Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegan Maple Cream Tarts

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I know I'm not the only one who gets even more excited about pies, cakes, and other desserts just as much as delicious veggie options. Creamy desserts are generally not vegan-friendly, but that doesn't mean you can't whip up your own milk and egg free confection! After looking at several different vegan pastry cream recipes online, I improvised this one- it's a bit thicker than typical pastry cream (which is definitely a positive if you prefer thicker cream!), but it's still big on taste- for some fall flavor, I added some cinnamon and maple syrup. Serve this with some vegan whipped cream, and you'll have some satisfied vegans & vegetarians surrounding your dessert table.

The Whats:

* 1/4 cup unbleached flour
* 1/4 cup corn starch
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 cups vanilla soymilk
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 2 tbsp. grade A maple syrup
* pinch of sea salt
* pinch of cinnamon, plus extra for dusting

The Hows:

1) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, and 1/2 cup soy milk. Set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan, whisk together remaining soy milk, sugar, vanilla extract, pinch of cinnamon and pinch of sea salt over medium heat. Slowly stream starch-flour mix into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until mixture thickens, about ten minutes.

3) Remove from heat. Whisk in maple syrup and an extra pinch of cinnamon, if desired. Place plastic wrap over surface of pastry cream, and allow several hours to cool.

4) To serve: remove plastic wrap and stir cream before serving. Spoon into Keebler Ready Crust Graham Cracker mini pie crusts (believe it, these are vegan too!) and sprinkle with cinnamon. For a crispier crust, follow instructions on the Keebler box to bake the mini pie crusts.

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