Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Sermon

I think it is high time we all took a little break from discussing my farmer's market jaunts ad nauseum, don't you? After all, I've droned on and on about squash and cucumbers and kale and all the rest for long enough now. And ya'll have been so patient with me, even going so far as to encourage me in this madness of healthfulness.

I appreciate you guys, really I do. And that's why I've baked you a present. And taken a picture of it, because there just wasn't quite enough to share, as it turned out. But I will let you have the recipe. And then I promise to stop beginning all my sentences with contractions.

I failed to go to the farmer's market this past Saturday, and sometime early this week, I realized we had cooked our way through every single one of the vegetables that had been rolling around in the crisper drawer and lolling about on my countertops. It was a lonely feeling actually, but since I didn't particularly feel like going to the supermarket and loading up on foods from far-flung places, I poked around in my freezer and pulled out some of the sauces I had frozen from our CSA produce earlier this summer, and went about my business making some easy pasta dishes for us to subsist on. After all, it would only be a few days until Thursday, today, when I would be able to go to Locally Grown and re-load on some more fresh veggies.

The thing is though, I get bored in a hurry. So since I wasn't having any fun planning dinners and coming up with new ways to cook squash, I poked around looking for a new dessert recipe to satisfy my urge to tinker in the kitchen. Ack, but everything I ran across just seemed so, well, wrong, I guess. It's not as if I have anything against sugar (far be it from ME) or serious dessert binges (you guys haven't forgotten last winter's calorie meltdown, have you?), but this time of year, I just don't feel like going all out with candy-making or triple-layered-brownie-baking or any of that sort of thing.

Before anyone thinks I've lost my rocker, you DID see that picture of pie a few inches north of this paragraph, right? Oh yeah, I made a pie. And it was chocolate.

See, a while back on 101 Cookbooks, Heidi posted a recipe for a chocolate pie that used tofu (!) and chocolate, one lonely egg, a hunk of cream cheese, a graham cracker crust using honey instead of sugar, and very little else. I was intrigued. With a capital 'I,' no less. And this seemed like the perfect time to pull that recipe out and give it a little whirl.

I mean honestly, if it weren't for the graham crackers, this would be health food. Which is why I was a wee bit nervous about the whole thing, if I'm completely honest. Tofu? In a pie? Under normal circumstances, I might have considered that a deal-breaker, but I was feeling adventurous. And I really wanted some chocolate pie.

Oh, my. Now you KNOW I wouldn't have posted a picture of this thing if it hadn't blown me away. Imagine the consummate chocolate cheesecake, with the perfect firm, thick texture and rich, luxurious mouthfeel. Then subtract the cloying aftertaste, the overly-sweet flavor, and most of the calories and the fat.

Can I get an Amen?

Using honey instead of sugar gives the crust more of a light, floral flavor, and lends a cohesiveness that is often lacking in graham cracker crusts. And I went for dark chocolate chips in the filling, which makes for a rather elegant, grown-up dessert when it's all said and done (although neither of my children got that memo and it turns out, they love it equally). We ALL enjoyed it quite well actually, even The Conservative Carnivore who, you would think, might be the first to take umbrage with having tofu in his pie.


HEAVENLY PIE (adapted from Country Wisdom and Know-How and 101 Cookbooks, yields 8-12 servings, depending on how self-controlled you claim to be)
  • 2 cups well-crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup (about 7 Tbs) melted butter
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz silken tofu
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli 60%), melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine the cracker crumbs, butter and honey. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. In an electric mixer at medium speed, blend together the remaining ingredients until lumps are gone and mixture is very well-combined.
  3. Pour the filling into into the pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Pie will be fully set, but will not have cracks in the filling.
  4. Chill completely, for at least a few hours, before serving.


Cindy said...

Such an AMEN coming from Big Mama, that pie was absolutely amazingly delicious. Flamingo Room delicious, no kidding.

Rebecca M said...

I've made a similar pie for years, with just the chocolate chips and tofu. It's amazing. I'm intrigued by the cream cheese variation though, so I may dose myself with lactaid and try it.

Sarah Beam said...

Rebecca, I would really like to have your recipe if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Okay so how about the sugar in the chocolate chips? Is there a way to use unsweetened and more honey maybe? to eliminate the sugar altogether?

My doc is really behind me on doing everything I can to strengthen my body and not feed into the tumors. I know its not totally mainstream but she and her PA both feel that avid ing sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour etc is in my best interest.

Which brings me to the crust. What can we do there since the graham cracker crust have sugar as well?????

Help me out here - I'm having chocolate withdrawl!

In His peace - Cindy
MoM(Mom of Many)

Sarah Beam said...

MoM - this is a stumper. It seems to me that making a whole-wheat pie crust using honey might be a possibility, but I'm not entirely sure it would taste good, you know? As for the filling though, unsweetened carob or cocoa powder, with a little honey, might work. But again, there is the whole texture issue.

I need to go back to school. There is entirely too much that I don't know, and I would really like to help you out with this.

Morgan's Mom said...

ooooohhh! There is an awesome diner in Austin, TX that serves a tofu chocolate silk pie that sounds very similar to this one. I look forward to having a piece each time I am there.

Now--you've shown me the recipe and I'm just going to get fat by eating it more often :)

Sarah Beam said...

Morgan's Mom, this pie will NEVER fatten you up. Physics simply will not allow you to eat more than one piece of this per day anyway. And besides, 'tis health food, remember?

cc said...

Okay, this looks so absolutely delicious! Must try.

I have lurked on your blog a while as I slowly transform my too active, busy, and overly processed food life back to the whole foods that God intended, thanks to a very rude awakening of cholesterol levels (mostly genetic, but not completely). I appreciate all the recipes you post and just clicked the link to 101 cookbooks - LOVE IT, I ordered both of her cookbooks that day.

I found you through Big Mama as I read her blog and follow your family's adventures...and frequently add in prayers. I am mom to a mere 3 children through adoption, her chaos helps keep mine in check...

Keep sharing the recipes! I made the crispy potatoes tonight and LOVED THEM.


Sarah Beam said...

CC - that's wonderful (not the high cholesterol, but that you're embarking on eating real foods). And I love a good lurker.

Anonymous said...

I am definately a blog lurker and I just love reading your mother's blog and I love your recipes. Your mother's blog is the first webpage I go to in the morning as I sit down for my morning coffee before I head to work! I am thinking about foster care and her insight is amazing, eyes wide open.... :)

I love your recipes. Simple, easy and tasty! Between your mother and you I am encouraged to eat more vegetables! I do have a question about the tofu. I bought soft tofu and not silken tofu. Is there a difference? This is my first time with tofu. I love the pie and ate two pieces! My southern fried husband had one bite and put it to rest. One day he will eat more vegetables than just fried okra, maybe! I will finish the pie off by myself! Keep it coming, because I am craving the mushrooms, I just forgot to get some!!! -Nicole

Sarah Beam said...

Hi Nicole, I'm thrilled you loved the pie. There is a difference between soft and silken tofu, but its all in the texture and it may not be all that noticeable in something baked like this pie. I have used firm tofu and silken, but not soft (shows how much I know, right?). Jump on those mushrooms - I'm madly in love with them.

rebecca said...

-1 block silken tofu
-1 16 0z bag chocolate chips ( I think that's the right size)
-1 pie crust (my preference is graham cracker crumb)

blend the tofu, melt the chocolate, and then blend the melted chocolate into the tofu. this may take a couple batches, depending on the size of your blender. spread in a pie shell, and let chill until firm. enjoy.

I like it with a little orange zest mixed in while it's blending.

It's also good with strawberries on top.

(I have never tried the above two suggestions together)

Sarah Beam said...

Thanks Rebecca.

Shannon Erin said...

I made this the other day, and I was blown away by it's awesomeness. So much so, I sent the recipe to everyone on my email list. Also made the mushroom mozzarella dish last week. Fabulous!

Thanks so much for posting these recipes.

Sarah Beam said...

Hi Shannon, I'm so glad you tried those recipes and liked them.

Anonymous said...

To the question about the crust. Why not leave out the crust entirely and think of it as a pudding. That way you don't have the sugar in the crust issue.