April 30, 2009

Vegan Pumpkin Praline Pie Recipe


inspired by my Great Grandmother Francis’ pie recipe which won honorable mention at the first Pillsbury bake-off at the Waldorf-Astoria, Grand Ballroom, in New York in 1933


pumpkin custard filling
1 – 15 oz can of organic pumpkin
1 ½ cups of rice milk, or milk of choice
¼ cup of corn starch
½ cup of brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
¾ t. ground ginger
½ t. ground clove

praline layer
4 T. earth balance butter, softened
½ cup of pecans, finely chopped
½ cup of brown sugar, packed

1 vegan pie crust

to make the pie:  Press or roll pie crust into a 9’’ pie dish.  To make the praline layer, combine earth balance butter, pecans and ½ cup of brown sugar in a bowl.  Gently press the praline combination into the bottom of the prepared pie shell.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Cool at least 2 minutes.

Once you remove the prepared pie shell from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees!!

Meanwhile, prepare the Pumpkin Custard Filling.

to make the pumpkin filling: Combine the rice milk and cornstarch in a medium bowl and beat until the cornstarch is blended without lumps.  Add ½ cup of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, ground ginger and cloves.   Once well blended, add the pumpkin and mix well.

Pour the Pumpkin Custard Filling into the slightly cooled prepared pie shell and bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, until just set in the center.  The pie shouldn’t jiggle if slightly nudged.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.  Serve with maple whipped topping.

tips: Pie can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated.



1 ½ cups flour*
3 T. sugar
¼ cup of vegetable oil
¼ cup organic applesauce

* For a gluten-free pie crust, substitute ¾ cup of almond flour and ¾ cup of brown rice flour

to make pie crust: Combine flour and sugar and add oil and applesauce.  Gently mix with a fork and press into a 9’’ pie dish.  Gently press crust up the sides of the dish. 

if the pie recipe calls for a pre-baked crust: Bake crust for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

April 11, 2009

Vegan Kabocha Squash and Fennel Soup Recipe

inspired by Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
serves 8


3-4 pounds kabocha or butternut squash, 2-3 squashes
4 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced
6 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of sliced onion
2 t. fennel seeds
1 T. thyme, sage or rosemary, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups of vegetable stock or water, more or less depending on desired thickness
1 t. cayenne pepper, optional
toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional
fresh herbs for garnish, optional
salt & pepper

to prepare squash: Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Place on a cookie sheet, covered with tinfoil, cut side up.  Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until tender.  Let cool slightly.  Once cool enough to handle, peel squash and roughly chop in cubes.  Reserve.

to make soup:  Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, fennel and fennel seeds.  Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are cooked and lightly browning.  Add herbs and sauté for a couple of more minutes.  Add white wine and bring to a boil.  Cook for a couple of minutes, until wine has slightly reduced.  Add roasted squash and vegetable stock or water.  Stock should cover the vegetables by 2-3 inches.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth, adding more water or stock, if necessary.   Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and any other desired spices (e.g. ginger or cumin).

to serve:  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with toasted seeds or nuts and fresh herbs.

tips:  Squash can be roasted 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Vegetables and herbs can be chopped 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Soup can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Soup can be frozen 3 months in advance; thaw in refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop.  This soup method can be used with any vegetable or bean (e.g. white beans, English peas, tomatoes & more); celery, onion, leeks and garlic can all be used as the aromatic base.  This soup also makes a great hors d’oeuvres served in shot glasses or small mason jars.