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Saffron Soymilk Pie

I stopped drinking cow’s milk straight a long time ago, probably when I was ten or eleven and my mom tried to limit my diet by confining me to soymilk and Boca burgers. The soymilk was strange and chalky to me at first, but I grew to appreciate the flavor. I love the smooth aftertaste—it doesn’t stick so sharply in the back of my mouth or coat my tongue like I remember whole milk doing. It also adds a subtle flavor when it’s mixed with other things that also have a pleasant edge of flavor, such as saffron.

EGG-FREE, VEGAN OPTION
MAKES ONE 9-INCH (23-CM) PIE

CRUST

6 sheets phyllo crust, unthawed

6 tbsp (84 g) butter, melted, or neutral oil

FILLING

2½ cups (590 ml) soymilk, or other plant-based milk

¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar

3 tbsp (42 g) softened butter or neutral oil

⅓ cup (40 g) flour

1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla extract

¼ cup (55 g) packed brown sugar

½ tsp salt

Big pinch of saffron threads

Lemon zest, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or gas mark 5) and have a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate nearby.

To make the crust, place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pie plate. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the sheet with the melted butter. Add another layer of phyllo on top, and brush the top again. Continue until all the sheets of dough are stacked, compressing the edges to create a frilled border. Place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to harden while you make the filling.

To make the filling, in a food processor or blender, combine the soymilk, granulated sugar, butter, flour, vanilla, brown sugar and salt.

Remove the crust from the freezer, fill it with the soymilk mixture, then sprinkle on the saffron threads, crushing them lightly between your fingers before letting them fall on top. Stir in the threads a little with your finger and then bake until the pie is set in the center, 60 to 65 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the top with lemon zest, then let it come to room temperature. Serve it as is, or place it in the fridge to chill overnight to set up.

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