Classic Pumpkin Pie | Cashew-Based & Vegan

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A favorite Autumn and Winter treat and perfect for celebrating the holidays. Vegan pumpkin pies are often made with tofu as a replacement for the evaporated milk and eggs. Although I use tofu frequently and successfully in eggless egg recipes and desserts, I find its undertaste to be rather noticeable and distracting in pumpkin pie. Therefore my goal was to create a pumpkin pie using a creamy cashew base which allows the flavor of the pumpkin and the warm spices to predominate.

 

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Classic Gentle Chef Pumpkin Pie
A favorite Autumn and Winter treat and perfect for celebrating the holidays. Vegan pumpkin pies are often made with tofu as a replacement for the evaporated milk and eggs. Although I use tofu frequently and successfully in eggless egg recipes and desserts, I find its undertaste to be rather noticeable and distracting in pumpkin pie. Therefore my goal was to create a pumpkin pie using a creamy cashew base which allows the flavor of the pumpkin and the warm spices to predominate.
Votes: 4
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 4
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water in the refrigerator for about 8 hours to soften and hydrate. To expedite the soaking process, pour boiling water over the cashews and let soak for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  3. Drain the cashews and add them to a high-powered blender. Add the non-dairy milk and process for 2 full minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth. The mixture will be quite thick, so occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula and stir the contents back down into the blades as necessary. Use a tamper tool if provided with your blender.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell and smooth the surface with a spatula or large spoon. Don’t worry about a few swirl marks as they will minimize when the pie cools. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for an additional 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean (do not exceed 60 minutes).
  7. Note: The surface of the pie will appear dry after baking; this will resolve once cooled and chilled.
  8. Remove the pie and cool completely on a wire rack (until the underside of the pie plate no longer feels warm). Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled and firm before slicing and serving. Try to avoid laying the plastic wrap in direct contact with the surface of the pie as moisture condensation will result. The pie can also be chilled in a large, sealable storage container.
  9. Top individual slices with a dollop of non-dairy whipped cream, if desired.
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Marshmallow Creme

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Yes, you heard correctly, sweet and gooey marshmallow creme without using egg whites. The secret ingredient to this deliciously spreadable confection is Versawhip 600K™, which is a modified form of soy protein. Versawhip 600K™ will need to be purchased through the internet and I recommend ModernistPantry.com as the source from which to order.

A stand mixer is REQUIRED for this recipe. The technique involves whipping molten hot sugar syrup, so do not attempt with a hand-held mixer or splattering can occur which can result in severe burns. Food processors, stand blenders or immersion blenders are not recommended for this recipe either as they will not work properly. So please don’t try it. It is also recommended that the stand mixer be equipped with a splatter shield to prevent the sticky marshmallow mixture from splattering out of the mixing bowl.

You will also need a candy thermometer to determine when the molten sugar syrup has reached the proper temperature. Light corn syrup is also required for this recipe and due to the concern about GMO products, a non-GMO light corn syrup is available by searching on the internet. This recipe yields about 4 cups.

Ingredients for the sugar syrup:
• ¼ cup water
• ⅓ cup light corn syrup
• 1 cup organic sugar
• pinch of sea salt

Ingredients for the fluff:
• ¼ cup water
• 1 and ½ tsp Versawhip 600K™
• ¼ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
• ½ tsp real vanilla extract

Technique:
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a small saucepan. Be sure the base of the thermometer rests just above the bottom of the pan without touching the metal.

Add the water, corn syrup and then the sugar into the center of the mixture. Swirl gently and place over medium-high heat. Do not stir while the sugar mixture is heating. The mixture will need to be boiled and brought to the “soft-ball candy” stage or 240°F. This will take several minutes.

While the sugar syrup is boiling, add the water to the bottom of the mixer’s bowl. Sprinkle in the Versawhip 600K™ and the guar gum or xanthan gum. Reserve the vanilla extract for later. Turn on the mixer and increase the speed to the highest setting. The mixture will whip into a voluminous white foam.

When the sugar syrup has reached 240°F, remove the saucepan from the heat and with the mixer running at high speed, pour the molten sugar syrup into the foam. Set a timer for 10 minutes while whipping at high speed. While the mixture is whipping, add the vanilla extract. That’s all that is necessary to make marshmallow creme. Transfer the marshmallow creme to a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Marshmallow Creme
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Rating: 4.5
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Votes: 4
Rating: 4.5
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Chocolate Cashew Milk or Hot Cocoa

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Kids will love this and your “inner child” will love it too. This recipe yields 4 cups or 1 quart of the finest chocolate cashew milk or hot cocoa. Chocolate cashew milk has a brief refrigerator storage life, so consume within 3 to 4 days (this has never been an issue in my home). Shake or stir well before serving.

For hot cocoa, gently heat in a saucepan on the stove – do not boil! Cashew milk makes a wonderful base for hot cocoa because it has a tendency to thicken slightly when heated. Top the hot cocoa with Marshmallow Creme (recipe in this blog) or Heavenly Whipped Cream (from my cookbooks) if desired.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup (5 oz. by weight) whole raw cashews
• 4 cups water
• ½ cup organic sugar, or more to taste
• ⅓ unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tsp real vanilla extract
• ½ tsp fine sea salt (optional)

You will also need a high-powered blender and a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth to strain any residual solids from the milk.

Technique:
Soak the nuts for a minimum of 8 hours in the refrigerator with enough water to cover. Drain the nuts, discarding the soaking water. Add the nuts to a high-powered blender with 4 cups of fresh water. Process the mixture on high speed for 2 full minutes.

The milk will now need to be strained to remove the solids. To do this, wash your hands thoroughly and then pour the milk into the nut milk bag over a large bowl or pitcher. While holding the top of the bag with one hand, gently knead and squeeze the bag to help the milk pass through the ultra-fine mesh.

Optionally, the milk can be poured (in increments) into a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Stir the milk gently with a spoon to help it pass through the cheesecloth.

Pour the strained milk back into the blender and discard or compost the solids in the bag or cheesecloth.

Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt to the blender and process until smooth. Store the milk in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve or heat on the stove. Chocolate cashew milk has a tendency to separate, so shake well or stir before using.

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Chocolate Cashew Milk or Hot Cocoa
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Rating: 5
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Rating: 5
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Chocolate Ice Cream (Cashew Base)

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An American classic (but now cruelty-free!)

Ingredients:
• 1 and ½ cup (7.5 oz.) whole raw cashews
• 3 cups water
• 1 and ¼ cup organic sugar
• ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
• 2 tsp real vanilla extract
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp guar gum (optional; helps prevent ice crystallization)

Technique:
Soak the cashews in water for a minimum of 8 hours. Drain and discard the water and add the cashews to a high-powered blender. A the 3 cups of fresh water and process on high speed for a full 2 minutes.

Thoroughly strain the cream through a nut milk bag or through a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Gently massage the bag to help the cream pass through or stir the cream in the strainer with a spoon.

Add the cashew cream back to the blender with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and is heated through. Do not boil.

Remove from the heat and let cool until warm (stir occasionally to prevent a “skin” from forming on the surface).

Pass the mixture through a strainer into a container with a lid and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Process the mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. The ice cream will freeze hard when stored in the freezer.

To serve, simply thaw briefly until it reaches the desired texture for scooping.

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Chocolate Ice Cream (Cashew Base)
Votes: 6
Rating: 1.33
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Votes: 6
Rating: 1.33
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Key Lime Pie

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A graham cracker pie shell is filled with a citrusy and refreshing key lime curd. The pie can be topped with Heavenly Whipped Cream (from either of my cookbooks) if desired, as the light coconut flavor pairs nicely with the tanginess of the lime; or simply garnish with additional lime wedges or zest.

For the pie shell, you will need:
• 1 nine-inch Graham Cracker or Cookie Crumb Pie Shell

Ingredients for the pie filling:
• 1 carton (12.3 oz.) firm or extra-firm silken tofu
• 1 and ¼ cup organic sugar
• 1 cup water
• ¾ cup fresh key lime or regular lime juice
• 5 T cornstarch or arrowroot powder
• 1 T fresh grated key lime zest
• ¼ tsp sea salt

Technique:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the pie shell for 12 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a blender, process the pie filling ingredients until smooth. Pour the blender contents into a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a rubber or silicone spatula and scraping the sides of the saucepan as you stir. The mixture will be foamy and milky in appearance. Stir constantly as the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring until the mixture begins to bubble and the milky and foamy appearance transforms into a thick and gelatinous lime curd.

Pour the filling into the pie crust, smooth the top gently with a rubber/silicone spatula or the back of a spoon and place in the refrigerator uncovered for 2 hours until the top of the pie is firmly set. After 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap. Garnish with Heavenly Whipped Cream or a commercial vegan whipped topping and lime wedges or zest, if desired, before serving.

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Key Lime Pie
Votes: 18
Rating: 3.06
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Votes: 18
Rating: 3.06
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