Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pondering Pie: Part Four

Yesterday I wrote about the two main ways of looking
at fruit pies, cream and custard pies have very much
the same division. You can always look at pies as being
cooked or uncooked. Well, not really uncooked, but more
'precooked'. I'm not even touching on 'raw pie' here, but
I am thinking on doing a post for that...

So custard pies are those that are baked in the end.
Of course the crust may be prebaked briefly before to
it doesn't get soggy when you add the filling, but it is again
baked after the filling is added. You could call these double-
baked pies. These would be your average custard pies, pumpkin
pies, sweet potatoes pies (maybe), etc.
When I used to consume eggs- we had rescued chickens and
many were separated from the roosters, so we used the
eggs that were not fertilized or my dad sold them to friends...
But I've been off the liquid chicken for sometime now-
I used to make an apple custard pie every full moon.
Green apples line the bottom and a spicy custard is poured
on top and it is baked.

Custard primarily is an egg mixture plus milk, sugar, vanilla
and some spices. So how do we substitute and achieve that
perfect custard smoothness in a twice-baked pie?
I've had excellent luck with silken tofu as an egg sub.
I think it was the main substitute for Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's
sweet potato pie...

For Pumpkin pie, I may add a little tofu to thicken a bit,
but usually I'll just use soymilk and cut back on the liquid
requirements in the recipe. It is really nice to just let the pumpkin or
squash stand alone. The flavour is really amazing.
But I know we all love that creamy texture. Try out tofu-
Silken Firm is the best, it the pack that comes vacuum packaged
and is not refrigerated. It is what I use in one of my favourite
creations, my 'Lover's Accident Pie'. I cannot divulge my entire
recipe to you but I will give you a break down of the tofu custard
that is used.

The Mini Custard

The real sized pie

For a Basic Tofu Custard

1 12-oz package of silken firm tofu
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients except the arrowroot,
once smooth and creamy add the powder and blend
again. Pour into a pre-baked crust and bake at 375F
for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top
and it appears to be setting up. Don't worry if it is
a little giggly, it will set up as it cools down a little too.

Now you can add any variety of spices here or use this to
set up a batter for something else. It adapts well into a
cheesecake if you add something to sour it or add more vanilla
to use it as a vegan creme brulee recipe...

Baked and creamy

Topped with cranberry syrup...

The other type of cream pie, which I haven't touched on
get is that which is poured into an entirely pre-baked crust
and chilled to set. The would be like a banana cream pie
or a pudding pie. The crust is baked about 15 minutes or
less depending on what type it is. You can use a graham
cracker crust which is pretty popular for these types of pie.
I don't make these too often because I'm not a huge pudding
person. I do make a really good chocolate pudding, but very
very rarely am I in the mood for it.
I would have pictures because I made one a couple months ago
for my grandparents, but it wasn't worth photographing
because they cut it up before it was entirely set and I didn't
feel like taking a picture of a blob of pudding was worth it.

You get it though: pudding cooked in a pan on the stove and
put into a prebaked crust and chilled= yum.

But definitely try out that vegan custard, its the foundation
for any good custard pie.

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