This first week has been a lot easier then I thought to avoid animal products. I have not been craving anything. The only slip I’ve had was ‘tasting’ my mums gravy, that she made to go with the beef, that she prepared for my friends, that came over a couple nights ago. I didn’t want to prepare meat for them, but my partner was determined if we were having roast, then they were all having beef. I didn’t feel like I wanted it, which is good. I just had the roasted vegetables and some of the barley casserole from the other day.
For dessert I decided it had to be vegan. There is nothing I hate more then preparing a dessert that I can not eat. I just bought the book Vegan Pie In The Sky by Isa
Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, so I was anxious to try something from this book. I decided to make Key Lime Pie, because I recently had it this when I went to Kind Living Cafe at Maleny. The Key Lime at this cafe was more like a cheesecake. Well actually it was a cheesecake. It was rich, creamy and raw (in a good way). So I thought that the Key Lime Pie that I was making would be very similar. I didn’t know what to expect because the recipe called for agar agar, which I never used before. I didn’t really know what it was, just that it was gelatinous. I not sure what I was thinking, nevertheless I was wrong. This recipe produced a filling that was more like a panna cotta. This makes sense, since there was no tofu or vegan creem cheese. However, it was still delicious and everyone loved it! It’s the kind of pie that you can only really have one slice because it is that sweet. I served it with Sweet Coconut Cream, which is also from Isa book.
The recipe for this pie is here, but it doesn’t include the pie crust. The pie crust is also in the book, called Graham Cracker Crust. In Australia I think you can just substitute Graham Crackers for digestive biscuits. It’s hard to find vegan ones so I usually just go to health food section at the supermarket and pick out what ever is a plain sweet biscuit. For this recipe I used Leda Arrowroot biscuits. The only other vegan ‘Graham Cracker’ Pie crust I’ve ever made was from a recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, Mixed Berry Cheesecake. For Alicia’s recipe, you only use the biscuits and vegan butter. However, for this recipe I also had to use sugar and plant-based milk. I found that after I cooked the crust in the over, it became more soft and fluffy. However, because it fell a bit around the edges, I thought if I used my fingers to ‘fix’ it then it would be better. Big mistake, it just made all the oil from the butter come out and the beautiful result of the baking disappeared in a crumby, oily mess. I was too scared to fix it further, so I just left it and hoped for the best.
Then I made the filling for the pie, which was pretty easy. Squeezing lime juice wasn’t too fun with the cuts on my fingers, I think I need to invest in a juicing device. When I cooked it, I was surprised how quickly it thickened up. I keep tasting it because I was really good. However, it made me feel really sick after. I’m not sure if agar agar should be eaten before setting. I was a bit disappointed when I put the filling into the pie crust. It had these yellow spots, that looked like oil. I thought they would go away, so I put the pie in the fridge to set for 3 hours. When I took it out of the fridge later, it still had the spots so I thought I would make them disappear by adding icing sugar. Also not a good idea, as the icing sugar just soaked into the pie. Not a hug big deal, but unnecessary.
At this point I also decided to whip up the Sweet Coconut cream. This was just a can of coconut milk, left in the fridge for 6 hours, 1/2 cup of icing sugar and teaspoon of vanilla essence. The water is meant to separate from the milk, so when you open it you just take the cream from the top. This did not happen with mine. So when I went to whip it, it did not became stiff. I realized the next day that the cream needs to sit in the fridge after that and will become more thick. The water also separated at that point, so definitely I think next time I will prepare the day before. The Pie was also extremely had to remove from my pie dish. I did put some vegan butter on the base, but the pie crust still broke up a lot. It still tasted really great, the pie and the cream, but not as spectacular on the plate and definitely not as pretty as the one in the book. Perhaps next time I will not use the glass pie base, maybe it will slide out easier. I also had this problem in the past, with Alicia’s Mixed Berry Pie.