Luscious Pumpkin Mousse Pie (Vegan)

(Becky, the Mama.)

I went to visit my daughter Rachel in September, just as the days began to cool with the promise of Fall.  Though, in Texas where she lives, this means the temperatures were in the low 90’s rather than over 100.  .

Still, every Starbucks on our route from Denver to Oklahoma to Texas was advertising their famous Pumpkin Spice Lattes which always puts me in the mood anything made of pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon.  I know that by January 1, I’ll be declaring, “I never want to see another pumpkin as long as I live,” because I will have overdone the nonstop parade of pumpkin lattes, breads, muffins, waffles, cookies and pies through the holidays.

But for now, I can’t seem to get enough of the plump orange gourds.  I created this vegan pumpkin mousse pie for the Two Texas Rachels in my life (My daughter and my sister) with a crust of crushed gingersnaps and salted roasted almonds, a filling of whipped coconut cream, canned pumpkin and spices.

May I just say, ever so humbly, this may be my favorite of all pumpkin desserts?  Ever.

I make an amazing traditional pumpkin pie, which I thought was the best pumpkin dessert in the universe, and I promise to share that recipe on this blog before Thanksgiving.  But I like this pie even better.  It needs to be served very cold, and when you do that, it slices like a dream – like chiffon mousse, like a cloud made of pumpkin.

I love it when a plan comes together.   And I love it even more when I can create a recipe that people with special dietary needs can enjoy alongside everyone else.  This recipe has no eggs or milk.  If you use gluten-free cookies, your gluten-free guests can also dig in without worry.

Update from Thanksgiving 2013:  Served this pie to a big family gathering.  Off all the desserts on the table, this one disappeared first and was voted the best — and most of those in attendance were not vegan or on special diets.

Luscious Pumpkin Mousse Pie (Vegan)

Ingredients

1 16 oz. can chilled can of  coconut milk, cream only  (Thai Kitchen full fat ORGANIC brand always separates and works well for whipping.  When I see it, usually at Whole Foods, I buy a few cans and  keep them in the fridge.   If in a hurry you can pop a can in the freezer for a couple of hours.)  You want to have at least 2/3 cup of the cream (which will look like Crisco shortening when you remove it from the can), and  more if there’s more in the can.

1 1/2 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin (canned or fresh)

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1 t.  ginger

¾ t. salt

¼ c. brown sugar (or coconut sugar) (more if you prefer it a bit sweeter,  do a taste test)

2 T. maple syrup

 Crust:

16 Gingersnap cookies (or crumbs to equal 1 c.)

1 T. sugar

1/3 c. roasted whole almonds

3 T. Earth Balance butter (or regular butter if you aren’t vegan)

 

Directions:

Whip the coconut cream in a mixer until light and smooth.

Add pumpkin, spices, brown sugar and maple syrup.

Microwave butter until melted in an 8 inch glass pie pan. (You can use a 9 inch pan but the pie will not be as thick.)

Put cookies, almonds and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until they approximately as fine as  graham cracker crumbs.  Reserve 2 T. for garnish. Add cookie/almond mixture to melted butter in the pan, mixing with a fork until the crumb mixture is evenly moistened with butter.  Using the back of a spoon, create a pie crust shell in the pan.  Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until firm.  Let cool completely before filling.

Using a large spoon, gently spoon pumpkin-coconut mixture into the shell. Smooth the top.  Sprinkle with bit more cinnamon. Swirl gently with a knife.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.   Cover lightly with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least two hours before cutting and serving.

Hint:  This is best served the same day as it is made, as the crust is crunchiest then.

Optional Additional Garnish:  ¼ c candied ginger, ground in blender to texture of course salt; 3 T. toasted pumpkin seeds

Variations:  Rather than make a pie, you can make individual mousse desserts by alternating layers of pumpkin filling with crumbs and candied ginger bits.

Use chocolate or lemon cookies instead of gingersnap cookies if you prefer.

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Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup

Becky's Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup

Last week I spent the waning hours of sunshine lingering at the condo pool where we spent our vacation in Orlando. As I read my book, luxuriating in the peaceful surroundings, I suddenly heard a child’s terrified scream from the shallow end of the pool. En masse, all the adults stood to see what happened, ready to spring into action.

What we saw was a pink swimsuit, a flurry of dark braids, and what appeared to be a flock of feathers, going at each other. A pair of ducks had apparently chosen this pool for their evening dip, nearly landing on the little girl’s head. Before long, the wide-eyed child went from screams of fright to peals of laughter as the two ducks (I’m assuming Donald and Daffy?) quacked and paddled around their new friend.

Life is like that, full of surprises.

This recipe for yellow pepper soup was one of life’s small surprises for me. My friend of many years, Maxine Bland, served it for lunch on her pretty back porch on a beautiful day in Merritt Island, Florida. I can’t say I was thrilled when she announced we were having Yellow Pepper Soup, as this was years ago, and I’d never tasted or seen a yellow pepper! However, I took one sip, and was transported. The delightful, soothing combination of subtle flavors left me craving more, and Maxine was gracious enough to share her recipe. I modified it just slightly.

(As an aside, I wrote a chapter about Maxine and her mother-in-law, Bernie Bland, who is co-founder of Teen Missions, in my book, Real Magnolias. Two women whose faith and perseverance I deeply admire.)

It is fun to serve this soup and watch the expressions from guests. They always ask for seconds, and then, for the recipe. Even people who don’t like peppers (like my husband) love it. It is smooth and slightly sweet (thanks to the addition of a sweet potato and bit of maple syrup), mingled with the crisp fresh taste of yellow peppers. When you swirl in a tablespoon of rich heavy cream, it adds a buttery richness and makes a beautiful presentation.

Becky's Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup

Becky’s Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

4 Yellow Peppers, medium sized, seeded, rough chopped and sautéed until just tender. (You can also roast them for a bit more flavor, peeling off the charred skin before seeding and chopping.)

1 cooked (baked, boiled or nuked) sweet potato, peeled and rough-chopped
3 c. organic vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth as well, but in this recipe, I really prefer vegie broth)
1/2 onion, rough chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 T. maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/4 t. fresh grated nutmeg
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cream, 6 Tablespoons (1 T for each of 6 bowls) (Non-dairy, unsweetened creamer for vegans)

Directions

Into a blender, toss all the ingredients except salt & pepper, nutmeg and cream. Blend until as smooth as you can get it and cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 10 to 15 minutes until any raw onion and garlic taste is gone, and it is heated through. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg checking for seasonings, adjusting to your liking. Serve in bowls, swirling 1 T. heavy cream into each bowl, gently, using the tip of a spoon just before serving.

Becky's Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/05/01/947/