It’s a quiet Halloween here in our little castle. One of my sons has a night class and the other is at a party. After some Cujo-like barking, even Mocha has settled down for the night. What’s a vegan to do on a mellow All Hallow’s Evening? Why, watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, of course!
That’s right. I’m a Potterhead. We were a midnight book release and movie premiere family, faithful members of those crazy long lines you saw on the news. For the movies, we camped out with blankets and pillows beginning early in the day, ordered food in, and, over the years, even became friendly with the theater manager. Harry Potter was an integral part of my children’s childhood, making it also an integral part of my motherhood. The Boy Who Lived will always have a special place in our hearts.
The food in Hogwarts’ Great Hall is made by house elves, but here mom makes it. Among my favorite Harry Potter treats are Pumpkin Pasties from the Hogwarts Express Trolley. I made them for a movie premiere snack, and they’ve been a favorite ever since. To me, they’re like pumpkin pies in miniature, and I love pumpkin pie!
For the crust, I use the Puffy Pie Dough recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Pie in the Sky. http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Pie-Sky-Out—This-World/dp/0738212741/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351745190&sr=8-1&keywords=vegan+pie+in+the+sky
Tonight, in place of the plain soy yogurt, I used vanilla soy yogurt because it was in the fridge begging to meet some pumpkin. I used my hand mixer with the plastic blade attachments. I’m not sure what these type of beaters are called, but they worked like a charm. I used them all the way through the process, saving myself from the imagined agony of kneading dough. I separated the dough into two balls and flattened them as per the directions, then tucked them into the refrigerator.
Since the dough needed to chill for 45 minutes, I needed to chill as well. I don’t chill well and found myself wanting to make a little more magic for our Halloween dessert. I love chocolate and pumpkin together, so chocolate pudding sounded wonderful. I typed in my pudding request, and my friend Google presented me with a recipe for which I had all the ingredients. http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/custardspuddings/r/chocpudding.htm
Other than the constant stirring, this was almost too easy. I was skeptical that it was going to end well when I read, “cook until the mixture is thick but just slightly thinner than desired.” This seemed so vague that I figured I’d end up with chocolate soup for sure. As I stood there mindlessly stirring, however, I felt the pudding thicken and knew I had a winner. After a moment more, I poured the pudding into the pudding cups and set them in the fridge to chill.
On to pumpkin! The pumpkin filling is inspired by all the pumpkin pies I’ve met along the way. I like the filling to be pretty mild, but I do want a taste of spices as well. It’s a fine balance, and I like to think I’ve found the exact recipe you’d find on the Hogwarts Express Trolley.
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tbsp agave
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well blended.
I used a pastry mold to make my little pies. Using the base as a cutter, I cut a circle in the dough and then transferred it into the mold. I added about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling, then crimped the edges by folding the mold over.
Be careful not to overfill the mold and be certain not to make the dough too thin when rolling or your little pastry will burst at the back when you crimp the edges.
Place the pasties on a lightly greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar and cinnamon. Using a sharp knife, cut a small vent in each one to allow steam to escape and to prevent bursting.
Bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes or until the edges of the pasties are lightly browned.
Ours were pretty fabulous, and I attribute that at least in part to my magical abilities. I may look like a muggle, but those who know me well know better.
Seasonal Nog has found its way to the one of our grocery stores. Last year, I never even saw it locally, so I’m pretty jazzed that I found it at all, let alone in October. Clearly, tonight ‘tis the season to crack open our first carton!
And so we draw to a close, of the night, of the Harry Potter movie I’m watching, of the month of October, and of VeganMoFo. I plan to continue blogging now that MoFo is done; I think I’d miss it too much if I stopped. It won’t be every day, but I’m certain that I will, often enough, continue to create vegan meals and have adventures that end with stories that beg to be told. Because, to quote Albus Dumbledore in The Goblet of Fire,
“I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind…”
And since a pen is more readily available to me than a Pensieve, I write.
So please check back in on me at x means no onions again soon. VeganMoFo may be over, but my adventure continues!