Pumpkin Pie for World Vegan Month

As Christmas approaches, and with Thanksgiving in the US this week, I thought my vegan pumpkin pie recipe might go down well. I adapted my original recipe (which you can also find on my recipes page) using alternatives for the eggs and milk, and the result was amazing… it tasted fantastic, full of flavour and nobody would ever guess it’s vegan!

I invited a friend over to test it, and the verdict was a definite thumbs up!

So here it is:

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Pie crust:

  • 225g (1 4/5 cups) plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) vegan butter

Filling:

  • 425 g (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 125 g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 4 tbsps maple syrup
  • 100 ml (2/5 cup) canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 tbsps unsweetened almond or soya milk
  • 3 tbsps cornflour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

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Method:

Grease a 23 cm pie or flan dish. Rub the butter into the flour and salt until fine and crumbly, then add just enough cold water to bring the dough together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the pastry to fit your pie dish. Place some greaseproof paper on top and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for about ten minutes. Remove the beans and paper.

Blend all the filling ingredients together. Pour into the pastry case and bake in the oven for a further 40 – 50 minutes.

Leave to cool and then chill for a few hours or preferably overnight.

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Serve with vegan whipped cream and enjoy! 

Wishing all American readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

😀

In a Vase on Monday: Sugar and Spice (and all things nice)

It is one of those grey, wet, chill days, where venturing further than just outside the back door is not at all appealing. Nevertheless I managed to find a few items without getting wet so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again for a Monday vase.

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This dear little sugar bowl was the inspiration for today’s vase, along with some cinnamon sticks which still haven’t been put to good use. The crystalized sugar next to the vase is perfect for adding to spiced winter teas too.

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Some silver fir, hellebores, heuchera leaves, beech twigs and a few violas from the patio were enough to create a small but satisfying arrangement, with little time on hand!

This will probably be my last vase of 2015, as I will be away next week. So thank you to Cathy for the inspiration and encouragement, and especially your dedication in hosting this meme.

I’ll be posting one more time this week, but for all those too busy to drop by again, and to my fellow Monday vasers:

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Cookies: Linzer Cookies (Vegan)

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A novelty twice over for me – not only are they the first Linzer Cookies I have ever made, they are also my first vegan Christmas cookies – and I am absolutely delighted with the results!

I must give all the credit for the recipe to a wonderful vegan cook and baker, Stina Spiegelberg. Her blog Vegan Passion is also written partly in English, so please do go and visit her. Even better, if you know some German then buy one of her books. I bought her Vegan Xmas cookbook recently and have tried her delicious non-cheese “cheescake” (Zupfkuchen) already too.

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Stina, you have made my first vegan Christmas a delight!

Linzer Cookies

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  • 4-5cm round cookie cutter and small cookie cutters for the centres
  •  460g (3 and 3/4 cups) wholemeal (spelt) flour
  • 80g (1/2 cup) ground hazelnuts
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 250g (about 2 sticks and 2 tbsps) vegan butter
  • 4 tbsps soya milk
  • 200g (7 oz) raspberry jam/jelly (I prefer the seedless jelly 😉 )

Mix all the ingredients together except for the jam. Add the soya milk at the end as you bring the dough together to form a smooth ball. Then chill it for at least 30 minutes, wrapped in clingfilm.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F and line large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut out circles using a 4-5cm cookie cutter. In half of the circles cut out tiny hearts, stars etc from the centre. You are aiming to make about 50 cookies.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown! Let them cool on a rack and then spread the jam over the bottom halves and gently press the top halves onto them. You need about a third to a half a teaspoon per cookie.

The jam filling does mean that they go a little soft after a day or two, but they still taste wonderful and can be kept for a couple of weeks in an airtight tin.

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Have you done any Christmas baking yet?

 

 

Gooey Chocolate and Cardamon Cake

All those who came on my virtual garden tour a few days ago were promised a slice of cake, and  this is what I had in my kitchen to go with a nice cuppa…

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After tidying up my spice cupboard recently and discovering some fresh and oh so aromatic ground cardamon, I decided on a chocolate cardamon mix. Adapted from my Swedish Visiting Cake, it has no baking powder in it, so it stays dense and gooey in the middle, a bit like a brownie. Look at that gooeyness!

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Chocolate Cardamon Cake

Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and flour a 23cm (9 inch) baking tin (loose-bottomed if you have one).ChocCake3

Melt 110g (1 stick) butter and 25g dark chocolate and allow to cool a little. Meanwhile whisk 225g sugar (1 cup) with 2 eggs until creamy. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Fold in 110g sifted flour and 3 tbsps cocoa powder (this should make up 1 cup altogether), a pinch of salt and 1 tsp cardamom. Gently stir the cooled melted butter/chocolate into the batter. Pour into the baking tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check towards the 20-minute mark as you don’t want to bake it too long or that lovely gooey centre will dry out.

Leave to cool before removing from the tin, or serve warm – directly from the tin. You could sprinkle it with a little icing sugar if desired.

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Delicious served with fresh flowers fruit.

Enjoy!

Spice Cupboard Inspiration

Alys, who is a dear blogging friend at Gardening Nirvana, is good at organizing stuff – in fact that is her job, organizing people. So when she asked in a recent post about where we need help with organizational matters, I immediately thought of my spice cupboard… and the large tupperware container of herbs in another cupboard taking up much needed space in my small kitchen.

My spice cupboard is one of those shallow ones above the stove. Not ideal in terms of “keep your herbs and spices cool and dry”, but what else can I put in there?! Here it is after being emptied…

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(The panel at the bottom is missing due to the dormouse… a long story you can read about here.)

Alys is such a treasure – she immediately put her thinking cap on and produced a great post all about organizing herbs and spices. I was inspired!

So, step one is “gather and review”… what chaos!

HerbsBefore

The “consolidate” and “purge” steps came next: I had to be rigorous and throw out things I really never use or that are way too old. But I also discovered some curry spices I had forgotten about, and some fresh cardamon… mmm, that smells so good. My favourite! Do you have a favourite spice?

(The cardamon inspired a cake last weekend and I shall share the recipe with you very soon.)

As I already had quite a few metal jars which are stackable I decided to invest in some new ones to match. A good decision I think… Here is what it now looks like, after a couple of hours of cleaning old jars, re-labelling and organizing:

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Ahhh, that’s better.

Thanks Alys!

🙂

For all you gardeners out there, Alys also did a very useful post on how to organize your gardening tools.

If you have any organizing challenges Alys would love to help, so go and visit her at “Gardening Nirvana“. 😀