http://cdn.babble.com/family-kitchen/files/2012/01/banilla-pie05.jpgVegan ingredients are all over this recipe. But if you are new to vegan baking — don’t let that scare you off. Many of the ingredients are simply substitutions for ingredients you may already know well. Like cream cheese, butter and yogurt.
But since the vegan versions of these products are animal product-free, aka plant-based,  they usually contain less saturated fat and sometimes less calories and total fat then the original dairy-based version. Brand tips: for the vegan butter, try Earth Balance brand. For the vegan soy yogurt and cream cheese try any variety you can find at your store. For cream cheese, Trader Joe’s has an ultra-creamy vegan version made from coconut and soy. While Tofutti, tofu-based cream cheese, is another option.
Vegan Banilla Cream Pie, Walnut Crust, Ginger Caramel
makes 1 pie, with some leftover caramel
Walnut Cookie Crust
2-3 tsp melted vegan butter
1 1/2 cups cinnamon cookies or grahams (vegan)
1/2 cup raw walnuts
Filling:
16 ounces vegan cream cheese
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup agave
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vanilla nondairy yogurt
a few dashes of cinnamon
Ginger Caramel Topping
1 stick vegan butter
1/3 cup agave
2-3 tsp cornstarch
2 cups nondairy milk
2 T coconut milk
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 dashes cayenne
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a blender of food processor, crush your cookies and walnuts into a fine crumble. Pour into mixing bowl and toss with the melted vegan butter.
3. Grease your pie dish with a nice slather of the vegan butter. Pour in the cookie/walnut crumbles and press into a crust-like shape. Place in the hot oven to bake for 8 minutes.
4. Using a beater, whip your filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
5. When crust has baked, pour the filling into the crust and smooth with back of spoon. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 250 and cook for another 30 minutes. For a creamier, less firm pie, remove a bit early. My pie was a tad on the soft side and could’ve been left in a while longer for a more solid texture.
6. Allow pie to chill completely before serving. Best when chilled in the fridge overnight.
7. For the caramel, you can make right before serving pie if you want warm caramel – or ahead of time for a thicker chilled caramel. The first step is to dissolve the corn starch into the non-dairy chilled milk. Then add all ingredients to a soup pot. Turn heat to med-high and begin stirring liquid and melting vegan butter. Stir until the caramel comes to a boil and thickens. Then remove from heat and cool at room temperature. Place in fridge if making ahead of time for chilled caramel topping.
Serve all together for a Banilla-licious treat

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