I love sweet potato pie! Even though it is one of my favorite pies, I only enjoy it during the holiday season. My family looks forward to this pie it took me a few years to perfect it, so the pressure was on to create a vegan version that my family would fall in love with.
I remember my first attempt at making a vegan version and it was an epic fail! Sweet potato pie is not suppose to be gooey! I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was frustrated, but determined to create a sweet potato pie I could enjoy with my family.
In the past, I did not make my own crust. I made my dad a vegan cherry pie for his birthday, and after that experience trying to use premade vegan friendly crust. I decided to make my own. It had a bad after taste and was not easy to work with.
I discovered through trial an error that I love using whole wheat pastry flour to make my crust. I think it makes a flakier crust, which I like. You will need the dough to chill for an hour after you make it. If you let the dough chill for more than an hour, I would recommend letting it sit out for 10 to 15 minutes before using. In my experience, the dough is harder to work with if you let it chill more than an hour before you use it.
If someone would have told me that I would one day use butternut squash in my sweet potato pie, I would have laughed in their face. Girlfriend, let me tell you...it is the secret to duplicating the texture of a traditional sweet potato pie! This was a tip I discovered in one of my vegan cookbooks. I would have never thought to use butternut squash.
I also struggled with what to use in place of eggs. This took a few tries too before I found the combination that I liked. I found that arrow root powder and silken tofu worked best!
The final piece of the puzzle was that the pie would never pass the pulling out a clean knife or toothpick test. After baking, you let the pie cool for about 20 to 30 minutes and then store in the refrigerator overnight to finish setting. The next day it will be firm like a traditional sweet potato pie and will pass the clean knife test!
I shed a few tears and screamed a few profanities while figuring out this pie. But, it was worth it because this holiday season I get to enjoy one of my favorite pies with my family.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan stick butter (chilled)
1/3 cup water (ice cold)
1 tbsp cane sugar
3 cups sweet potatoes (mashed)
1 cup butternut squash (mashed)
1/2 cup vegan butter (melted)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup arrow root powder
1/4 cup silken tofu (puree)
1/4 cup nondairy half and half
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Boil sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes or until tender and let cool enough so you can remove skin and mash. Set aside.
2) You can cut butternut squash in half and bake face down on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes or until tender. Or buy precut butternut squash and spread out on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes or until tender. (I prefer the latter)
3)Sift flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Slice the butter and add it to the mixture. You can us a fork or your food processor to make your dough. Add your water a tablespoon at a time. You only need enough water for your dough to clump together. Once the dough can hold together, form into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
4)Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Use floured rolling pin and roll out the dough to a 12 in circle about 1/8 inch thick.
5) Gently press dough in 9 inch pie plate. Use a knife or kitchen scissors to trim the dough, so you have 1 inch hanging over the pie dish. Use a fork to crimp the edge of the pie dish. Brush the pie crust with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on the bottom of the pie crust. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is starting to brown. The pie crust may bubble that is okay do not pop it!
6) In your mixer or food processor, add the remaining butter, sugars, arrowroot powder, tofu, half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and vanilla, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Puree until smooth. Pour filling in to the partially baked pie shell. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake 1 1/2 hours or when the top of the pie is dry to the touch.
7) Allow pie to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to finish setting overnight. Serve with nondairy whipped topping.
Your turn: What is your favorite pie?
Please share with your friends!