There were four of us in our silver Mini driving back to the ferry to Seattle. In typical Pacific Northwest fashion, it was raining. Not a downpour, but the windshield wipers had to be faster than the mist setting. Per special request, Don McLean’s American Pie was blasting. We all sang along, as loud as we could. (You at least know the chorus – if not the entire song…)
We were heading home after our traditional holiday dinner with the extended family 2 days before Christmas. It was a comfortable way to continue the Christmas festivities. I volunteered my cousin to host (it’s a family tradition to volunteer others for hosting), and she asked us all to bring salads. I got a separate text later to bring my pumpkin chocolate pie, it was a “special request”. How could I refuse?
I do love to cook, but lately, I haven’t been doing it as much as I have in the past. I’ve been focusing elsewhere, and haven’t spent much time at the farmer’s market or the co-op. If I think about it too much, I realize how much I’m missing it from my routine. (And so I’ve spent the last few nights meal planning again….hungry at 9pm, drooling over the cooking blogs. )
There is a slight challenge to my cooking for my extended family of picky eaters. Gluten Free and Vegan are YUCK words. I mean, who wants to eat roasted brussel sprouts (ok, she tried them, but she didn’t like them), other than me? We actually eat them like candy at our house, including the almost 8 year old.
I wanted to eat the pumpkin chocolate pie this year. The recipe calls for creme fraiche, that ingredient is not on my vegan list. My first thought was that I would just make it with the original ingredients and stare at it, not eat it. But then I thought, why can’t I eat it too? I started Googling vegan substitutes, but each of them said, NOT FOR BAKING. ARGH. I felt so defeated. There had to be something that would work.
I stood in front of the vegan cream cheese containers in the fridge at my local
The recipe calls for 8oz of creme fraiche. I pulled out my blender, scooped out what I thought was 5 oz of the
I had never had either the vegan cream cheese or the soy creamer. I’ve strongly held the belief that I shouldn’t eat the imitation stuff. I still hold that belief. So until I do my research on a suitable replacement for creme fraiche for baking, I’ll be using this. But I will keep looking….
Not to spoil it all, but I forgot the sugar. I FORGOT THE SUGAR!!! I baked this pie and forgot the sugar. Yes I did. And guess what. Everyone ate it. Sure, there was extra whipped cream, but it was still a hit. I won’t forget the sugar next time, it definitely needs it.
My recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.
To replace eggs, I use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed soaked in 3 tablespoons water PER EGG (soak 5-10 mins until it’s gelatinous)
To replace the creme fraiche: 8 ounces vegan creme fraiche (5oz vegan cream cheese blended with 3oz soy creamer or milk)
And enjoy. It won’t last long, in fact, I usually make 2, one to take and one to keep.
Oh, and I made a kale salad. I broil kale until it’s steaming, then chop it up. Toss with tahini, lemon juice and sesame seeds.