There is something magical about a light, flaky, buttery pie crust. Unfortunately, my love of pie crust is equally matched by my cooking laziness. Who has time to whip vegan shortening, roll out the dough, or freeze everything before making a pie? For the last 4 years, this laziness has doomed my husband and I to a parade of sub par pie… until I made a surprising discovery.
White spelt flour.
Jesse, my husband, is gluten intolerant. Yet, ancient grains, such as spelt, are easy on his stomach. Any sort of wheat flour results in gastrointestinal distress, which is almost as unpleasant for me as it is for him. My current theory is that he is not intolerant of the gluten exactly, but the specific gluten content and higher phytic acid content of modern day wheat. Turns out when you genetically modify foods but do not change the human digestion system, problems can occur! Who would have thought? Anyway, whole spelt flour is a great addition to any baking routine, and I used it in sub par pie crusts for years. The results were edible. However, with the popularity of ancient grains growing, new flours have been popping up in the New Season’s bulk isle. This was how I discovered white spelt. It is less nutritionally dense than whole spelt, but has more protein, fiber, and other nutrients than white wheat flour. Furthermore, who needs the extra nutrients in a dessert pie? Thus, while attempting pumpkin pie #3, I threw together white spelt, tapioca starch, baking powder, ripple vegan milk, and coconut oil to make a quick crust. The pie went in the oven, and the results were Jesse and my dessert after dinner.
“This crust is amazing!” Was the feedback from my husband. While the pumpkin part still needed work (it would take another 4 attempts to fully master the vegan, tofu pumpkin pie) the spelt crust naturally tasted buttery. It flaked, like the very best, carefully rolled and folded pastry. It was thin, yet held my too dense pumpkin pie filling together with ease. I don’t know what it is about white spelt, but it is magic in a pie crust.
To Jesse and I, a whole new world of pie had been revealed. There are so many savory pies, like this delicious quiche from Oh My Veggies, and this wonderful shepherds’ pie from Veggie Primer. It goes without saying, even if it isn’t in the recipe, shepherds’ pie is always more delicious with a light, flaky crust! Finally there is Pumpkin Pie #7, this week’s recipe. It was a challenge, but here is an easy, maple syrup sweetened, tofu pumpkin pie with the perfect texture and flavor. Enjoy!
This is pumpkin pie #7, and it is perfect. The best flavor, the best easy crust, and just the right texture. Never settle for soupy vegan tofu pumpkin pie again!
- For the pie:
- 1/2 block firm tofu
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbs pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tbs ginger
- 2 tbs vanilla
- 2 tbs molasses
- 1 tbs meyer lemon juice
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- For the crust:
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup warm ripple or other vegan milk
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup white spelt flour
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a pie pan with coconut oil.
- To make the crust, mix all ingredients together. The dough will be soft.
- Press pie dough into pie pan, that's it!
- To make the pie filling, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend.
- Poor pie filling into pie crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is light brown and top of pumpkin pie has darkened. Filling should feel firm and not jiggle when shook.
- Cool before serving. Tastes even better the next day!