Pie for the holidays! Nothin’ makes presenting a holiday dessert more fun, delicious, and festive than serving a luscious PIE! These six tried and true vegan beauties, all mimic classic seasonal pies, and will impress your family and guests, alike!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Pumpkin Pie with Date-Nut Crust
Makes 8 servings
10 large pitted Medjool dates, plus more as needed
1/2 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup rolled oats
14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu
1 can (about 16 ounces) pumpkin purée
⅔ cup maple sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped “Cream” (see recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate.
To make the crust, put the dates, pecans, and oats in a high-performance blending appliance and process until the mixture forms a dough. If the mixture is still too crumbly to hold together, add more pitted dates, one at a time, until the consistency is doughy. Form the date mixture into a ball and place it in the center of the prepared pie plate (see note).
Press the date mixture evenly over the bottom of the plate, pushing it up the sides of the pie plate as you go, to make a crust. To craft a pretty edge to the crust, use your index finger to push the inner edge of the crust out, while pinching the outer edge in with the thumb and index finger of your other hand to make a classic scalloped edge around the pie crust.
Put all of the filling ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust edges with small strips of foil.
Bake the pie for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the filling is somewhat firm to the touch (the center will still be slightly soft). Place the pie on a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, pipe whipped “cream” around the perimeter of the pie using a star tip, or simply serve a dollop of the whipped “cream” on the side.
NOTE: If you are serving the pie warm, let it stand it at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. If you are serving the pie chilled, cool, then cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours before serving. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep about 2 days.
NOTE: If desired, you may use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch round before placing it in the pie plate.
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped “Cream”
14 to 16 ounces extra-firm regular tofu, drained (sprouted variety is preferable)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon bourbon-flavored or plain vanilla extract
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if a sweeter flavor is desired. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours and serve.
Chocolate Mousse Ginger Pie
MAKES 8 SERVINGS
2 ½ cups vegan ginger cookies (makes about 1 ¾ cups crumbs)
½ cup vegan margarine, melted
¾ cup non-dairy vanilla milk
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) organic soft regular or soft silken tofu, drained well and broken up
2 bars (3.5 ounces each) vegan dark chocolate (snack bars, not baking chocolate), chopped fine
1/2 chocolate bar, cut into shavings
10 to 15 raspberries (frozen raspberries work well for this)
Put the cookies into a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Put the crumbs into a medium bowl. Add the melted vegan margarine and toss to combine. Press the crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.
Meanwhile, put the non-dairy milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Put the tofu into a blender. Top the tofu with the chocolate pieces. Pour the simmering non-dairy milk over top of the chocolate and tofu and process for one minute.
Pour the mousse into the prepared piecrust and chill for 5 to 7 hours, or until set. Before serving, garnish with chocolate shavings and/or raspberries, if desired.
Black Forest Pecan Pie
Makes 8 servings
10 large pitted Medjool dates
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
5 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
2 tablespoons filtered or spring water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
15 pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the crust, put the dates, oats, coconut, and pecans in a high-performance blender or food processor, and process to the consistency of soft dough. Transfer the dough onto a board and form it into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands, and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch round. Invert the dough on to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press the date mixture evenly over the bottom of the plate, pushing it up the sides of the pie plate as you go, to make a crust.
To craft a pretty edge to the crust, use your index finger to push the inner edge of the crust out, while pinching the outer edge in with the thumb and index finger of your other hand to make a classic scallop edge around the piecrust.
To make the filling, put the maple syrup, molasses, chocolate chips, pitted dates, margarine, water, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until very smooth. Pour the maple mixture in a medium bowl. Fold in 1 1/2 cups pecan halves.
Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top using a rubber spatula. Gently press 15 pecans halved into the top of the pie, arranging them in a pleasing manner. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges start to set and brown. Tent the pie with foil and bake for 5 to 8 minutes more, or until the pie has almost set in the middle. The filling will still be somewhat soft.
Carefully put the pie on a wire rack (the filling will be very hot!) and let cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Strawberry Mountain Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan cookie crumbs or vegan graham cracker crumbs (see note)
3 to 5 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini
1½ tablespoons nondairy milk
16 ounces extra-firm regular tofu
8 ounces soft silken tofu
1⁄3 cup raw cashews
1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan white sugar or your preferred dry sweetener
16 ounces organic strawberries
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2½ teaspoons filtered or spring water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the crust, put the cookie crumbs, 3 heaping tablespoons tahini and 11⁄2 tablespoons nondairy milk in a medium-sized bowl and combine using a large fork or dough blender. Add more tahini until the crumbs are moistened, but still crumbly in texture (up to 5 heaping tablespoons of tahini in all). Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes. Put the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the crust cools, put the extra-firm regular tofu, silken tofu, cashews and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the tofu mixture over the cooled crust. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is slightly firm to the touch (center of the filling will still be very soft). Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.
While the pie bakes, trim 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch off the wide end of each strawberry. Then, when the pie is out of the oven but still warm, arrange the strawberries, flat end down, in a pleasing pattern on top of the pie, gently pressing the end of each strawberry into the filling so it stands upright. Put the preserves and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Spread the preserves evenly over the top of the strawberries using a pastry brush or small spoon.
Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours before serving. Carefully cut the pie into slices (the filling will be soft). Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days.
Pear, Apple, and Walnut Crostata
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
2 firm pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar, maple sugar, or sucanat
2 heaping tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate.
Put the raisins, oats, 1/3 cup walnuts, and coconut in a high-performance blender or food processor and process until the mixture forms a dough. Press the oat mixture evenly into the bottom and part of the way up the sides of the pie plate.
Put the pear slices, apple slices, 1/3 cup walnuts, maple sugar, 1 heaping tablespoon of maple syrup, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and stir gently until combined. Pour the filling into the crust and spread it in an even layer, smoothing the top as you go. Bake the pie for 25 minutes. Remove the pie, and brush the top with 1 heaping tablespoon maple syrup. Tent the pie with foil and bake 10 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is softened and edges of crust are slightly golden. Cool 20 minutes and serve warm. Alternatively, refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours and serve the pie chilled. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep about two days.
Sweet Potato Pie
Makes 8 Servings
1 ½ cup vegan cookie crumbs (I like ginger cookies for this, see note)
1/3 (heaping) cup vegan margarine, plus more if needed
2 very large, or 3 to 4 medium-sized baked sweet potatoes, cooled (see note)
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 to 14 walnut halves (for garnish, optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the cookie crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the vegan margarine and incorporate it into the crumbs using a dough blender or large fork, until combined. Add a bit more margarine if crumbs still seem dry. Press the crust into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes. Put the plate on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon. Put the pulp in a medium-sized bowl and add the maple syrup, allspice, ginger and cinnamon. Mash well, using a large fork or potato masher, until the mixture is almost smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until almost set.
While the pie bakes, put 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine. Remove the pie from the oven. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the pie, then “swirl” it into the top of the pie using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, making certain all of the sugar/cinnamon mixture is moistened with some of the filling. Bake for 10 minutes.
Put the pie on a wire rack and garnish with the walnuts, if desired. Let cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Covered and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days.
Chef’s Note: To make cookie crumbs, put about 2 ½ to 3 cups of broken up vegan cookies in a blender, and process to coarse crumbs.
Chef’s Note: Sweet potatoes may be baked up to 48 hours in advance of preparing this recipe. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until use.