4:20PM

Experiment and Pics: Oreo Cream Pumpkin Pie

 

***This here be my 95th Apr0n post. Just saying, I've got something interesting planned for #100***

 

So my schematic works... ish. The experiment was a success insofar as taste and texture being totally tasty. The lingering question is to do with stabilizing the pie. Here's the brief:

  • Crumble oreos and toss with earthbalance, coat bottom/sides of springform; chill 1 hour to set [SUCCESS]
  • Combine 1 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 block silken and pour on crust [SUCCESS]
  • Combine 1 cup melted chocolate and 1/2 block silken and pour on top [SUCCESS]
  • Whip up some bitchin' vanilla silken tofu frosting, snowy peak it on top [SUCCESS]
  •  

    Now the part I didn't cover, because I wasn't sure if I would need to, involved stabilizing the three compounds. I was not sure how stabilized the silken tofu would become relying solely on refrigeration. The answer to this question is, not very. Well, actually, not at all. I knew this prior to pouring the pie fillings into the crust/pan. I chose to use my springform deliberately so that if it fell flat I would be able to scoop it into a bowl a bit easier.

    Before I poured the fillings, in each of the three I chilled them at least one hour (as I finished each one, the last one went in for an hour) to see how well they'd set. They didn't. So I dropped them back in the processor and spun them to (a) tweak the flavor, and (b) add xanthum gum. I added about 1/4 teaspoon per 1 1/2 cups filling.

    Interpretation: In all, I think the experiment's results showed two results - use an alternative binding agent, beat with electric mixer to force air into fillings.

    Had I beat some air into the fillings they would have been lighter and easier to set. Had I used something other than xanthum gum (agar-agar, which requires heating but that should be okay with the ingredients), which appears more in recipes for cookies and baked goods, it appears it would have had a better chance at setting correctly.

    Anyway, here is a gallery of it all falling apart: Oreo Cream Pumpkin Pie

    Now, although I don't have a finalized recipe, per se, here is the draft beyond the schematic. I have left out the thickening/gelling agent deliberately and have a note at the end if you wish to proceed in advance of me.

    1. Roast one [or two*] medium pumpkin (cleaned, halved, scooped out, face down in some water) in oven at 350'f for 1 hour
    2. Melt 1 stick butter, crumble 20 oreo cookies; mix and spread in the bottom of springform pan, put in fridge to set for 1 hour
    3. Scoop out and puree pumpkin pulp with 6 ounces silken tofu, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon each of clove, nutmeg, & cinnamon, and a 1/4 cup cane sugar (quantity and type of sugar don't necessarily matter, blend based on your taste) [*if you want to double up the pumpkin layer, and roast 2 pumpkins, double the other ingredients in this step]; pour into container and refrigerate
    4. Puree 12 ounces silken tofu, 1/2 cup honey, 4 tablespoons cane sugar, and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder; pour into container and refrigerate
    5. Puree 6 ounces silken tofu, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup powdered sugar; pour into container and refrigerate
    6. Once the crust and fillings have all had a chance to chill and set in the fridge, take out the crust and pour in the fillings one by one in the order pumpkin > chocolate > vanilla
    7. Refrigerate until set.

    After doing some research on agar, I think I may have found an approach that would work well without drastically altering the modicum of nutrition offered up at the expense of sugar and fat. So each of the layers, as you can see above, are largely or mostly composed of silken tofu. The gelling compound I found that I want to try relies on a ratio of suspending 2 tbs agar in 2 2/3 soy milk, bringing it to a boil, simmering until the flakes dissolve, and letting it set. 

    The technique then, with respect to the Oreo Cream Pumpkin Pie, would add steps 5.1/.2/.3; these would consist of prepping each filling prior to pouring them. Previously, I basically tried this, but with xanthum gum in the food processor and it failed. So 5.1 would involve pulling the pumpkin filling, and beating in X cups of the gelling compound and continuing until a good amount of air has been incorporated into the filling, followed immediately by step 6.  Now if it ends up more like pudding, that's okay, but I'm really, truly shooting for a mousse texture.

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    References (1)

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      Source: Out of one many
      If you’ve made the Soy-Free Banana Yogurt then you’ll recognize the basic concept; however, I’ve tweaked the recipe so it’ll work with just about any add-ins, even those pesky citrus fruits. Plus, you can make up a big batch of the “base” ahead of time and then portion it out to make different-flavored puddings all at once! Can I hear a “Yay!” for variety?

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