Pumpkin PieVegetarians in LA have every reason to be excited about Thanksgiving this year.  There is no shortage of fresh vegetables at local farmers markets, and if you are looking to dine out on Thanksgiving check out Akasha Richmond’s vegetarian menu at Akasha in Culver City.  And for vegans, Akasha’s pie buffet featuring a vegan pumpkin pie will be reason enough to celebrate.  Hear more about vegetarian Thanksgiving ideas from Akasha this week on Good Food.  She shares her secret to vegan gravy (mushroom stock and rice flour), stuffing (olive oil) and mashed potatoes (hot soy milk).

For those of you looking for a vegan dessert that embodies the holiday spirit, try this vegan pumpkin pie recipe, after the jump.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie, adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients

Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

Filling
1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm lite silken tofu, drained
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pecan halves, divided  (optional)

Directions

For the crust, pulse flour, pecans, salt and sugar in a food processor until pecans are finely ground. Add shortening and pulse until almost combined, then add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just blended. Gather dough into two balls then press each into a disc. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for several hours until firm.

When ready to make the pie, set one disc out at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly. On a floured surface, roll out dough into a (10- to 11-inch) circle and carefully transfer to a (9-inch) pie plate. Press crust back together where needed and crimp edges as desired; chill until ready to use. (Reserve remaining pie dough for another use.)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

For the filling, blend tofu in a food processor until creamy and smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, 1/4 cup of the syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and purée until smooth; set aside.

Optional – Reserve 8 pecan halves as a garnish then toss remaining pecans with remaining 2 tablespoons syrup and arrange evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.  If you skip this step, combine extra syrup with pumpkin puree and blend well.

Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Set pie aside to let cool then top with non-dairy topping and/or reserved pecans, if you like.

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