18 October 2011

Gone Nuts

I may be stretching the theme for today's Vegan MoFo snack post, so please excuse my inability to follow my self-imposed rules. Now let's talk pie.

I don't normally eat dessert-type items as anything other than dessert, but after an experimental baking session, followed by an ever so patiently wait for the results to properly cool and set overnight, I figured that snack time was as good a time as any to finally give this jewel of a creation a taste.

Just so you know, when it comes to sweets, I've never had a particular preference for pie. But when pecan pies start showing up seemingly everywhere I turn (curse you, Internet), I can't help but be tempted to find a way to try one. Being a curious cook and lover of nutty edibles, I decided to make my own pecan pie.

This is where part two of the theme-stretching comes into play. While I did consult a cookbook for my pie-making venture--BAKED: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, to be exact--I also took a fair amount of liberties with the recipe. None of the recipes in the book are vegan, making certain adjustments necessary in order for my experiment to even work. But I ended up tweaking measurements and ingredients to a point at which the process only vaguely resembles what was written in the book. But I definitely derived inspiration from BAKED and used the baking temperature and timing as a guide, so I don't claim that these results were purely a work of my own creative genius.
I specifically referenced the recipe for Lewis and Poliafito's Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Pie, which is just as indulgent as it sounds. It is not your average pecan pie and definitely not a light snack. This thing is loaded with pecans and sticky, booze-infused caramel, all resting over a layer of chocolate. By chocolate, I mean chocolate chips--not ganache, syrup, or mousse, but straight-up chunks of chocolate. Thinking that replacing the eggs in the dessert may be problematic, I took some cues from the Maple Pecan Pie recipe posted at The PPK, substituting pureed soft tofu blended with cornstarch for stability. (By the way, isn't this recipe included in Isa and Terry's new pie cookbook? Let's consider that my vegan cookbook reference.) I also used a mixture of agave and maple syrups instead of corn syrup, reduced the overall sugar content of the BAKED recipe, and used vegan scotch whisky instead of bourbon (I only had the former on hand). For the crust, I used the same recipe I used for making azuki turnovers. I didn't roll out the dough enough for it to overlap the edges of the pie pan, hence the minimal and downright pathetic-looking crust.
The pie smelled absolutely divine as it baked up. It tasted pretty good, too. Even after reducing the amount of fat, syrup, and sugar called for in the original recipe, the pie was still rich and plenty sweet--almost too sweet for my tastes. Almost. I'm not the biggest lover of tofu-based desserts, but with all the sweet madness going on in this pie, one would be hard-pressed to find any trace of tofu here. I think the whisky brings the pecan pie up a notch; the semisweet chocolate pretty much takes it over the top. This pie is definitely not a food someone like me, who usually avoids immensely saccharine (dare I say, cloying) treats, could handle on more than an occasional basis (and certainly not a casual snack) in small amounts. However, for a once-in-awhile act of indulgence, a whisky pecan chocolate pie seems rather appropriate.
Because Friday is reserved for posting about desserts, it looks like I get to make a second treat this week. I don't think anything can top the utter decadence of this pie, but that's probably a good thing.


  1. lynn_eva_barber10/18/11, 6:21 PM

    Holy cow! I'm getting fat just looking at that pie! ;) Looks like a little slice of heaven!

  2. Wow! This looks seriously wild. Great job with the subs, that sounds like quite a bit of work. I love, love alcohol flavorings in baked goods. I can imagine this was divine.

  3. Oh my god.  Macro pictures of sweet pecan blissful nirvana is totally not fair.  No, I don't think anything *can* top the utter decadence of this pie.  From now on I'm going to go on eating kale and whole grains, but secretly will begin living vicariously through you.

  4. Oh man, this looks insane! I think I have only ever had pecan pie once and I didn't like it, but I would love to try at it again.

  5. Whoa! This came out great! Nice job replacing the corn syrup and eggs from a thoroughly non-vegan cookbook (I know BAKED is no joke when it comes to non-vegan ingredients). This totally qualifies as a snack, especially when you can only take a few bites at a time.

  6. Farrah Pileggi10/19/11, 11:01 AM

    This looks amazing. 

  7. KitteeBeeBerns10/19/11, 11:20 AM

    this is really gorgeous!  i hope you took notes...


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