2800 East Second Avenue
Chef Corey Holland is baking up a tasty holiday pie at True Food Kitchen in Cherry Creek that not only fits in with the restaurant chain's mission of serving an anti-inflammatory diet, but is also vegan. The dessert comes in as a close cousin to pumpkin pie, with winter spices and a creamy filling, but it also carries hints of maple and coconut and a dash of brandy.
Here's the recipe, but if you're not into baking, you can order a pie for Thanksgiving through November 22 for pickup at the Cherry Creek restaurant on November 24 or 25. Or just grab a slice for dessert: the squash pie will be on True Food's menu all winter. Holland says it's the second-best dessert seller behind True Food's signature flourless chocolate cake.
2 packages vegan graham crackers, pulverized
4 tablespoons sesame tahini
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
6 cups pureed squash — chef Cory Holland recommends butternut
1 cup sugar (half light brown, half white)
1-1/8 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons brandy
1-1/2 cups coconut milk
4-1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
scant dash of nutmeg, if desired
For the crust, blend all ingredients until well combined. Press the crust into a pan and up the sides. (A tart pan was used in the image above.) Bake crust for 15 minutes at 325 degrees, until the crust is dry and crisp.
For the filling, bake a whole squash (butternut, buttercup, Hubbard, Tahitian, etc.) at 375 degrees until it is soft enough to pierce easily with a toothpick. Cool, cut in half, remove the seeds, and scoop out the flesh. Mash the flesh and measure out six cups.
Blend the squash with the remaining ingredients until smooth and pour the mixture into the baked crust. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until browned and set. Cool at room temperature and then chill overnight in the refrigerator. Serve cold or cool with a dollop of sweetened, whipped coconut cream. Holland adds vanilla bean paste to his whipped coconut cream.