this. I was planning to attend a post-Thanksgiving pot-luck, and really wanted to make a pecan pie. I had not yet had one this year, and really craved it. However, I cannot eat store-made pecan pie because they have eggs, and I really did not want to use Karo Syrup. Besides the fact that I just prefer the taste of real sugar, I also am doing my best to avoid corn, as most is genetically modified. If you want to learn more on that subject, do a search for "gmo corn" and read some of the results. I made the pecan pie for the party, and it was delicious. I was a little afraid the filling wouldn't set, as it seemed very liquid-y going into the oven, but it turned out perfectly!  And don't be scared of the recipe calling for tofu in the filling, I PROMISE you will not ever know it's there. Seriously.

Maple Pecan Pie
1/2C sugar
1/2C brown sugar
1/2C pure maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/4C margarine (I used butter since I'm not vegan)
6oz extra firm silken tofu
1/4C cold, unsweetened, plain, non-dairy milk (I used almond)
2T cornstarch
1/2t salt
1t vanilla extract
2C pecan halves
1 prepared pastry crust (do not parbake)

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
1. Make a caramel: in a saucepan over medium heat, mix together sugars and maple syrup. Stir often with a whisk. When bubbles start to form rapidly, stir consistently for about ten minutes (mine took more like fifteen). The mixture will become thick and syrupy - give it time! If it boils up the sides of your pot, lower the heat.
2. Once the caramel is thickened, add butter/margarine and stir til melted. Turn off the heat, and transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
3. Work quickly here! Prepare the rest of the filling: crumble tofu into blender or food processor. Add milk, cornstarch and salt. Puree until completely smooth.
4. With caramel still warm, add to the mixing bowl the tofu mixture and vanilla. Mix well. (Mine got really watery at this point, but it turned out fine!)
5. Fold in the pecans.
6. Pour the mixture into the pie crust, bake for 40 minutes. It should appear to be set and no longer watery.
7. Let cool for a few hours (it will continue to set as it cools), then slice and serve!
Whisking the caramel - yum!

The pie before baking.

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome Lndz! Can't wait to see some more of your awesome recipes!