Vegan MoFo #11: Optionally Pink Peppermint Pie


This recipe was originally found on page 303 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

The original recipe is primarily heavy cream, whipped – and melted marshmallows.

Blech, says I.

I made this pie in my pre-veg days with the cream and marshmallows and thought it was good, albeit the next day it was less appealing because I’ve never been a huge fan of the texture of marshmallows anyway, and it really made me a bit grossed out. It was for some relatives who were coming over to dinner. I served them haystacks, homemade GooGoo Clusters*, and this pie.

But creamy peppermint pie! Surely there must be some way to have it uncorrupted by horse hooves and calf food, and be sort of nutritious as well.

Pink Peppermint Pie

Pink Peppermint Pie, Take 1

So, about a month ago I decided to give it a try, because even I can only eat so many cream pies and I knew it would take some tweaking before I was ready to present it to you today.

I have a millet cheesecake recipe I like to use a lot. Not only is it healthy (millet! cashews! no refined sugar!), it’s super simple to put together and the only expensive part is the cashews – of which you don’t use that many anyway. (By the way, the linked recipe is enough for either one springform cheesecake or two pie pans like I have pictured here. I did half a recipe to get just one pie.)

So that was my springboard. I thought that I could just whip it up, add peppermint flavouring, sub a nutmilk for the lemon juice, tint it with some of the beet juice from the beet-filled Pyrex of my husband’s that was in the fridge, and call it good.

Sadly, that didn’t work out so well. I took it to our Friday night group and the vote was unanimous that it needed improvement. All three of the children present, independent of one another, said it tasted like toothpaste at their very first bite. Notwithstanding that, the oldest-constantly-hungry-teenager-whom-we-shall-call-Train-Boy ate two helpings of the Toothpaste Pie.

The texture was all wrong and the peppermint flavouring was definitely too strong.

I tried again the following Friday, and according to inside sources all the kids, including Train Boy, made Loud Groaning Noises of Sadness and Despair and said, “Is she bringing Toothpaste Pie aGAIN?” when their mom told them I was bringing take 2. We all agreed, however, when we tried it, that the flavour was pretty perfect this time, but the texture just still needed work.

So, behold: Take 3.

not-so-pink peppermint pie

I didn’t have any beet juice on hand, and my red food colouring is MIA. Please use your imaginations to imagine that the pie filling part is pink.

First, you’ll need a graham cracker crust. For takes 1 and 2, I used premade graham cracker crumb crusts, which are totally okay, very yummy, and certainly the easiest way. For take 3, I decided to go all out and I used the graham cracker recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and made a pressed-in cookie-type crust.

Second, you need to do your filling. Here’s how.

1/2 c cashews for 8 hours or overnight

Cook together:
1/4 c millet
1 c water

I forgot to time it, but it doesn’t take very long, so keep a close eye on it. When it comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and when the water is mostly gone, turn it off and set aside, covered.

In another saucepan whisk together:
1 1/2 c non-dairy milk (I used oat milk in take 3, but soy, almond, or cocoanut would also work)
1 tsp agar powder
1 T cornstarch
1/4 c sugar

Whisk in pan constantly at medium heat until it gets bubbly; then continue to whisk about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into blender with soaked cashews.

Add the following to the blender:
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
A few drops red food colouring, if desired

When that is blended super-smooth, pour in the millet and blend again until smooth. Spread into pan and refrigerate until firm. You can top with a non-dairy whipped topping if you like, or crushed peppermint candies, or both.

not-so-pink peppermint pie

Sliced and ready to nom


*GOOGOO CLUSTERS**. Surely there must be a way to make these vegan, too.

**My eldest daughter’s prenatal name was GooGoo because of GooGoo Clusters. I was kind of obsessed with them. Also, I tried to freak people out by telling them we were planning to actually name the baby GooGoo Cluster.

Categories: challenges, dessert, holiday, recipes, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Vegan MoFo #11: Optionally Pink Peppermint Pie

  1. I appreciate your commitment to developing the perfect recipe! This looks perfect for the holidays… 😀


  2. coldandsleepy2

    There is something about putting crushed up peppermint candy on top of something that makes me instantly want to eat it. Pink or no, this looks great!


  3. Ooh, I’ve never heard of using millet in a cheesecake, but it sounds enticing. I love crushed peppermint candy.


    • It’s a great option for people who can’t have soy. The texture is really good for a cheesecake too: I have served it to nonvegans and they can’t tell the difference from a dairy cheesecake.


  4. For the proportion of millet to water that you have, it will be more than half an hour. It takes 20 min with a 1:2 ratio and 30 with a 1:3 ratio. So maybe 40 minutes. I have a friend who puts hers in the crackpot overnight. Not sure what her ratio of millet to water is.

    Millet is really amazing. I just thought that I ought to cook some and chill it in a bread pan. I’ll bet it would be as good fried or baked as cornmeal is.


    • Too Cheap for Pine Nuts

      I think it took less than 15 minutes for me to cook it.

      Millet is a favourite of mine! I have used millet flour in bread before and it just gives it this amazing texture.


      • Yes, I agree that millet has such a good flavor and texture. I often use it in place of rice flour (I can get millet cheaper than rice) in GF recipes like pancakes, and it is a key ingredient in my GF, rice-free bread recipe. 🙂


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