The idea of a vegan pumpkin pie sounded so incongruous to me – traditional pumpkin pie is custard in a pastry crust and custard is eggs and milk – that when I saw the recipe created by Susan Voisin at FatFreeVegan.com, I had to try it. Call it practice for the main event, Thanksgiving dinner. Not only is it made without dairy, it is crustless (I do adore pie crust - more than the filling in most cases), making it a very healthy version of the it-wouldn’t-be-Thanksgiving-without-it classic.
So…how did it turn out? The taste is spot-on to my mom's delicious pumpkin pie: perfectly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and cloves (I always omit the nutmeg) and the texture is very close to its custard counterpart. I had a tiny bit of trouble getting the slices out of the pie pan – a sharp, wet knife helps with cutting – but nothing disastrous.
The thing is, pumpkin pie, in my opinion, requires one important accompaniment. My taste buds really needed that creamy, slightly sweet and trusty sidekick. So I did a quick search on the internet for another incongruous-sounding idea: vegan whipped cream and was rewarded by a bunch of recipes. I went for the one containing silken tofu, vanilla extract, a small amount of coconut milk (though you could use soy milk instead) and a touch of sugar (or stevia). It doesn’t have the peaks and fluffiness of dairy whipped cream – it’s more like a sauce – but it is very yummy and goes deliciously with the pumpkin pie.
If you’re interested in trying vegan pumpkin pie for yourself, visit FatFreeVegan.com. Ms. Voisin has loads of easy, delicious and low-fat vegan recipes. This week all of the dinners on my list are from her site – with the exception of a fantastic wheatberry and roasted vegetable salad my friend, Tracey Glover, is testing for an upcoming vegan cookbook.