November 18, 2007

Pumpkin Pie

Just in time to think about it for Thanksgiving, I bring you:

Healthy Pumpkin Pie (except for the sugar and salt....)

Note: pumpkin pretty much tastes like pumpkin. The tricky part for me was trying to replicate the texture of regular p. pie without using any eggs. The soy alone can't quite do it; hence the yo cheese to help firm it up and make it custardish (some recipes call for gelatin).

1 29 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 c yogurt cheese
1 1/4 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon (ground)
6 T soy flour
1 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg (ground)
1 t cloves (ground)

Mix it all together. I like a whisk to make sure there aren't big clumps of yogurt cheese.

Pour into two pie crusts (see below for recipes). Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 and bake for 1 hour.

Grandma's pie crust recipe (thanks to Ab for finally getting me to write it down somewhere I'll remember it!) :

1 cup flour
1/3 cup shortening (I use butter. Of course.)
pinch salt
3-6 T cold water

Cut the butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. Add the lesser amount of water to make dough; add more as needed to soak up most (but not necessarily all) of the flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least an hour (overnight is fine). You will find that some of the excess flour will be absorbed into the dough when next you check it.

Without waiting for the dough to get warm--you *want* it to be cold--divide it into however many crusts you're making (if needed). With the least amount of flour you can, roll out the dough to a circle about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Do it in eight rolls (back and forth is one roll. Mess with it too much, or use too much flour, and you get tough crust. Ick.) Roll onto the rolling pin and gently lift and slide the crust into the pie pan. Now you're ready for the filling!

This is for one crust; for a two-crust pie, double the recipe. You can do a quadruple batch (for two two-crust pies), but beyond that it's too hard to work with in multiples.

But that's not what I use for the healthy pie; butter is not good for cholesterol. Olive oil is. Can you use olive oil in pie crust? Turns out, you can, especially with something like pumpkin pie where the filling has its own assertive flavor. I like to add a bit of sugar and salt to the crust to make up for the missing salt that was in the butter, and to kick up the flavor a little.

so, for two crusts:

Olive Oil Pie Crust:

2 cups flour
scant 1/2 cup olive oil*
2 t salt
1 T sugar
6-12 T cold water**

proceed as above, except:
*obviously, olive oil is not cuttable (though if you were obsessive, you could measure it and stick it in the fridge for a while....) Anyway, just mix it with the flour. It will make a very grainy texture. This makes an incredible flaky crust!
**aim for the lesser amount, especially with this olive oil recipe. You only need enough water to make a viable dough.

and finally, don't try to roll out this one; it won't hold together well enough. Just pat it into the pie tin. What could be better? It's healthy *and* you don't have to sweat the rolling out part!


Tami said...

You've almost convinced me to attempt my own pie crust. Almost. Yes, I've lived damn near 37 years without attempting my own pie crust.

Maybe attempting is too strong a word. I've probably attempted it, but not succeeded--not in any memorable sense. You make it sound so easy.

Ginger Ogle said...

Well, the olive oil one *is* easy. Try it, try it, and you may... ;-) (sorry, I was temporarily possessed by SamIAm.)

Just keep it cool, and don't fuss with it (if only all of life were so simple, right?)