When I first tasted this at my friend Chava’s house, my first reaction was “I’m not sure what I’m eating but it’s delicious, and it’s going in!” Don’t tell anybody what the ingredients are—– just keep it secret. The taste and texture are so good, and no one will suspect that it’s actually good for them as well! Confessions of a sneaky cook…!
It’s so appropro for Tu B’Shvat, when the almond trees blossom (they’re gorgeous!) and the kids come home from school singing “Hashkaydia Porachat….” I even remember singing it in elementary school.
Prebake the pie crust for 10–15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
To make the filling, put the tofu, maple syrup, almonds, vanilla, and flour in a food processor or blender. Add the egg (or two) and turn on the motor. Start with approximately 1/4 cup water and pour in, while processing, until you reach the desired consistency of a custard cream (albeit a bumpy one!). You might have to add a drop more water. You don’t want a dry filling, but you don’t want a runny one either.
Put all pear topping ingredients in a medium saucepan over a high flame. Bring to boil, lower the flame and cook for approximately 15–20 minutes, or until the pears are soft. Serve the pears over the pie, with or without the sauce, depending on how you like it. These pears freeze well, but last a long time in the fridge too.
Pour the filling onto the prebaked piecrust, and continue baking for at least 15–20 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool.
There are many different options here as far as freezing goes. You can freeze the pies unfilled and then fill them as needed, or you can freeze them already with the filling ready to be served. The filling alone freezes beautifully too. Often I will double the filling and freeze it in a container for later use. The problem is that it’s delicious noshed just that way from the freezer, spoon by spoon, and you may have to find an alternate filling for your pie crusts!