November is upon us and sooner than we always expect so will be the Holidays!
I, for one, am jumping for joy. This is the first year in five years that I have been home for the Holidays. Granted, I would rather be with Dave… but that is not an option for us with the deployment. So being back home with all my family comes in a very close second and far above my other option which would be alone in Germany where we are stationed.
This will be our second Holiday season as vegans. I have a feeling that it will end up being much more difficult than the first because we are surrounded by our non-vegan family. But! We will try our best to stay on course. Personally, I don’t think I will ever again feel any inkling of desire for the turkey or the ham on the table…
Last year for our main dish on Thanksgiving I made a HUGE torte that was a mixture of pistachios, rice, oats, and sautéed veggies. It was okay. Since I wasn’t bowled over by it I went with something completely different for Christmas dinner- seitan. Just simple seasoned seitan cutlets. Still not quite show stopping.
So this year I wanted to come up with my own main dish recipe for a Holiday meal and I think I came up with quite a winner! I was looking to make something similar to a savory quiche with a ricotta texture. And boy, did I hit the nail on the head with this one! The crumbled tofu gives the perfect texture for a ricotta mouth-feel.
And for the flavor, I immediately zoomed in on pumpkin. But I don’t see any reason that you couldn’t also use butternut squash purée, especially if you are serving pumpkin pie for dessert and don’t want to be redundant.
Sage. Walnuts. Cranberries. Pumpkin.
This savory pie is just begging for you to put it on your table this Holiday season! So go ahead already, put it on the menu
Oh! and psssssssst, if the filling isn’t looking as orange as you want it too (if you even care about such things)- add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric!
- For the PIE CRUST*:
- 1½ cups light spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup water
- For the FILLING:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion (I used red)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ cups pumpkin purée
- 12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, and crumbled fine
- 2 tablespoons tapioca, arrowroot, or corn starch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- ⅓ cup finely ground walnuts
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- FOR THE PIE CRUST: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together briefly. Add the coconut oil in pieces and pulse another 5 to 10 times or until the texture resembles coarse sand. Drizzle almost all the water around the mixture and pulse a few times, if the mixture doesn't come together in a ball and remains dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until it is moist and clumped together. Dump onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle a clean work-surface with flour. Place pie dough on floured surface and roll out into a circle about 12-inches in diameter. Fit into pie plate and cut off access crust if needed. Set aside in fridge while filling is being prepared.
- FOR THE FILLING: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until it is translucent and lightly browning, about 7 minuted. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape mixture into large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir until evenly combined. Pour into prepared pie crust.
- Bake 40 minutes or until crust and filling are golden brown. Remove pie and let stand 10 minutes. Serve.
**Hot out of the oven, the pie will be more moist and loose. The longer it sits and chills, the more it will firm up. But be aware that the texture is supposed to be like that, similar to a quiche.