maple yam-ginger pie

I thought I’d sneak in one more post before Thanksgiving, just in case you still need a recipe. This one goes out to all of my vegan homies. I feel like vegetarians get the short end of the stick on Thanksgiving. So I’m giving back in the form of pie.

The first time I made this pie was last year, a few days before Thanksgiving. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Nothing about it indicates that it’s 100% dairy free. The filling is smooth and silky, with hints of ginger and cinnamon.

Can we just talk about the crust for a minute? Initially, I was skeptical about the crust because it sagged a little while par baking. But all of my doubts vanished after my first bite. This crust is outstanding. It’s crisp and slightly nutty thanks to its coconut oil base and a little bit of whole wheat pastry flour. It is certainly in the running for my favorite pie crust.

If you like ginger like I do, a little candied or crystalized ginger is really nice alongside this pie. Just make sure to leave a little room in your belly. And have yourself a marvelous Thanksgiving.

maple yam-ginger pie

adapted from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

makes 1 9-inch pie

for the crust:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons raw cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

7 tablespoons solidified coconut oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup ice water

for the filling:

2-1/2 pounds garnet yams

2 cups coconut milk

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons agar flakes

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

candied or crystalized ginger (optional)

for the crust:

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add the solid coconut oil to the bowl and rub it into the dry mix with your fingers until it resembles small pebbles.

Add the vinegar to the ice water. Drizzle the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing as you add it.  Stop adding water when the dough holds together when squeezed. Do not add more water than necessary.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape it into a bowl and then flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the yams all over with the tines of a fork. Place the yams on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator after 45 minutes and allow it to warm to room temperature. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a pie plate. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the plate. Trim the edges with a knife. Make a decorative edge by pinching the dough between your index finger and thumb.

Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times. Transfer to the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. If your crust begins to shrink or sag significantly, gently press it back into shape with the back of a wooden spoon. When the crust is golden brown, remove from oven and set aside.

Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.

In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat. Do not let boil. Add the agar flakes and the ginger and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring often, until the agar dissolves. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract and simmer for an additional minute. Turn off heat.

Add the yams, agar mixture, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot, and sea salt to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until cream and smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is firm.

Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours, or until the pie has firmed up. Serve each slice with some candied ginger.