On a recent trip to the country side, it was easy to absorb the surroundings and be thankful for what we have. The warm autumn days have brought with it a tremendous bounty.

While on the road, we were fortunate to experience one of the more remarkable pumpkin patches of recent memory. Flooded by the sea of orange, we washed up by the barn only to be further delighted by the classy heirloom varieties our hosts, the Nauman’s, had so knowledgeably grown over the past 100 days or so.

Beautiful and rarely seen French and Italian heirloom pumpkins soon filled my cart once only destined to carry orange carvers. Pink, red, blue and green classics, fit for a princess’s coach were on their way into my life to nobly, and tastily end theirs.

During the purchase of my great pumpkins, I naturally dreamed of creamy, spiced pies but thoughts shift creatively with vegan visitors and Thanksgiving at your doorstep.

Cracking into my vibrant Rouge Vif D’Etampe, I couldn’t help but imagine it’s outcome. This stunning, old French heirloom is also known as Cinderella’s Carriage, as it was used as the artist’s model in the Disney classic. It’s lovely, dense, creamy orange interior yielded about 5 cups of puréed intention. Ideal for baking, the Rouge Vif is smooth and easy to relieve of any excess liquid. This pumpkin easily puts any Holiday can of pie to shame and is well worth the small, extra effort.


1 Shallot, minced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Rouge Vif d’Etampes Pumpkin, cooked and strained
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dried Sage
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/8 teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 Package Firm SILKEN Tofu
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder

Divide, seed and peel the pumpkin. Cut it into approximately 2″ cubes.
Steam until tender or place the pumpkin into a pressure cooker with a small amount of water and cook for 5 – 7 minutes.
Drain the pumpkin and place it into a mesh sieve. Stir to “purée” and leave it to sit, releasing as much water as possible.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan.
Mince the shallots and garlic. Sauté until softened.
In a food processor, combine the pumpkin, tofu, shallots and garlic.
Finely chop the rosemary and add it and the other spices along with the salt, pepper and lemon juice to the pumpkin mixture.
Once the spices are well combined add the arrowroot powder; pulse to combine.
Spread evenly over prepared crust and bake for 30 minutes.


1 Cup (Cranberry) Bean Flour
1/2 Cup Soy Flour
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Frozen
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Ice Water

Freeze pre-measured olive oil in a small bowl.
Measure flours into the bowl of a food processor, pulsing to sift.
Add the salt and frozen olive oil.
Combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
With the motor running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Stop once about half of the water has been added to begin checking the consistency of the dough by pinching the crumbs. The dough should hold together but not be sticky.
Add the remaining water as necessary.
Bring the dough together into a ball, then flatten it into a disk.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll the chilled dough 1/8″ thick to fit a 10″ tart pan.
Fit the dough in the pan and dock the dough with a fork.
Line the dough with a circle of parchment.
Add dried beans or pastry weights.
Blind bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool in the oven slightly before removing.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

8 thoughts on “Thankful”

  1. wow, that pumpkin patch that you visited/purchased from sounds SPECTACULAR!! and, equally spectacular, is this savory pumpkin tart that you made. splendid for the autumn season!

  2. Hi – this recipe looks absolutely wonderful. I was wondering if you could help me with some subs. We can’t do soy at all, so what would you recommend replacing the tofu with in the filling? Also, can I just use regular whole wheat flour in the crust recipe (for all the flour)?

  3. Thanks Leela, I haven’t tested it yet, but I’m sure the crust would be fine with whole wheat. As for the soy, again I’ll have to go back to the kitchen to test it out but you could, once omitting the tofu, try adding an extra 1/2 Cup of pumpkin purée, 3 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder (to make 4T) and 1 cup of soymilk. Mix everything together as to the directions above and bake until firm. (Add an extra 10 minutes or so to bake.)

    If you do try it, do let me know how it turns out. In the mean time I’ll be sure to hit the kitchen to see for myself.

  4. thanks very much.
    i cant do any soy so i would use rice milk or hemp milk.
    i’ll let you know how it goes.
    please let me know how it works for you as well.


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