If you’re a fan of Southern desserts, you may be familiar with the rich, custardy goodness of chess pie. Traditionally made with eggs, sugar, butter, and cornmeal, this dessert is a staple of Southern cuisine. However, for those following a vegan diet or looking to reduce their intake of animal products, chess pie can be a no-go. Luckily, with a few simple substitutions, you can enjoy all the deliciousness of chess pie without any animal products. In this article, we’ll explore the world of vegan chess pie, from its history to its ingredients to its variations.
What is Chess Pie?
Before we dive into vegan chess pie, let’s first explore what traditional chess pie is all about. The origins of chess pie are somewhat mysterious, but it’s believed to have originated in England in the 19th century. Chess pie is typically made with a simple custard filling of eggs, sugar, and butter, along with cornmeal and a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to balance the sweetness. Some variations may include other ingredients, such as milk or cream, but the basic recipe remains the same. The pie is then baked until the filling sets and develops a slightly caramelized top layer.
The Vegan Twist
So, what do you do if you want to make a vegan version of chess pie? The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think. Instead of eggs and butter, you can use a combination of silken tofu and vegan margarine or coconut oil. Silken tofu has a similar texture to eggs and can be blended with sugar to create a smooth, creamy custard. Vegan margarine or coconut oil can be used in place of butter to add richness and flavor to the filling. The cornmeal and vinegar or lemon juice can remain the same, but you may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on your preference.
Recipe for Vegan Chess Pie
Ready to give vegan chess pie a try? Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 1 pre-made vegan pie crust (or make your own using vegan margarine or coconut oil)
- 1 12-ounce package of silken tofu
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the silken tofu until smooth and creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan margarine or coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the blended tofu to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, stirring until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Finally, stir in the vinegar or lemon juice.
- Pour the filling into the pre-made pie crust.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top is golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing and serving.