Everywhere I go, someone’s crooning about the ultimate feast, the supreme table setting, the most festive attire, the perfect Martha Stewart life. It’s all so easy…so affordable…so darned attainable!
Get me the earplugs. As much as I appreciate (and probably need) all the advice, I’m going into hibernation. Somewhere warm and cozy, where I don’t need to hear about the top 10,000 tastiest Thanksgiving recipes, or 50 ways to delight my holiday guests.
If you want to find me from now until January 1st, just come to my kitchen. It’s my favorite place to be this time of year — far away from the din and closest to what’s meaningful to me: good food, family togetherness, love.
No need to show me the money. Just give me a slice of this luscious pudding pie. The hit of last week’s Thanksgiving cooking class, it’s as creamy and pumpkin-y as you can get. It just so happens to be dairy-free and can easily go vegan (see my substitutions below). Plus, it won’t hog your precious oven space, since the filling is made stove-top.
Whether prepared in a tart pan or layered into champagne flutes, this pie is a beauty. It’s good enough to make me stop and savor each bite. And it makes me feel grateful. Thanksgiving therapy at its best.
Serves 12 or more
2 cups (about 12 ounces) store-bought gingersnaps (I love these gluten-freeones)
1 cup walnuts (pieces are fine) or pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted vegan margarine (Earth Balance) or organic unsalted butter
1/2 cup organic sugar or maple syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 large organic eggs or egg substitute
1 (29-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or best quality vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon plus
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted, crushed, for garnish (optional)
1. Prepare the Crust: Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a food processor, pulse the cookies, nuts, and sugar until coarsely ground. Add the melted margarine and pulse until incorporated. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform or tart pan with a removable base (alternatively, reserve the mixture to spoon into parfait glasses in layers, along with the pudding). Bake on doubled baking sheets for 12-14 minutes until beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2. While the crust is baking, prepare the Filling: In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk and eggs, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes until visibly thickened; remove from the heat.
3. Slowly add the pumpkin, vanilla, spices and salt and return to a low flame, whisking constantly. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly (do not boil), until thick and shiny. Pour the pudding (if the mixture is lumpy, press it through a sieve) into the prepared crust. Sprinkle decoratively with the toasted walnuts (This will cover up any cracks that form naturally on the surface of the pie.).
4. Cool the pie completely, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
Here are some other delicious ideas for a vegetarian Thanksgiving:
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Couscous and Cranberries; Wild Mushroom Potato Gratin; Vegetarian Jambalaya; Sweet Potato Coconut Gratin; Brussel Sprout Salad with Chestnuts and Pomegranate; Brussel Sprout Chips; and Cranberry Raspberry Relish.
How do you give the gift of food? Share with us your favorite giftable holiday recipe here and you could win some fabulous Farmgirl holiday swag!
This Soyabella soy-milk and almond-milk maker could be yours this month. Submit a comment for a chance to win!
Photo credit: berniceats.wordpress.com