Happy almost Thanksgiving American friends, only one more week to go! I thought I would sneak in this post before it was too late and nobody cared to see anymore pumpkin pie until next year. I kept meaning to post this sooner, but life yadda yadda procrastination and junk. Way back when I had mentioned this pie and it’s teetering outcome during our Canadian Thanksgiving. As per usual, after making the same pumpkin pie so many times I’ve lost count, I of course neglected to remember the fact that pumpkin pie takes hours to set. When I woke up the day of and the realization hit me in the head that, holy crap, I might be bringing a sloppy mess to dinner if I don’t get on this soon, I crossed my fingers, toes and held my breath that it would set in time. Once I was resuscitated, I discovered pie success! And I even managed to squeeze in a few photos before it was too dark out.
I know a lot of people dread this time of year, I just happen to be lucky in the sense that I get to celebrate Thanksvegan with a group of great friends but I know not everyone has that option. Most of our family members are scattered all over the country, so even back in the omnivore days when Philip and I moved to Calgary, we were never big into celebrating Thanksgiving. I have had my fair share of awkward Christmas dinners though, especially when I was just a baby vegan and most of my extended family were just hearing the news. One year I even had one of my cousins tell me all about the cow they raised, named, loved….and ate…apparently “Joey” was mmm mmm good too….fun times.
If you happen to be stuck in one of those scenarios where you’re invited to Thanksgiving and your worried the only thing to eat will be the boiled potato they removed for you before they mashed the rest* offer to bring a dish! At least you’ll have something to go with that potato. If you’re newly vegan, then chances are that yes, people will ask you about it. I even had one relative ask me (in a super booming voice) if I was one of those peta people, which resulted in me awkwardly muttering something about not being a member of peta. Yeah, questions will be asked, and how you handle them is completely based on how you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, kindly tell them you would prefer not to discuss it at this time. It seems to me like most people feel the need to ask you why you’re vegan while everyone is eating, which doesn’t always make for the best dinner conversation, so instead of going into the details about factory farming while everyone is chowing down on some poor turkey, tell them that you’d love to discuss it after the meal.
Just remember that it does get easier but if you’re in need of some holiday survival tips, Cadry recently posted some great ones.
You could also always bring pie, and if there just happens to be one of those skeptics who’s convinced that vegan baked goods suck, throw this pie in their face. Ok, imagine throwing this pie in their face 😉 While actually serving them a piece and watching their skepticism turn to surprise. I tend to overlook how amazing pumpkin and chocolate are together, even when I initially thought of making this pie I was a little iffy about it; as it turns out, they complement one another so well! Such complexity and richness, mixed with a bit of comforting familiarity.
I originally was planning on making the top all pretty with thin strings of chocolate made with a piping bag, but since I was racing with the clock, that idea went out the window and I chucked some melted chocolate in a plastic bag, cut the tip too big and smooshed it on. Not exactly what I was going for but you get the drift. This made for a delicious end to our already delicious Thanksgiving and all leftovers were happily devoured the next day. Our friend Phil even took some on a hike to the top of Moose Mountain the next day, now that’s what I call an awesome hiking snack!
What are you making for Thanksgiving? Do you dread or look forward to the holidays?
*This actually happened to me during another Christmas, and on top of it I was given immense grief for not profusely thanking them for removing the potato. Apparently my one thank you wasn’t enough. Those damn ungrateful vegans I tell ya.
- 2 cups finely ground graham cracker or cookie crumbs
- 1/3 cup non-dairy margarine, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, margarine, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and spread evenly with the melted bittersweet chocolate.
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and margarine, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt until smooth. Whisk in the melted chocolate. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth out. Bake 10 minutes, then decrease temperature to 350 and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the center is set but is still a bit wobbly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, drizzle melted chocolate on top. Serve immediately.
- Plan ahead! Make this the day before serving. It's needs a day for it to set really well.