Heavenly Pie Recipe
Imagine a honey-sweetened graham cracker crust filled with a cream cheese chocolate filling. From the book Country Wisdom & Know-How - 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.
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.
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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This looks really interesting. I wouldn't have thought of using tofu, but I bet it works beautifully.
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?
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)
My mom has been making tofu cheesecake for years... it's delicious!
Nice! Once I made a 'creamy' tomato sauce for pasta with tofu. I can see how it works here for the pie. Yum!
Healthier chocolate cream pie? Sign me up!
How funny - I have the book too! You have tempted me to dig into it once again!
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.
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 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.
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).
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!).
This looks like a worthwhile book to pick up. Thanks, Heidi. The pie is beautiful.
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!
Heidi, this sounds great - will try it over the weekend. But why no luscious picture to accompany the recipe?
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!
Oh that looks like a book I would love! I want to try that pie now!
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.
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
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!
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