It sounds elaborate, but it’s really not, which is why I love this dessert. Before I made this, I was envisioning a hot pumpkin pudding. I made it about four times, failing to achieve the right consistency, and was about to give up and think of something else to make for my fall-themed cooking class last week.
The morning of my cooking class, a light went on in my head, to use some of the sweetened condensed non-dairy milk I made from Miyoko Schinner’s cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry. I simply mixed some pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed nondairy milk, a little bit of cornstarch, and some spices together, and that ended making a really nice, pie-like pudding. Now we’re getting started! I then assembled the rest of the deconstructed pie in no time, pulsing vegan gingersnaps and dates together to make the crust, adding a scoop of coconut vanilla ice cream for the whipped cream, and so on. After the class, I realized that persimmons, a fall fruit, have a flavor reminiscent of apple and pumpkin. Adding a couple slices of this to the dessert plate would not only add color, but a different texture to the dessert.
I had no idea that the engineers I was teaching this to LOVED the name! One even said that she would “deconstruct” something in her class, I think just because she liked the word! But in actuality, I had to deconstruct it because I knew that I’d be running out of time to make a whole pie, let it cool, and cut it. I don’t like that time pressure, so I don’t even try it in my classes. I was making four dishes in an hour and a half, and usually it takes that much time for me to just make one pie. It turns out that deconstructing it looks way fancier, and if you’re thinking that you’re going to splurge during the holidays, this is a good way to think about portion control (I don’t calorie count, but eat in moderation). You get all that decadent flavor, in the full-fat coconut vanilla ice cream and creamy pumpkin pudding, but not too much, and it definitely satisfies. It’s what a dessert should be!