Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Streusel Pie

When it comes to the holidays it is really hard to eat dairy-free.  Rolls, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, pies, cakes, cookies.  They all have dairy in them.  Every Thanksgiving I make a pumpkin pie.  Who doesn't?  I love, love, love Pumpkin Pie.  Well since giving up dairy the beginning of this year I've been dreading Thanksgiving.  How am I going to do a traditional Thanksgiving feast with no dairy whatsoever?!  I decided to start with a pie makeover.  I wanted to take my all time favorite pumpkin recipe and make it dairy free but I wanted every single person that ate it to have absolutely no clue in the world that it was missing all the cream and butter it normally has.  Well, I've done it.  I've knocked it out of the park and couldn't be happier!  My entire family absolutely loves it.  I think it is amazing and am thrilled with how it turned out!  My secret - silken tofu pureed in place of heavy cream! 

Pumpkin Struesel Pie

Pie Filling:
1 15oz. can pure pumpkin 
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 oz. silken tofu, drained
1 c. pure maple syrup
3 large eggs

Streusel Topping:
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 tbsp. unsalted dairy-free butter, very cold (I use organic Smart Balance Vegan Spread)

Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, flour and salt in a mixer with whisk attachment and beat until just combined.  In a blender add the silken tofu and maple syrup and puree until completely smooth.  Add the syrup tofu mixture into the pumpkin mixture and beat until well combined.  Stop and scrape down sides and add in eggs one at a time and beat until combined.  Pour into pie crust and bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 35 minutes.  While it is baking combine all streusel ingredients in a bowl and use a fork or your hands and crumble it together until the butter is about the size of peas and almost all streusel mixture is sticky and crumbly.  Take pie out of oven and sprinkle streusel all over the top of it.  Place back in the oven for another 20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before serving so pie has time to set.  The pie should still be a bit jiggly in the middle when you remove it and it will set as it cools.  A firm non-jiggly center means it is overcooked.     

Dairy-Free Pie Dough:

3 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
12 tbsp. non-dairy butter
1/2 c. ice cold water

Place the shortening in fridge ahead of time or freezer to get it nice and cold before you prepare the dough.  Dice the butter and place it back into the refrigerator. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the very cold butter and very cold shortening. Pulse a few times until the butter is bite size. Turn the machine on and slowly add the ice water down the feed tube until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball.  Divide and press into a flat circle and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle.  This makes 2 pie crusts.  The other can be refrigerated a few days or placed in the freezer for later use.  Make sure to spray your pie pan before rolling it out though to prevent it from sticking once it is baked.   

NOTE:  Organic Smart Balance Vegan Spread is like using salted butter.  So I opt to omit the salt from my pie recipe and the pie crust. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I made Katsudon last night for my first time ever.  It is one of my absolutely favorite dishes I get quite often here in Japan.  It was simply to make and so good. The fried pork cutlet on top is called Tonkatsu.  Then you have sticky rice and a slightly sweet sauce with onions and egg over the rice.  We use Japanese eggs because here in Japan they eat raw eggs quite often so they have much higher standards for their eggs.  We can cook them less or not at all if we prefer but using American eggs I'd cook it through.  You'd be surprised at how quickly you can get use to eating raw egg.  A year ago I would have said "no way", but now I do it often and enjoy it and actually sometimes prefer it that way in certain dishes.  This makes 1 bowl of Katsudon.  Just double or triple how you see fit to make as much or as little as you need.  I usually make it for two and use two separate skillets so the egg cooks for just that one bowl in that one skillet but you don't have to do it that way. 

The egg you are pouring into the liquid at the end needs to be just barely beaten.  You want it mixed but not like you do scrambled eggs.  Just enough to pop the yolk and give it maybe 4-5 mixes then you are good to go.  For sticky rice use a good sushi rice in a rice cooker on sushi setting.  You can usually find hon-dashi in the Asian section of supermarkets.  Instead of making a batch of dashi stock fresh this is the granulated way to do it.  Similar to how you use chicken bouillon for chicken stock if you don't have chicken stock or don't want to make it from scratch for just a small amount.   


Pork Chop (Boneless)
1/2 c. Panko
1 beaten egg
1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour 


1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/5 tsp. hon-dashi
1/8 c. water
1/2 onion thinly sliced

1 egg, very lightly beaten

Start your sticky rice.  Preheat your oil to 375 degrees.  Dredge the pork chop into flour, egg then panko and drop it hot oil and cook until golden brown and cooked all the way through.  It takes about 3 minutes a side roughly.  Place on paper towels and allow to cool while making the sauce.  Mix all sauce ingredients in a small skillet that has a lid.  Allow to come to a boil and turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes with lid on.  Cut the tonkatsu into slice and place into the simmer liquid.  Pour the beaten egg over the top and around the edges of the tonkatsu into the sauce and cover with the lid again.  Allow to cook for 45 seconds.  Remove lid and pour entire skillet of sauce, egg and tonkatsu over your sticky rice.  Enjoy!