Step by step: Vegan Pecan Pie
Last night, my friend Bre hosted a wonderful “ThanksgiVegan” dinner, which gave me the opportunity to test out some vegan treats. It also gave me the opportunity to do something I love, which is cook with my Mom. She doesn’t have to measure things out, and her food still comes out perfectly. We made a green bean casserole, candied yams, and a delicious Southern-style pecan pie. For the crust, we used a recipe from my Mom’s friend Marilyn Fodor, and simply replaced the egg with a mixture of flax seed and water. The pecan mixture recipe we pulled from the VeggieBoards forum.
Simple Pie Crust
Ingredients: (Makes 2 pie crusts)
- 4 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 cups Crisco
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/2 cup water
Mix flour, sugar, salt in large bowl. Cut in Crisco until crumbly and evenly distributed. In a small bowl, combine flax seed and 2 tbsp. water and whisk. Add vinegar and water. Pour contents of small bowl into dough mixture and mix well. Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and form half of the dough into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin, and roll out the dough until it is in a rough circle shape. You can hold your pie pan over the flattened dough to make sure it is big enough in diameter.
Next, carefully peel the dough from the flat surface and lay into the pie pan, draping the edges over the lip of the pan. If there is much excess dough around the lip, use your fingers to shape it so that the dough lays on top of the lip, sort of bunched up. Cut a piece of aluminum foil in the shape and size of the pie’s crust, and then cut out the middle of the foil, and lightly press the foil onto just the dough on the lip of the pan. This will prevent burning of the crust. Now you’re ready to mix the pecan pie filling!
Pecan Pie Filling
3/4 cup beaten firm silken tofu
2 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted vegan margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
(**If you can find it, sub 1/4 tsp. pecan, walnut or hazelnut flavoring extract for 1/2 tsp. of the vanilla. It’s a WONDERFUL addition and enhances the flavor but isn’t absolutely necessary, vanilla works fine too.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pecan halves (or more if you like it really “nutty”)
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange pecan halves in a single layer in bottom of crust. (Or more, depending on how many nuts you like)
Beat tofu, arrowroot, corn syrup, brown sugar, margarine, salt and vanilla (all ingredients except pecans) until well blended in your food processor or hand-held mixer/blender (Make sure the tofu is smooth and there are no lumps). Pour mixture over nuts.
Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 or until it looks like it’s starting to solidify – it will set up completely as it cools. Cool completely before serving.