As you may already know, we have a great deal of food allergies in this house. Three out of four of our household members has food allergies, including peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, and some oral allergy syndrome (allergies to raw fruits and vegetables) thrown in for additional frustration.
As a result, baking is sometimes complicated. While eggs baked into cakes and such are safe for us (as we have an egg protein sensitivity, not an egg allergy), baking with any amount of dairy products is not safe what-so-ever for our youngest son.
Furthermore, baking cakes is one thing, but a pie is a whole other story. Last year, we skipped the pumpkin pie because I couldn’t find a frozen one that was dairy and egg free, and I didn’t have the time to research and make an allergen free / vegan pie as we were busy moving in addition to preparing for the holidays.
However, this year, I refused to miss out on my pumpkin pie. So I got to researching and came up with some interesting ingredient substitutes that I’m going to try. *fingers crossed*
Here’s what I plan to do. I already bought a can of pumpkin filling. I’m just following the recipe on the can, however the recipe calls for condensed milk and eggs. Instead of following a complicated vegan recipe for pumpkin pie, I decided it would be simpler to substitute each ingredient with a suitable alternative.
Using an egg replacer in a cake is not the same as in a pie, at least not for the filling. Cakes use eggs for leavening (making cakes light and fluffy), but pies use it for binding and thickening. When I bake cupcakes, for example, I use applesauce or pumpkin filling in place of eggs. However, with a pumpkin pie, simply adding more pumpkin filling in place of the eggs just isn’t going to cut it.
So, I did some digging and found that using milled flax seed mixed with water is a good egg substitute when making a pie filling. I had tried this before as an egg substitute in cupcakes, but since no one told me it wasn’t good for leavening, I discovered that it make the cupcakes kinda gooey in the middle. It didn’t work on pancakes either. Blech.
The benefits of using flax seeds are that they are packed full of omega 3 fatty acids. That is a major bonus.
Condensed milk is the other ingredient called for in the pumpkin pie recipe, and while I usually replace regular milk in a recipe with rice or soy milk, condensed milk is completely different. Pouring rice milk into the mix just wouldn’t work.
So again, I did some digging and found a very interesting and simple dairy free / vegan alternative to condensed milk.
(There aren’t additional instructions, so I’m assuming we’re going ounce to ounce on this one.)
Thankfully, I managed to gather all of the necessary ingredients at a regular grocery store and didn’t have to make a special trip to Wholefoods for the Silken tofu. However, I will still have to do this in order to make some dairy free green bean casserole, as regular cream of mushroom soup, obviously, contains milk. In fact, the french fried onions also have a milk warning on them, so those are out too.
The good news is, I won’t have to make any apple pie from scratch for Christmas, as I did find a frozen one at the store that is egg and dairy free already. YES!
Wish me luck on the dairy free, egg free pumpkin pie! I will post photos and my success/failure story on Thanksgiving. *fingers AND toes crossed*
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