I sold a story to Crossed Genres! Many thanks to the editorial team over there. I’ll post about the inspiration for “The Red Terror of Rose Hall” when the publication gets closer, since it came out of some unusual places.
I recently watched a completely fantastic movie, The Draughtsman’s Contract. Wowza-bo-bowza and holy fucking shit. I really cannot recommend this film enough—doubly so for anyone who thought Dangerous Liaisons would have been so000 much better were it about English people being horrible to one another instead of the French. What? Is it news to anyone that I’m an unrepentant Anglophile? Anyways, it features fops, more fops, foppery, wigs, a soundtrack by Michael Nyman (the guy who did the soundtrack for Ravenous), more fops, and people being unrepentantly terrible to one another for dubious reasons. Also fops. If for some reason you need more convincing, here’s the first scene. Tell me that’s not wonderful.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction is out! I tested for this cookbook thus may vouch for its awesomeness.
Thanksgiving came and went with food and relaxation and me learning to (at long last) play Magic: The Gathering. Wow, it’s fun! Also, I made really excellent pumpkin pie, and have put that recipe at the bottom of the post.
Things with Lightspeed and Fantasy have been going really well! There are some great stories coming out at both venues during December, so make sure to keep checking on Mondays and Tuesdays for delightfulness! Or, alternatively, why not buy the ebook version of Lightspeed and be the cool kid who’s read everything before everyone else?
As you may have noticed, Films of High Adventure is on hiatus. It’s temporary! But we’ll still have a December installment up at Fantasy.
OK. Time for noms!
Molly’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie
I wanted to take advantage of the pie pumpkins at the farmer’s market this year. I’ve never made pumpkin pie from scratch, and felt it was High Time. It ended up being something of an emotional roller coaster. It began with feeling smugly domestic as I put the pumpkin in the oven to roast, panicking when it didn’t taste particularly great, getting friends on the internet to calm me the hell down by reminding me that pumpkins are not delicatas and need sugar before tasting good (thanks, Erin, and everyone on the PPK!), risking ruining pie by making up my own recipe, and then feeling as triumphant as an objectivist setting her oil wells aflame as I bit into a perfect slice. Well, not quite perfect. It was a tad overbaked, but I think 5 minutes fewer in the oven would have produced The Perfect Pie.
There are as many vegan pumpkin pie recipes as there are vegans, and the unique challenges involving making the perfect pie are heatedly discussed every holiday season on vegan message boards. The main issue is that unlike say, a chocolate mousse pie, tofu in the batter can often give the finished pie a tofu-y taste, and while I’m pretty inured to tofu-taste, something about pumpkin pie really brings out the bean. And yet! Adding a different binder in the form of soaked cashews really makes the tofu invisible in this version, for real. I baked it in the morning and by 5 or 6 at night it had completely set up and sliced beautifully. It did crack, as you’ll see below, but not much, and wasn’t at all watery.
My only caveat here is that I live at high altitude and thus I upped the oven temperature and baking time. I’m pretty sure that those below 5k feet could get away with an oven temperature of 350 and the standard 50 minutes to an hour baketime!
2 cups home dry-roasted pumpkin (see instructions below)
¼ c cashews
¾ c silken tofu (water-packed, NOT vacuum-packed)
2/3 c natural sugar plus more by the tablespoon if you want it sweeter after you make up the batter
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 ¼ tsp real Ceylon cinnamon (ooooohhhhh)
mace and nutmeg and cardamom to taste
Dry roast the pumpkin the night before. I roasted it at 350 for about 90 minutes, all told. Before roasting, I prepped it by cutting it into thirds, scooping out all the guts and seeds, and putting it on a baking sheet (sprayed) w/cut sides down. When it was super-soft I took it out let it cool. It was perfect and didn’t need to be strained. It also tasted completely filthy so don’t worry if you try it and it’s horrid.
After finishing the roasting bung 1/4 cup of cashews in a bowl w/enough room to cover them with three inches of water. Let sit over night.
For the batter, drain and wash the cashews, then whiz them in a food processor until they’re thoroughly whizzed. Add the tofu until it’s puree. Add pumpkin and sugar. Blend until looks like pumpkin pie batter and you can see absolutely no tofu chunks or cashew grains. This will require scraping the bowl using a rubber spatula to get everything that’s settled to the bottom to incorporate. Add spices and ginger. Taste, adjust sugar. I added about two tablespoons I think but I would add a full quarter cup next year depending on how sweet the pumpkin is.
Then all you do is pour the batter into a pre-made crust and bake at 350 or 375 for 50-60 minutes! Woo! Let cool until totally cool.
So, yay! Pumpkin pie! Stuff! Woo!