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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipes

What's Thanksgiving without a good old fashioned pumpkin pie? Hollow. Unfulfilling. Cool Whip-less. And what's the problem with pumpkin pie? Traditionally, the best recipes call for a can of evaporated milk, the thick concentrate made by removing most of the water from milk. That gives evaporated milk a lactose percentage about twice that of ordinary milk.

For years I sublimated my cravings with a wonderful dairy-free pumpkin pie made by Malek's Bakery in Rochester (technically in the suburb of Brighton), a kosher bakery that knows when and how to carefully remove all the dairy from a dessert. I've been avoiding dessert entirely for the past few weeks so I'm foregoing the pleasure this year. But that means the longing for the pie is all the greater.

It's not easy to substitute for evaporated milk. Most dairy-free pumpkin pie recipes will tell you to toss in low-fat lactose-free milk or soy milk or almond milk or just about anything that's liquid and lactose- or dairy-free. It's hard to imagine that these all can be made to march in lockstep in a recipe as delicate as pumpkin pie.

So I did a search to find recipes that specified one particular type of substitute, with the assumption that naming names means that the recipe has been successfully taste-tested.

The wonderfully named site MedPie.com has a recipe by a doctor, Robert Latkany, that manages to do away with the need for a dairy substitute liquid entirely, filling the hole with coconut oil and water.

The Teens With Crohn's Disease Website has a more straightforward version using vanilla Edensoy, a soy "milk."

PieChef.com uses coconut milk, a substitute that is the most commonly named alternative for evaporated milk.

One more. On the My Kid's Allergies blog, the author adapts a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe with rice milk and suggests using a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust because it contains neither dairy nor soy. There is, of course, wheat.

Those are all the major alternatives for evaporated milk so among them you should find one that will suit your special needs. Enjoy.

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2 comments:

Alisa said...

You might like the ones I posted today - http://www.godairyfree.org/200911233895/News/Nutrition-Headlines/Huge-Holiday-Pie-Recipe-Round-Up-from-Go-Dairy-Free.html

The first one is the pie I make, the quantity of liquid is adjusted too, keeping the crust from being soggy.

Marla said...

If you are like me and prefer dishes without dairy, I highly recommend

www.RoseCole.com/HolidayCookbook . After finding this site, it was really

helpful and now I continually stay up to date with all of Rose Cole’s recipes

and Holiday Cooking ideas. Also check the video on the bottom of the page!

Just thought I would pass it along!--