I like to say I am a vegetarian with vegan leanings. Let me explain — there are all sorts of vegetarians: those who eat only veggies, grains and nuts, those who eat veggies, grains, nuts and dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese,) those who eat veggies, grains, nuts, dairy and occasionally fish and chicken (which I assert are really not vegetarians at all, but, who am I to judge?) No doubt, there are all sorts of other kinds of vegetarians.
Me? I’m a vegetarian who eats veggies, grains, nuts and SWEETS! ALL KINDS OF SWEETS!!! Forget a sweet tooth; the entire lower half of my face requires almost hourly injections of sweet snacks! That includes pies. My favorite pie is my mama’s Sweet Potato Pie. I remember when I was a child, my mama would go into the kitchen every holiday season and bake four of the most decadent sweet potato pies you have ever tasted! Sweet and silky perfection in a hot and flaky crust, they were. Each forkful of that pie was a taste bud-tingling treat! And to this day, all these many years later, I must have that pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The problem is, my vegan leanings. I live with a vegan. There may be hundreds of kinds of vegetarians, but there’s really only one kind of vegan. Vegans don’t eat animals or anything that comes from an animal. No milk, no eggs, not even a bee’s honey! The vegan I live with firmly believes that animals were not put on earth to satisfy our hunger. He believes that a humanity which truly wants to foster peace will honor and cherish all the animals on earth and refrain from eating them and any of their byproducts.
Well, that pretty much puts the kibosh on my mama’s Sweet Potato Pie. It’s full of milk and eggs! What’s a vegetarian with vegan leanings to do???
Here’s what I did: I took my mama’s recipe, and I did my best to tweak it so that my vegan housemate would be able to enjoy the sweet potato deliciousness I’ve grown to demand every holiday season. While my pies were a little less fluffy than my mama’s, I must say, the taste was pretty spot on.
So, for you vegans – or fellow vegetarians with vegan leanings – out there, here’s my recipe. Try it out! And peace be unto all the beautiful animals of the world!
Mama’s VEGAN Sweet Potato Pie (makes 2 pies)
First, prepare the vegan pie crusts:
2 cups flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the Earth Balance, mixing until crumbly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and water, then add to the flour mixture, mixing just until a dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, then chill for 30 minutes. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness and gently press into a pie tin.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Then prepare the filling
1 large can of yams or sweet potatoes
1 cup of sugar (more or less to your taste)
½ cup of Almond Milk (or whatever non-dairy milk you desire.)
1/3 cup melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
½ tsp of vanilla flavoring
(You can forgo the 2 eggs the recipe calls for or use an egg substitute of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon baking soda.)
In a big bowl, mix the yams (don’t use the liquid,) the sugar, the melted butter, the milk, cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla. Mix the baking soda and the lemon juice in a separate container, then add it to the filling mixture. Pour the filling into the pie crusts. Bake the pies for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Pull pies out of the oven and let them rest until completely cool.
Enjoy your delicious vegan pies!