Rites of spring: Each year Ian and Turtle of Tucson, Arizona hold an annual pie party to benefit Earth First! Journal. The pie party features more than 100 vegan pies. Where else can you pick from a creamy pineapple pie, peach coconut almond crumb, oatmeal chocolate chip, cherry sour cream, avocado pie, and nearly 50 other varieties all at once?
With something for everyone, these tasty creations are guaranteed to make your mouth water and your spirit hunger for more. While all of the pies are vegan, there are also options that are sugar-free, gluten-free, raw, and since this year the event happens during Passover, there will be Passover-friendly pies too.
Pie Town, New Mexico, is one of Turtle’s favorite places. (In his own words) he loves the beauty of being situated on the continental divide and surrounded by high-elevation, pion-juniper forests, the generous spirit embodied by its small population, and the appreciation for a good slice of homemade pie that fills the air. The town hosts a Pie Festival every autumn. Turtle and Ian have now attended three years running.
Two years ago, they made a yummy vegan blueberry “sour cream” pie and entered it in the festival’s pie-baking contest. Turtle personally thinks it was the best pie they’ve ever made, but a creamy lemon meringue took home the blue ribbon that day.
Upset that they lost to a pie filled with so much dairy, they decided to try again this past fall.
The peanut butter pie that they feature each year at their All-You-Can-Eat Pie Party is always a crowd favorite. It is a very simple recipe that can do no wrong. So they made one of these pies, adorned it with homemade chocolate leaves, and entered it in this year’s contest. Their beloved pooch, Ellen, had passed away in Pie Town a week before the festival and so the pie was a dedication to her. She would have loved every bite!
Anyway, their peanut butter pie, which was full of tofu, won a blue ribbon. That evening, the winning pies were auctioned off, and a New Mexico ranching family happily went home with our vegan creation.
Vegan Peanut Butter Pie
One pie crust for a 9-inch pie, pre-baked
1 pound extra-firm silken tofu
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate or carob chips
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Spoon into pie shell. Decorate with chocolate (or carob) chips. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Yum!