Heavenly Pie

Heavenly Pie Recipe


The black bean brownies were an unexpected hit, so I thought I'd throw another quirky recipe in your direction. Actually, I'm having a hard time deciding whether to tell you about the Heavenly Pie first, or the book it came from - both are refreshingly unique and outstanding in their own way. So, how about a bit on each? The book is called Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land. I stumbled on it while browsing the stacks of a SF bookstore when its unique (read: giant) format and design caught my attention. With high hopes, I flipped straight to the jam-packed recipe section where the Heavenly Pie greeted me as black text on newsprint paper. I made it, we ate it, and subjected everyone who had a slice to the "guess what's in it" game. Imagine a honey-sweetened graham cracker crust filled with a cream cheese chocolate filling. Sounds pretty typical, but here's where it gets interesting. The recipe calls for equal parts tofu and cream cheese in the filling. This combination creates a decadent, mousse-like texture that's also a breeze to cut into precision slices. It wasn't overly sweet, and the buttery crust played off the light chocolate flavor beautifully.

Country Wisdom & Know-How was compiled from the collective content of hundreds of Storey Publishing's Country Wisdom Bulletins. At first glance, you might think a country book like this would have little a city girl like me would find useful - quite the contrary. The introduction to the book gives some context,

"...Back in the 1970s, during the "back to the land era" when hippies were homesteading and gas and energy prices were sky high, Storey began to publish a series of small booklets called Country Wisdom Bulletins, each one addressing a bite-sized piece of country know-how, a simple skill, some knitty-gritty information. The collection of bulletins grew into the hundreds and eventually over 15 million copies were sold to people eager to discover the fun and satisfaction of doing more for themselves..."

Spanning nearly 500 densely-packed pages, an impossible amount of information is shoe-horned into this book. The major sections are Animals, Cooking, Crafts, Gardening, Health & Wellbeing, and Home. It drills down from there. For example, in the cooking section the major sections are General, Breads, From the Dairy, Meats, and Preserving, Pickling, Canning, Distilling. If you follow the General section you'll come across blocks of content like Cooking with Dried Beans, Fast and Easy Way to Cook Vegetables, Salsas!, Cooking with Yogurt, etc. The bread section delivers dozens of bread recipes - banana bran bread, cheddar dill bread, custard corn bread, savory pumpkin bread, and apricot almond bread, etc, etc. As far as formatting goes, for better or worse, recipes rarely span more than a few inches of column space which on one hand makes them seem approachable. At the same time, there isn't much hand-holding involved for those who like recipes to tell you what to look and watch for throughout the process.

Heavenly Pie Recipe

Country Wisdom's large format makes it a perfect coffee table book. Friends will leave your house knowing how to, say, make a C-clamp Flower press, plan a vineyard, design a hummingbird garden, brew a virus fighting tincture, or build a drystone wall. Thousands of delightful, informative black-and-white line drawings and diagrams sprinkled throughout the Country Wisdom add to the content and pacing of the book.

The Heavenly Pie was absolutely delicious. That being said, I'm not sure how the rest of the recipes hold up or where they were originally sourced. Many look great at first glance, and for those of you looking for 'natural food' type recipes, the ingredient lists here call for lots of whole grains, wheat flour, yogurt, natural sweeteners and the like. As was the case with the pie, you may need to make some on-the-fly tweaks (for example, I had extra filling), but with a bit of culinary know-how, and some flexibility on your part, the recipe section in this book is well worth the $19.95 cover price (I see it is $13 on Amazon).

 
 
 
 

Heavenly Pie Recipe

Adapted from Country Wisdom and Know-How. Instead of running this recipe verbatim (like I normally might), I've tweaked a few of the ingredients, added some notes. Serve this pie well-chilled.

2 cups well-crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons honey

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces organic silken tofu
1 large egg
6 ounces carob or chocolate chips, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Greek yogurt (sweetened a bit, optional for serving), in place of whipped cream

To make the crust make combine the cracker crumbs, butter, and honey. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. I gave this mixture a whirl in the food processor to bring it all together and work out and chunks of cracker.

In a food processor, or with the mixer at medium speed, blend together the cream cheese, tofu, egg, chocolate, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides once or twice. Blend until filling is very smooth, with no visible lumps.

Spoon the filling into the pie pan and bake at 350F degrees for about 30 minutes (when I went to 35 minutes I started seeing fissures in the filling). CHILL COMPLETELY BEFORE SERVING. Serve with a dollop of sweetened yogurt or whipped cream (if desired).

Makes one pie. About 12 servings.

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Your Comments


Jen
May 27, 2008

Wow, how funny - we have this book. I found it fascinating and fun. As a vegan, there would be some tweaks I would need to make this pie, but it looks REALLY good!

 

marissa
May 27, 2008

that pie looks delish. I see the quirk but I think I can handle it. I can't wait to go find a copy of that book and flip through it it looks so neat

 

Lucinda
May 27, 2008

I have this book too. I think its great. My fiance keeps putting it away beause it is actually his and he's afraid I will let it get bent up.

 

Sunny
May 27, 2008

Oh that looks like a book I would love!
I want to try that pie now!

 

Eve
May 27, 2008

This reminds me of the "chocolate pudding pie" of my 1970's childhood! I can still remember the taste of that graham cracker crust. Ours was made with Jello chocolate pudding, but I will gladly trade that in for this more nutritious filling. I will be making this ASAP! Thanks!

 

KALYANI
May 28, 2008

Heidi, this sounds great - will try it over the weekend. But why no luscious picture to accompany the recipe?

 

Sophie
May 28, 2008

I'm not a big dessert pie/person but I love it that there are so few ingredients in this.

Those kitchen aid side swipes would be handy for this one!

 

Lucy V
May 28, 2008

This looks like a worthwhile book to pick up. Thanks, Heidi. The pie is beautiful.

 

Ana
May 28, 2008

This is just the type of book my partner would LOVE for me to buy of my own accord! He's been trying to get me to move to our farm in rural PA (from Manhattan, and now from Accra, Ghana where we are currently living) -- a far cry from anything I'd ever consider as "home". As for the Heavenly Pie, these are ingredients that I can find even in Ghana (with the help of the comissary for the graham crakcers and the local chinese grocery store for the tofu--albeit not necessarily organic or silken!).

 

VeggieGirl
May 28, 2008

Oooh, heavenly pie, indeed!! I love that you included carob chips as an option, in the recipe (instead of chocolate - I'm a carob-lover, haha).

 

Liz
May 28, 2008

I love that something so good looking gets part of its silky quality from tofu. But the cookbook is really what made me smile - I'm off to google it for more info.

 

Elizabeth H
May 28, 2008

Oh Heidi. You have done it again! YUMMY looking!!!!! I just ordered one of those side swipe things mentioned in Sophie's letter for my Kitchen aid mixer and it came in yesterday's mail.I told them I had heard about it on your blog and gave them your web address for that page. They wrote back and said they would look it up. I will definitly try it on this wonderful looking pie and post the results

 

I'm down with tofu as a dessert ingredient, no problem. Thing is, I've never been able to embrace carob. This pie looks like a good reason to give it another go though, I have to admit. So far I haven't made a recipe from this site that I haven't liked (mostly I've loved them), so... 'I'll let you know.

 

Christine
May 28, 2008

How funny - I have the book too! You have tempted me to dig into it once again!

 

bitchincamero
May 28, 2008

Healthier chocolate cream pie? Sign me up!

 

Nice! Once I made a 'creamy' tomato sauce for pasta with tofu. I can see how it works here for the pie. Yum!

 

Kumari
May 28, 2008

My mom has been making tofu cheesecake for years... it's delicious!

 

Amanda
May 28, 2008

I think I would LOVE that book - just my style. Thanks for sharing.

Jen, you say you would tweak it to make it vegan, how would you do that??

(i'm not vegan, but i have a lot of vegan friends, and I would like to make them something yum)

 

Christy
May 28, 2008

It sounds quite wonderful...except for the cream cheese, which I stay as far away from as I possibly can. *shudder* What would be a good substitute? All tofu? Mascarpone cheese?

 

Fearless Kitchen
May 28, 2008

This looks really interesting. I wouldn't have thought of using tofu, but I bet it works beautifully.

 

Jen (Modern Beet)
May 28, 2008

Wow! this looks delicious! I was sort of expecting the secret ingredient to be black beans or beets or newt's toes (just kidding) or something like that -- tofu in sweets I can totally handle!

 

Lillianne
May 28, 2008

Can anyone tell me what Greek yogurt is? The dairy guys at Kroger and Albertson's don't know what I'm talking about and the man at the Middle Eastern grocery offered me Lebanese yogurt which is yogurt.

 

Jen (Modern Beet)
May 28, 2008

Greek yogurt is a little more creamy and thick than regular yogurt. If you can't find greek yogurt, I would simply use good quality whole-milk plain yogurt.

 

Heather Randall
May 28, 2008

Lillianne, Greek Yogurt is strained to get a thick, pudding-like texture. My favorite kind comes from Fage. It is often served as a dessert item topped with honey and walnuts.
If there's a Whole Foods around, they will almost certainly have multiple varieties. Alternately, there's a recipe for making your own here: http://bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-make-greek-yogurt.html

 

Sarah
May 28, 2008

I have made this before, without the egg and using coffee-flavoured chocolate... heaven on a plate, I tell you!

 

The Spotted Apron
May 28, 2008

oh i am def making this recipe! it looks so nice and simple. i even have some graham crackers and chocolate chips hanging around the pantry. i just need to get the silken tofu.

i love how you always give great cookbook suggestions and pull from a lot of different sources.

 

Anonymous
May 28, 2008

this is very similar to a vegan chocolate mousse pie introduced to me by my cousins one year at Thanksgiving- no egg, no cream cheese. just melted chocolate chips and silken tofu ( very well blended) for the filling, and graham cracker and margarine or canola oil for the crust. variations include a little cayenne and cinnamon... YUM.

 

Anonymous
May 28, 2008

Can we get a pie or cake recipe without eggs, or suggest an equivalent substitute for eggs?

HS: Combing through my own archives, I suspect you could use either this or this as (egg-free) fillings (don't bake them). The eggs help with the structure of the pie, so keep that in mind, the consistency will be different and more pudding-like. Different pies to be sure, but certainly an alternative. Use coconut oil in the crust for an altogether vegan version.

 

MinX
May 28, 2008

General comment--what about posting nutritional information for your recipes. I cook using healthy ingredients but even for healthy food, portion size matters. With food prices rising, good recipes are not enough--we need to learn how to reduce costs while maximizing taste and nutritional value. Although I am a creative cook, these days I am straying away from trying things that I cannot guess at the nutritional value.


HS: Thanks for the comment MinX. Potentially in the future, but not right now. In the meantime, there are lots of little applications floating around online that will help you run get nutritional info for your favorite recipes.

 

Gloria
May 28, 2008

I've seen this pie made entirely with the tofu, no cream cheese. I've made it that way, and felt that it tasted a tiny bit flat - not sure how to explain it, but not complex enough. I love the idea of the tofu, and I think the cream cheese will fix the flat problem! Although, I never did have leftovers with just the tofu, so if you wanted a vegan version, there ya go.

 

Jessica
May 28, 2008

This reminds me of a vegan chocolate mousse that I've made several times which is wonderful. (I cribbed it from a show I glimpsed on the Food network when I was on vacation a couple of years ago.) Simply, it's mashed silken tofu and melted chocolate chips. Proportions are variable, but the best ratio seems to be two packages of tofu (in the tetra-pak containers) to one large bag of chocolate chips, or some scaled ratio thereof. Mash or blend the tofu well, and stir in the melted chocolate. Chill, and serve. Simple as that. It really does become mousse-like in texture, and can be chilled in a large bowl or in smaller dishes. It also lends itself well to just about any variation you'd like. I've gussied it up with a couple of splashes of Cointreau, and once also made it with cinnamon and cayenne for a Mexican flavour. Fabulous. My vegan friends adore it, and everyone else does too.

 

PaniniKathy
May 28, 2008

I LOVE chocolate pie, and I imagine the tofu gives it a really nice texture. Would love to try it!

 

Rachael
May 28, 2008

Heidi - slightly off-topic, but I went to a party on Monday and a few people brought deserts. I looked at the table, and what did I see but your coconut cherry tart. It looked exactly like the picture, and it turned out that the stranger I was soon chatting with was an avid subscriber to your site.

I say when your style is distinctive enough to identify at a random party across the country (I live on the east coast), that's pretty neat!

 

DH
May 28, 2008

A good friend makes a similar pie that's vegan. She uses the silken tofu and chocolate chips, but adds a little peppermint extract. Lovely.

 

snapdragon
May 28, 2008

For a vegan version, I suspect that Tofutti brand's "Better Than Cream Cheese" may work.

This recipe is a bit similar to the tofu pumpkin pie recipes we've made. People never guess it's got tofu in it. (We use the Better Than Cream Cheese for that, also.)

Another way to make this healthier: instead of a full crust, just dust the pan with graham cracker crumbs.

 

Melissa
May 28, 2008

My roommate has been asking me for a chocolate pie for-ever and I don't like any recipes I have found because of the jell-o involved. When I got her e-mail I scurried to the grocery store and whipped this up. It's fantastic! She said it was going to be her favorite dessert ever.

 

John Siebert
May 28, 2008

i wish i could taste that. the picture is so tempting. I'd make it but I don't think I could convince my wife or kid try it.

http://www.frattoys.com

 

Erik Christensen
May 28, 2008

I really enjoy desserts that call for not-so-typical ingredients. Both the tofu and the yogurt intrigue me, and I will be trying this for sure.
It kind of reminds me of a cheese cake that called for blue cheese, just enough to give it a savory kick. Sometimes that little bit of something non-sweet just serves to enhance the sweetness.
Nice post!

 

katy
May 28, 2008

the heavenly pie is so good. so easy. it was easier to double than store half of a block of silken tofu so i put one pie in the freezer. i hope it survives in there.

a 9 inch springform pan was a nice choice for pie #2 since i have just the one pie plate.

go make the pie.

 

katy
May 28, 2008

the heavenly pie is so good. so easy. it was easier to double than store half of a block of silken tofu so i put one pie in the freezer. i hope it survives in there.

a 9 inch springform pan was a nice choice for pie #2 since i have just the one pie plate.

go make the pie.

 

Nick
May 28, 2008

Excellent sounding pie, certainly not as crazy as I thought it was going to be, but it sounds delicious and somewhat healthy. I'll try it or a variant soon. Thanks.

 

Kris
May 28, 2008

I made this for tonight's dessert. If anyone is fretting over hiding tofu, get over it---the taste you're possibly associating with tofu doesn't exist! The blend of flavors is delicious, and it's as easy as pie to make.

 

amyfp
May 28, 2008

That sounds delicious. I'm interested in finding a recipe that would be suitable for shipping. Specifically, my friend is writing a long paper and I'd like to send some cookies that are shipping friendly. Do you have any suggestions for me? I love your website but don't have a good idea of what recipe would suit my needs. Thanks!

 

Louise
May 29, 2008

Dreamy........another possible way of knocking the socks of French colleagues. Thanks:)

 

Aparna
May 29, 2008

Its got chocolate, looks wonderful and is easy to make. Its got to be heavenly.

 

Eli Pardo
May 29, 2008

As my wife has a violent soy allergy, could I just make this with a pound of cream cheese?

 

jon
May 29, 2008

um, how do you go about sweetening the Greek yogurt? dump in some granulated white sugar and whisk? cuz that's what I'm going to do unless someone tells me different. ^_^

 

Jamie
May 29, 2008

Sounds yummy! To make it lower in fat can a substitute, like margarine, be used in place of butter?

 

Krista on the Hill
May 29, 2008

This looks really good! Is there any way to substitute the tofu?

 

michelle @ TNS
May 29, 2008

i usually have little use for tofu, but silken tofu is SO SO good in custard-y type pies, yum.

 

jenny
May 29, 2008

oh. yum. this is definitely on the docket for this weekend. thanks for another winner, heidi!

 

Amber
May 29, 2008

I read your site all the time, and I am always trying twists from your ideas to spice up my cooking. I love that you found this book--I fell in love with Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance a few years ago, and will definitely have to find this one and check it out.

 

jenny
May 29, 2008

p.s. this is not on the subject of this pie, but while I had your fantastic recipes on my mind ... I made your farro salad with parm-citrus vinaigrette for a friend's bridal shower last weekend and everyone went crazy over it. so not only were people happily fed, but I also turned a bunch of them on to your site. lovely, eh?

 

Rebecca
May 29, 2008

Low carb suggestion for the graham crackers without losing the overall taste of the recipe itself? :(

 

carmen
May 29, 2008

wow
wonderful website
compliments

 

Hillary
May 29, 2008

Tofu huh? That does make it sound a bit healthier even! A pie full of protein!

 

jay stevens
May 29, 2008

Black Bean Brownies? Who would have thought. I am going to try that sometime. That is awesome.

Thanks

Jay Stevens

 

Jessica B
May 29, 2008

Wow tofu and cream cheese. How I love that we can create food from amazing and different ingredients often thought to be un-imaginable!

I have been pondering on a mayonnaise chocolate cake.... I think I will now make it and see what people think.

Have a look at foodbyjessica.com.au to see how it goes. Fingers crossed it is as good as yours.