Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I bought a 29-ounce can of pureed pumpkin to make Sunday's Tofu Pumpkin Pie. I only needed 16. I woke up Monday wondering "What the hell am I going to do with the other 13 ounces of pumpkin? It's not enough for another pie and probably won't last until Thanksgiving anyway, even in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. What a waste!" I pondered my leftover pumpkin through the morning, until I had some free time at work and was able to hit the blogs. My first two are always BrooklynVegan and The PPK. After that, I hit up Fat Free Vegan and low and behold, their fat free recipe of the week was Pumpkin-Apple Butter. Turns out they had leftovers too.

And while we all loved the pie, pumpkin pie without whipped cream is almost criminal in some parts, so I attempted a Bryanna's Best Tofu Whipped Creme on Monday night too.

Pumpkin-Apple Butter: I basically followed the recipe as is, skipping the nutmeg because I don't have any. Yes, I will be rectifying that soon. FFV used a hand blender to puree the raisins, then returned them to the pan. I'm totally lazy and used the hand blender in the pan. Is that terrible? After a while, I got even lazier and left a few raisins only semi-pureed. Chunks add character, right?

Much like the polenta, the butter thickened as it heated and bubbled and glooped along as I watched it. It didn't need nearly as frequent stirring as the polenta, though. I ended up bringing my knitting into the kitchen and giving the butter a quick stir every time I finished a round.

The butter tastes and smells very much like really good pumpkin pie, but lighter (I guess because of the apples). FFV recommends putting it on toast. I ate it with melba toast and though I enjoyed it immensely, my mouth kept thinking "This needs rice cakes!" so I've picked up two packages and am ready to rock them with pumpkinny apply goodness.

Here's the recipe as I did it:

Pumpkin-Apple Butter

1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup apple juice
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup natural apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar

Put the raisins in a medium-sized saucepan, and pour the apple juice over them. Heat on low until raisins plump up, adding water when they get dry. When they are plump, puree the raisins in the juice. (I used a hand blender in the pan.)

Add all remaining ingredients to the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. Makes about 3 cups.

Bryanna's Best Tofu Whipped Creme: Meh. I definitely wouldn't bring it to a party and think my pie is better off without it. Maybe we'll just get a vegan whipped topping from the store. I have so much to do this week, I just don't have the time to hang out in the kitchen perfecting my whipped topping. Alas!

Instead of coming out like whipped cream, as I made it, the topping has the consistency of cupcake batter, but without all the tasty goodness my cupcakes usually have. It even leaves my mouth feeling kind of dry, like after I eat tahini. Bizarre.

If you look at the recipe on the site, it's full of "or"s. Here's how I made it, so you know what not to do. One of the other variations may work better.

Bryanna's Best Tofu Whipped Creme
Makes about 1 and 3/4 cups

1 and 1/3 c. soft tub tofu [water-packed in plastic tub]
1/4 c. raw cashews, ground very fine in a food processor or coffee grinder
3 T. very light granulated unbleached sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for several minutes, or until very smooth and fluffy. Scrape into a small bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving. This will keep for several days refrigerated.

Extreme closeup of the butter, for texture:

The elusive raisin:

The pie with the whipped topping:

I was actually considering not even posting that picture because it looks so unappetizing. At the risk of being dirty and taking "food porn" to a new level, this picture looks too much like a money shot for me to be comfortable serving it to others. Especially my grandmother and her contemporaries on Thanksgiving.

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