Let There Be Pie

About a year ago, I wrote a post bemoaning the transfats in shortening and a bunch of people suggested that I try a butter crust for making pies. I was generally pleased with a butter crust – it handles great and tastes delicious, but I was never totally happy with the fact that it seemed to get soggy. There’s just two people in our household and lest we make pigs of ourselves, we’re not really able to eat a whole pie between us (nor should we ever aspire to) before the crust got downright nasty.

Wednesday, Crisco announced that they have removed the transfats from ALL of their products. Not just that one, hard-to-find, green can of non-hydrogenated shortening, but the whole shebang.

Now that still doesn’t make Crisco a perfect product – as I’ve pointed out before, it’s made of t-shirts doused in pesticides. But butter has its failings as well, and while I’m not adverse to butter for specific, small-scale uses, I don’t always want the scary pile of cholesterol that a slice of butter-crust pie carries with it. (And yes, I’m a vegetarian, and yes, despite the fact that I’m a big gal, you’d kill your mother to have my cholesterol levels, but still – it all helps.)

So I think I might just have to switch back to shortening for my pie-making needs. With the health concerns pretty much evenly balanced now, it really does come down to taste and texture.

Dairy-Free Coconut Cream Pie

It’s hard to be allergic to dairy and have your favourite foods be dairy based; cheese, ice cream, cheese cake, banana splits. It’s sad and lonely to stand by on a hot summer day while your husband eats one of those soft-serve cones from the ice cream truck and you can only live vicariously through him. It’s especially hard when your most favourite dessert ever happens to be coconut cream pie.

Thanks to the good folks at Tofutti, however, I can now make a variety of formerly dairy-based desserts with their soy cheese products.

Setting aside the controversy regarding whether soy is as virtuous as it seems (and that really depends on who pays for the study; studies paid for by the soy industry indicate that soy is a complete miracle food, studies paid for by the dairy industry tend to skew in the other direction), there are still some pros and cons, and the idea that soy sour cream is healthier than regular sour cream is not license to eat the whole pie.

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