Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crustless Maple-Squash Autumn Pie

I love pie.

I think pie is wonderful.

Ever since my husband came down with appendicitis on Thanksgiving several years ago, pie has been my ultimate comfort food.  With him in the hospital and me worried sick, I found myself at home alone with an entire holiday's worth of pie leftovers.  I ate a whole cherry pie by myself in two days.  I'm not proud; that's just the way I am with pie.

But pie is not healthy, and store-bought pie breaks just about every one of my food rules.

So I went in search of healthy, home-made pie.

And I think I found it.

I loosely followed a recipe for fat-free pumpkin pie that I found at Happy Herbivore.  You'll see I changed up some of the ingredients (I'm okay with using dairy milk and prefer to use maple syrup instead of sugar).  I also used green-and-white striped squash (that I roasted for 40 minutes at 350 degrees) instead of pumpkin, because that's what I had on hand.

1/2 cup firm tofu
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups squash
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 heaping teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9” shallow pie dish, set aside. In a blender or food processor (I used an immersion blender), blend tofu, milk, cornstarch and vanilla until smooth, stopping to scrape sides periodically. Add remaining ingredients and blend for about a minute more, until the mixture is uniform and well combined.

Pour the mixture into the pie dish and bake for 1 hour (it took only 40 minutes in my oven). Allow the pie to cool on the counter, away from the hot oven, until room temperature.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

I couldn't wait 4 hours.  I had to take a little nibble.  And it was incredible: sweet and spicy and comforting, with its own crisp crust and velvety-smooth inside.  Eating it definitely felt sinful.  I'm quite sure I would surprise anyone eating this pie if I told them it was made almost entirely of healthy ingredients like tofu, milk, and vegetables!

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