Monday, November 26, 2007

Easy as pie?

My husband loves desserts. Specifically, he really loves chocolate cream pies. This Thanksgiving, he talked me into attempting to make one without milk (since I had never tried one before developing my milk alergy - and he felt I was really missing out).

I wasn't at all sure that it would work, so I made him agree to make the pie with me. He was game. So I first Googled cooking with soy, and found that a certain site suggested that I add 1/4 cup corn starch to my pudding filling so that it would set up. (Those of you cooks reading this, are probably already guessing this didn't work too well... but let me tell the story anyway...)

First we started by making a home-made graham-cracker crust. It was easy and fun. We took a package and a half out of our box of Honey Maid graham crackers and put them in a zip-lock bag for the karate chop. (Then we finished the job with a rolling pin.) I was afraid it might have been crushed too much - it looked like graham dust - but it worked just fine. Then we added the crumbles to about a stick of melted margerine in a bowl. I sprinkled in somewhere between a 1/3 and 1/2 cup of white sugar into the mixture. Then we pressed it with a spatula into the pie pan and put it in the fridge.

The next day, we cooked the pudding with soy milk. But instead of the 3 cups that were called for, we only used about 2 - because the website we'd looked at told us to "reduce the liquid" when using soy. And in went 1/4 cup of corn starch to make sure it would thicken. Boy did it ever! The stuff was like taffy before we could even get it to boil.

We were a bit concerned at the consistency, and added maybe another 1/4 cup of soy. We stirred it in and removed the globby mixture from the heat. We pressed it into the pan on top of the crust, using cling wrap on to so we could knead it into where it was supposed to go. We hoped it would relax, but there were still "peaks" on top when I pulled it out of the fridge the next morning to add the Cool Whip.

The pie looked fine, and we took it anyway. Though there was tremendous laughter from our friends when we explained what had happened, and they saw the chocolate pie standing up on its own and being so firm, everyone agreed it tasted just fine. There was none left when we returned home.

However, for next time, we will know to use the called for amount of (soy) milk and after it has boiled to add a small amount of corn starch. (Like maybe a Tablespoon.)

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