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Showing posts with label almond milk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almond milk. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Maple Rosedale Pumpkin Pie


Maple Rosedale Pumpkin Pie

yields 1 9" pie

  • 15 oz roasted squash puree
    • Mine was from my special Rosedale pumpkin!
  • 4 oz (a generous half cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 oz (about 1/3 cup) grade A maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, ideally organic
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 10 coriander seeds or 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 spicebush berries, dried
    • If you can't find these, use 2 allspice berries plus 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Chinese long peppercorn 
  • 1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
    • Check out my Partners page for good resources!
  • A fat pinch of kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and prepare a sheet pan lined with either aluminum foil or a Silpat mat. Roll out your favorite pie crust into a glass pie dish (I prefer glass because I can see the bottom and make sure it's all cooked) and decorate as you like. I have these adorable cookie cutters that resemble leaves, and one of them looks like a pine cone. Since I tragically couldn't find my maple leaf cutter, this was the perfect alternative! All I did was let them hang out on the cool marble slab until I was ready to use them. I didn't feel the need to refrigerate the pie piece cut-outs since this pie is so quick to put together. 

Combine your hard spices into a spice grinder and blitz until wholly powdered. You can also use a coffee grinder, in a pinch! I much prefer to use whole spices in this way, as they store much better.  Then add about 2 Tbsp of the sugar and blitz together with the spices. This really helps perfume the sugar with the spices and lends more flavor to your pie!

Whisk together the squash puree with the sugars, maple syrup, and spices until well-combined. Next, mix in the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and taste. If it needs a bit more cinnamon or you'd like to add a dash of cardamom or clove, that's perfectly fine. This is your pie, after all!

Once everything is combined and well-mixed, pour your mixture into your prepared crust. If you've chosen to decorate your pie with leaf or pinecone cutouts, like me, now is the time to attach them with egg wash to the sides and let the other half float along the custard top. Please remember that this is, in fact, a custard pie so I don't recommend a lattice top to finish. Go and have some fun with the outer crust, instead!

Bake at 325 for 3(three) twenty-minute intervals in which the pie is rotated gently in the oven. The pie sets up beautifully when baked low-and-slow, so be sure to not try to rush it! Now that I have your attention, and while the pie bakes and cools, let's talk a bit about the brand new Rosedale Pumpkin and the complicated world of cross-pollination. 

Everyone, meet the Rosedale Pumpkin Squash!

When you grow your own produce, either in a small Victory garden or a decent-sized homestead, there's always the possibility of cross-pollination. While there are many ways to avoid it, there is a not-insignificant amount of us gardeners that simply allow the thing to happen and see what comes of it. I noticed this strange thing growing on one of my squash plants. I got several small butternut squashes from my vines this year, but nothing was quite as big as this weird little monster. It was clear that the butternut and acorn squash had cross-pollinated, and while I could have simply cut it off and let the plant continue to make more...I was frankly too curious to not let it grow. I began taking pictures of it and telling my friends about it. We racked our brains trying to come up with a name for the squash, and it never came...I settled on 'Rosedale" squash since I live in Rosedale and that's where it grew. When I harvested it on the morning of Halloween eve and told my husband about the mysterious squash, he groggily looked at the green monstrosity and said: "So, what, it's like a ... buttercorn?"


Oh, come on! We've been trying so hard to come up with a cool name and you just pull that out of the air?! Jerk. 

I actually did a live opening of this thing on Instagram. 

I've decided to call it a pumpkin because of the stem, which is woody and quite stiff once it was dried! I was so curious as to what this tasted like. I documented everything about its cooking. It had a gorgeous bright-orange flesh when cut into that quickly beaded up with drops of diamond-like dew. I roasted it slowly at 300 degrees for about 4 hours with some canola oil so it wouldn't dry out. I didn't add salt or sugar, since I wanted to taste the real thing. Sadly? It didn't taste like buttered corn, so I chose to not name it 'buttercorn.' It tasted incredibly mild, and had a texture almost akin to spaghetti squash. It had plenty of moisture in it, still, so I don't know if this wall of text is masking my disappointment well enough at the lack of distinct flavor of my little green monster. 

Oh well. I still stand by my decision to save all of the seeds for next year's planting! Who knows if the seed will be viable or not? I simply know that I'll be starting them all in seed trays and letting them hang out in the garage by the window to keep them warm and safe until they're ready to be transplanted outdoors. Maybe the second generation will be better? 

This method can be used to roast any winter squash for the sake of preserving the puree over the long winter. I highly recommend doing this, if you don't have access to a cellar (or basement) that's pest-free and is relatively climate-controlled. My deep freezer will likely see a good portion of many bags of winter squash puree this season, even though I have a good cellar that will keep all of my produce fresh over winter. These are the things you really need to think about with a global pandemic going on, and the numbers getting worse. 

I know we're all sick of hearing about Covid-19, but with everything escalating and with hospitals getting overwhelmed again, it would be irresponsible to ignore it and not talk about it. I encourage all of you to contact local farms and see what kind of winter squash they're growing and if they're willing to sell you any or do a trade for them for whatever you may be able and willing to give. I'm fortunate to have partnerships with awesome farmers here in Kansas City that have paid me in produce for doing PR work for them. There are also many farmers markets out there that are participating in a Covid relief program to get good seasonal produce to families that really need them. 


Squash - winter squash particularly - are incredibly nutrient-dense. Usually, quite high in fiber, they're a great source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Pumpkin and squash are oddly acidic, so that means they're great at encouraging white blood cells to get amped up and protect you against disease this fall and winter. Who doesn't need that? 

Most eastern medicine - seen specifically in Chinese and Ayurvedic principles - have what are known as warming and cooling foods. There's a lot that could be said about this, but all you need to know right this moment is that a "warming food" is based on the internal nature of the food product. You should have nothing but warming foods if you are recovering from an illness or surgery. Foods like chicken, chestnuts, fresh ginger, and - you guessed it - pumpkin or squash are quite warming. It's no wonder we like it in our baked goods, the most-warming kind of food you can usually have! So, really, eating a whole pumpkin pie could be good for you...

When your pie is set to room temperature, you can cut and serve immediately, but I think it's better to chill it for a couple of hours first, just to help set the custard. After that, I do suggest letting the pie come up to room temperature to serve it. This is because the squash and spices are quite fragrant, and cold temperature dulls the beautiful aromas. This is also because eating cold foods can suppress your immune system so it's better to just let stuff be at least room temperature before you eat it. 

If you're curious about more warming and cooling foods, I invite you to have some fun researching it on your own and making informed decisions on it, all with a grain of salt! My mom, a Filipinx woman, always made sure to put extra ginger in her chicken soup whenever I got sick, and I will say it seemed to kick whatever crud I was experiencing out of my lungs. 

I hope you've enjoyed this recipe! Happy cooking and happy eating!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

New-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie

Okay so it's not real buttermilk, but you can use this recipe (if you so choose) to do so, but I used entirely dairy-free options. As always, Blue Diamond's Almond Milk is my dairy of choice in my home for drinking, and I cannot praise the virtues of Earth Balance's vegan butter enough. But why make a buttermilk pie without buttermilk? Because I wanted it, Karen. Geez.

Let me start off by saying that when it comes to cooking and baking, you won't go to prison for trying something new and experimenting for yourself. A buttermilk pie is a wonderful thing, and there's something just so summery about it. It's a American Southern Classic and oughtn't be forgotten. There are tons of pieces of American Southern culture that are just awesome - not the racism and the slavery, of course, but things like fried chicken, cornbread, and buttermilk pie? Oh yes.

I first learned how to make the classic buttermilk pie when I was working at an assisted living facility while I started up my bakery, which allowed me a lot of freedom to make what I liked, so long as the folks living there had enough to eat. Working with the elderly has some drawbacks, but a lot of rewards - some of them were alive during some crazy times, and I even had one lady that told me stories of her travels all throughout Budapest, Prague, Italy. I had many that had come 'up north' from the deep south and grew up during the Jim Crow segregation era. One of the women specifically requested a buttermilk pie, so I made the classic version. It was delicious, of course, but I can't have that in my house with the amount of dairy that's in it. So? What's a gal to do? Make up her own version of course!
"Yaaaaaaaay pie!"

This recipe is adapted from a blog I love called Spicy Southern Kitchen. Try hers for the old-fashioned version!

Oh, and if you want to master pies for yourself on your own accord with a little more instruction, one of my favorite reference books is Pies and Tarts, written by the Culinary Institute of America - or CIA, if you like. You can pick it up here! It's an excellent reference book and has many different recipes inside, both sweet and savory, and has plenty of info on the hows and the whats and the whys. I've adapted their all-butter crust to suit my needs in this particular application. I find that it's just excellent, especially for decorative motifs on pies that you must pull together in a pinch. Honestly, it's the fastest pie dough I've ever made, and I recommend it - especially if you don't have a food processor or an entire afternoon to devote to this project.

New-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie
yields 1 9" pie, serves 8

Whole wheat crust
  • 14 oz locally ground whole wheat flour
  • 10 - 12 small mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 6 oz cold vegan butter substitute, cubed rather small
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Ice water as needed
Buttermilk Custard
  • 3 large eggs
  • 10.5 oz (1 1/2 cups) fair trade cane sugar (you can also use brown sugar or honey, if you like!)
  • 4 oz (1 stick) vegan butter substitute
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 Tbsp flour or 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream substitute (I like tofutti)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
To make the crust simply bring together in either a food processor with pulses, or use your fingers to pinch and push in the fat to the flour. Once the fat is small enough and incorporated enough that it looks to be about the size of a pea, you're ready to add your liquids. Add first the vinegar, then the water, a few drops at a time, until everything just barely comes together. Turn out the dough onto a cold marbled surface. Starting from the edge, use the meat of your thumb and palm to smear a bit of the dough out. Continue to smear and push until everything is homogeneous. This is a technique I like most called 'frasier.' Watch this video below to see for yourself! 

Once that's all together nicely, divide in two and wrap one of them in clingfilm for later use. You're going to place the other half between two sheets of clingfilm and roll it out that way. Simply gather together in a disc, sandwich between the film and roll out gently, turning and rotating as needed, to roll out to at least a quarter-inch thickness. Pop this in your pie pan by simply peeling off the top layer, putting the pie pan over it upside-down, and then carefully flipping everything over! Gently peel away the now-top layer of plastic and ever-so-gently lift up the edges so that the dough can sink into the crevices of the pie dish. Let it sit in there for about five minutes, in the fridge, so that the dough can relax and therefore won't shrink on you. 

Once rested, trim the edges and save the dough to make decorations. I love making leaf shapes using cookie cutters, but you can crimp the edges, scallop or prick with a fork...the sky's the limit! This is your pie, so you can decorate it how you please to do so. 

Prick the bottom of the pan and pop this in the freezer while your oven heats to 350. Move your oven rack to the bottom of the oven, as low as it'll go. Once it's come up to temp, par-bake your pie crust for 10 minutes at the bottom of the oven, sitting on another sheet tray that's been lined with aluminum foil. I suggest blind-baking using aluminum foil or parchment paper filled up with beans, pie beads, rice, lentils...whatever you have lying around. You'll only want to bake this for 10 minutes because it's going to hang out in the oven for another 50 after this. You just want to ensure that you don't have a soggy bottom.

Now, to make the custard! Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the butter and melt gently over medium heat. Make sure you either put your scraped vanilla bean in either the sugar container or into a bottle of cheap vodka or bourbon with other scraped vanilla beans to make either vanilla sugar or your own homemade vanilla extract! (Yes, you CAN do that.)

While that's melting, combine the vinegar, sour cream, and almond milk. You can use coconut, hemp, or oat milk as well if you have a nut allergy. Let this sit near the stove to take the chill off of it, and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Your butter should melt within that time. Once it's melted, set it aside while you whisk together your flour/cornstarch with the sugar of your choice. Add in your eggs and whisk quite well. Add in the vanilla butter and whisk to incorporate quite well. Add the nutmeg, 'buttermilk' mixture and whisk quite well, ensuring that every single last bit of everything is incorporated quite well. If I were you, I'd take my time to pop this mixture into a large pitcher (the one on your blender works just fine) before continuing with this next step.

Carefully open your oven door and - using oven mitts - remove the blind baking instruments you've used, if any, be they beans, rice, or baking beads. Set them aside to cool. Pull our the oven rack that holds your pie dish out just enough to safely pour your custard in without burning your hands. Pour your custard mixture in very slowly indeed, and then very gently indeed push the rack back into the oven, trying to not jostle the custard so it won't spill. Shut the oven door, lower the temperature, to 325 and bake for 50 minutes, or until the custard wobbles just barely in the middle. The pie will have quite a dome on it, which is fine, because it'll collapse once it cools. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least two hours in the fridge - one hour on the counter, one in the fridge.

Slice and serve with some sweet tea and sit on the veranda to enjoy maximum flavor. Please let me know if you do try this, of course! It's one of my favorite custard pies, and I think the whole wheat crust adds to it by balancing out some of the sweetness. I've also made this recipe with half parts AP flour and rye flour with great success. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Happy cooking and happy eating!