HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011: 27 local presents for $10 and under to kickstart your holiday shopping spree
FELTED CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT, $8
For the holidays, this cozy little shop in Potrero Hill is selling felted ornaments made by two women who live right in the neighborhood. No need to truck out to the Christmas superstore this year (sorry, Target)!
1331 18th St., Potrero Hill, SF. (415) 624-3736
VEGAN MAPLE PECAN PIE, COST OF SUPPLIES
Of course, you can always give them something that will, without fail, ensure that sharp intake of breath that marks the happy receipt of a caloric holiday gift-bomb. This holiday sweet from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's Vegan Pie in the Sky (DaCapo Press, 233pp, $17) should do just the trick — and will win the heart of gentle vegans and fierce omnivores alike.
Makes one nine-inch pie or one 11-inch pie
1 nine-inch pie crust
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup pure maple sugar
¼ cup nonhydrogenated margarine
6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu
¼ cup cold unsweetened plain nondairy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecan halves
First, we're going to make a caramel. In a two quart saucepan, mix together the sugars and the maple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start rapidly forming, stir pretty constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy. It shouldn't be boiling too fiercely; if big bubbles start climbing the walls of the pan then lower the heat a bit.
Add the margarine and stir to melt. Turn the heat off, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and let it cool for a bit. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the filling.
Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch, and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything.
Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. When done, the pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set. Let cool, slice, and serve! No cheating and pulling pecans off the pie.
Variation: Sprinkle ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt over the cooled pie.
For more vegan recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, check out www.theppk.com