I've had a great four day holiday weekend complete with some cookie baking with my son, cooking and crafts with my granddaughter, and some great meals at the dining room table. Thanksgiving has been a week long celebration here beginning with a Vegan Compassionate Thanksgiving last weekend with the NW Veg folks in Portland, OR. Three hundred and forty people gathered for a holiday vegan meal. We met some new friends and shared some hugs with familiar friends. There were so many wonderful dishes. We walked around the tables looking at them and taking some photos as guests arrived. I could tell there was no way I was going to taste everything I'd like to. I am also really glad we got some photos of the ingredient cards as well as the food. I can recreate some of the ones I like and some of the ones I didn't get to try.
I brought the pumpkin pies I've been making this fall and winter. I found a pretty easy pumpkin pie recipe. It contains only four ingredients that bakes up like the traditional pumpkin pie people are used to. It's firm, but creamy when you slide it in your mouth with the cashew coconut creme. They disappeared pretty quickly. I took home two clean pie plates. I made it with a gluten free oat flour crust for Thanksgiving and my granddaughter loved it.
Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie
vegan, makes one pie
1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
1 cup maple syrup
1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces) (or use fresh puree)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
optional: 1/2 tsp salt to taste (depends how much salt you soaked your cashews in)
ingredients notes: using high quality spice is helpful. Also, I prefer grade B maple syrup for its rich amber tones and caramelized flavor - but grade A works too.
One standard vegan pie crust - or make your own using my instructions in this post. Also reference my crust-making how-to video here.
1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 - 1 tsp of salt to the bowl - mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. Note: you may want to soak more cashews than needed and make two pies - or use in other recipes.
2. Soak this cashew bowl for two hours. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy.
3. The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
5. Drain the water from your cashews. They should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor - or even better, or high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec.
6. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason - you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1/3 tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.
7. Pour your mix into a par-baked vegan pie shell (I toast my raw pie shell in the 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes). You can buy a frozen crust or make your own per instructions linked in recipe above.
8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes - or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet - but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
9. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit "wet" to slice.
10. I serve chilled with a swirl of my vegan coconut whip on top!!