Sweet Memories: Mom’s Egg Custard Pie…Veganized!
My mom has always been known for her desserts. Half the city would line up at our door for a slice of her Lemonade Cake. When it comes to a baked good, the woman is a miracle in the kitchen. I don’t think I ever remember seeing a boxed cake mix or store-bought frosting at home – ever. (That is, until my sister tried to make brownies on her own. Let’s just say she didn’t get the baking gene.)
As a kid, I remember sitting at the kitchen table, watching her as she mixed up some magnificent confection or other for the holidays, or her church’s Sunday meeting. Being the good little angel I was , she always let me lick the beaters. Thank goodness I knew nothing about salmonella in those days!
One of my personal favorites from Mom’s repertoire is Egg Custard Pie. In fact, it’s the only incarnation in which I ever actually enjoyed them. I’d beg her to make one whenever I came home from college. She’d oblige, and I’d go back to campus a happy camper.
Once I made the decision to become vegan, I thought that surely my annual Egg Custard indulgence was a thing of the past. I mean, how was I supposed to make an Egg Custard Pie without eggs?
Making it a bit more difficult is my recent decision to remove refined white sugar from my diet as well. After reading up on vegan baking online, I figured I’d try my hand at it using tofu in the place of the eggs.
A bit concerned, I hoped I’d end up with something at least edible. Drawing on my experience with soy-based quiche, I’m happy to say it ended up pretty tasty. It stood in for my old favorite on Thanksgiving, and I’m a happy camper once again.
Vegan Egg-Free! Custard Pie
Refined Sugar, Dairy, & Egg Free
What You Need:
1 9in pie crust (buy a vegan one or make your own)
12 oz soft tofu, rinsed & drained (I didn’t have silken, so I used regular soft. I’ll be trying silken next time & report back.)
1.25c plain almond milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 medjool dates, pitted & chopped
1/4c plus 2Tbsp agave nectar
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional; for color)
What to Do:
Pre-bake your pie crust according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the almond milk & chopped dates in a small saucepan over medium heat. Scald the mixture (if you’ve never scalded milk before, just leave it over the heat until you see steam rising from the pot. Do not boil the milk.)
Combine 1/2 the mixture with half the tofu & blend until smooth. Blend in the remaining ingredients.
Pour into pie shell and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm.
Cool before cutting.
What’s your favorite holiday dessert? Did you enjoy it on this year’s Thanksgiving table?