Hello everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their week, rain or sunshine.
Today is my boyfriend Ian’s birthday and I thought I would show you how I made it as low waste as possible.
We both aren’t huge into gifts unless it’s something we really need. So for his gift I bought him some hiking boots, which came with no plastic and paper tissue 🙂 Since his birthday is on a Monday, and we both work all day, we chose to go on a hiking trip on Saturday. I packed overnight oats for a breakfast on the go, along with bulk trail mix, dried apricots and sunflower seeds. For lunch I packed some burrito bowls with leftovers from my fridge, and some homemade pomegranate kombucha.
Having food ready to eat when you get back from a long hike is so rewarding. Instead of driving around to find lunch, you can kick off your boots, take a seat and refuel. Probably one of my favorite feelings.
Ian is more of a pie guy than cake, so I made him a recipe out of the Minimalist Baker cookbook, Blackberry Custard Pie. Blackberry pie is his favorite, but since blackberries aren’t in season, I didn’t want to rely fully on them. The recipe calls for Vegan cream cheese so I chose to make it using this recipe from healthfulpursuit.
You start by soaking cashews overnight (which I get in my bulk section) and then you blend them with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and a touch of water. Then you put it into cheesecloth or a small knit bag, and hang it in a jar overnight. It drains the liquid and makes for a very creamy cheese.
The recipe also calls for silken tofu which always comes in plastic so I experimented and made my own. For this I used a mis-mash of different recipes on the internet to find something that worked for me.
First I made my soy milk the day or so before making the tofu. You want it to be cold for the tofu recipe so I just kept it in the fridge until ready to use it. Then you get a large pan, I used my wok, and bring it to a low heat. Meanwhile I heated a teapot full of water. In the wok I put three 6 oz ramekins. Mix together 2 cups soy milk and 1/4 Nigiri flakes and pour the mixture into the ramekins. Pour the teapot water in the pan so that the water level is at the level of the soy milk. Cover with a lid, I lined mine with a towel to prevent the water from dripping into the tofu. Simmer for about 10 minutes until set like a custard. I let mine cool completely, then I put them in the fridge and turned them out the next day! This was way easier than I expected it to be and was super fun!
The recipe for the crust of the pie was gluten free, so I picked up the flours I needed in the bulk section. It also called for vegan butter, which I purchased in cardboard. Unfortunately the sticks are individually wrapped in a foil/plastic wrapper.
Since I homemade the cream cheese and the tofu, the only waste that was created for the filling was the Blackberries. Since they aren’t in season I chose to buy frozen and that means a plastic bag. Everything else I was either able to find in my bulk section or already had on hand. The filling was super easy to make, just pop everything in the blender and pour into the crust!
Bake it in the oven for about an hour and wah-lah! We will be enjoying this after a dinner of homemade jackfruit burgers, slaw and mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes it’s the little things like cooking a meal together that make the best memories. I’ll put the recipe for the pie below the picture!
BLACKBERRY CUSTARD PIE
GLUTEN FREE PIE CRUST
- 1 1/4 CUP BOB’S RED MILL GLUTEN FREE 1-TO-1 BAKING FLOUR OR GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 6 TBS COLD VEGAN BUTTER
- 5-7 TBS ICE-COLD WATER
- 1 8-OUNCE PACKAGE PLAIN VEGAN CREAM CHEESE
- 1 CUP PACKED FIRM SILKEN TOFU
- 1/2 CUP MAPLE SYRUP OR AGAVE NECTAR
- 2 LEMONS JUICED (4 TBS)
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- PINCH OF SEA SALT
- 2 TBS CORNSTARCH OR ARROWROOT STARCH
- 1 1/4 CUP BLACKBERRIES
- TO PREPARE THE CRUST, ADD THE FLOUR AND SALT TO A LARGE BOWL. WHISK TO COMBINE.
- SLICE OR DOLLOP THE BUTTER IN AND WORK WITH A FORK OR PASTRY CUTTER TO CUT IT IN UNTIL THE MIXTURE RESEMBLES WET SAND.
- ADD ICE-COLD WATER 1 TBSP AT A TIME, USING A WOODEN SPOON TO STIR. ADD ONLY AS MUCH WATER AS IS NEED TO HELP THE MIXTURE FORM A DOUGH.
- WHEN A LOOSE DOUGH IS FORMED, USE YOUR HANDS TO SHAPE IT INTO A LOOSE BALL IN THE BOWL. TRANSFER THE DOUGH TO A PIECE OF PLASTIC WRAP. WORK THE DOUGH GENTLY WITH YOUR HANDS TO FORM A 1/2 INCH-THICK DISK AND WRAP FIRMLY.
- REFRIGERATE FOR 30 MINUTES
- ONCE THE DOUGH IS CHILLED, PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F AND PREPARE PIE FILLING.
- ADD THE CREAM CHEESE, TOFU, MAPLE SYRUP, LEMON JUICE, VANILLA, SALT AND CORNSTARCH TO THE BOWL OF A BLENDER. BLEND UNTIL CREAM AND SMOOTH, SCRAPING DOWN THE SIDES AS NEEDED. TASTE AND ADJUST THE FLAVORS AS NEEDED, ADDING MORE LEMON JUICE FOR ACIDITY, MAPLE SYRUP FOR SWEETNESS, OR SALT FOR BALANCE. SET ASIDE.
- ROLL OUT THE CRUST TO SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN YOUR PIE PAN.
- TRANSFER CRUST TO PIE PAN, MAKING SURE TO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH.
- TAKE A FORK AND PUNCTURE THE BOTTOM OF THE CRUST 5 OR 6 TIMES, THEN POUR THE FILLING AND SMOOTH THE TOP WITH A SPOON. TOP WITH THE BLACKBERRIES AND VERY GENTLY PRESS THE BERRIES INTO THE CUSTARD TO SETTLE.
- BAKE FOR 1 HOUR 5 MINUTES TO 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES. THE CRUST SHOULD BE GOLDEN BROWN, ESPECIALLY ON THE EDGES, AND THE FILLING SHOULD BE SLIGHTLY JIGGLY IN THE CENTER.
- REMOVE FROM THE OVEN AND LET COOL COMPLETELY 3-4 HOURS BEFORE SERVING.