There’s not much we humans wont eat. A varied diet ensures that we get all of the macro and micro nutrients we need. Like the majority of us I am a card-carrying omnivore – but not all people are. Whether by taste, or medical necessity many people follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. I often plan an all-vegetable meal just because I like a change and sometimes I just want a nice light meal. My experience. however, with vegetarian (the exclusion of meat products from the diet), and vegan (the exclusion of all animal products) food, is that the cuisine often suffers especially in the appearance, texture, and satiety qualities. What’s more, desserts prepared without animal products (butter, eggs) can be quite disappointing AND full of sugar. But these problems can all be overcome with a little planning.
I was recently asked to prepare a vegan dessert for a BBQ I attended so I had to do some planning in order to deliver the goods. I settled upon a pumpkin chiffon pie with a rum caramel topping. The difference between the omnivore and vegan kitchens seems to be primarily what products one keeps on hand. This recipe called for a trip to the store for Medjool dates, raw cashews, full-fat coconut milk, and coconut oil. The pumpkin puree, pecans, rolled oats, and maple syrup I already had on hand. The crust with dates, oats, pecans, and spices is baked. The pumpkin filling is unbaked and served chilled. The caramel sauce is a typical preparation except that instead of adding heavy cream you use the coconut cream from an unshaken can of coconut milk – easy and quite tasty.
Since you are asked to soak the cashews in water for 3 – 4 hours, and then place the finished pie in the freezer I suggest that you prepare the pie the day before and thaw it just before serving but you could do all of this in one day if you started early. The assembly is quite easy, I did it all in the food processor. This is definitely a go-to recipe if called upon to make a dessert that’s vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Pumpkin-Maple Pie with Baked Oat Crust This is a very good recipe. Next time I think a few pecans sprinkled on top would be a nice touch.
Vegan Rum Caramel Sauce Simple to make but take use long stirring utensils so that fingers and hands don’t get too close the extremely hot caramel.