Vegan Food Nerd


1 Comment

Dutch Apple Pie

20141026_141021I’m not sure how I’ve never been apple picking before this year (at least not that I can recall) but it’s definitely a fun activity! We went to Carluke Orchards and got a mixture of Northern Spy, Empire, Mutsu and Golden Delicious apples.

We used the Spy and Mutsu apples to make some rustic apple pies, based on a recipe I found over on the Minimalist Baker’s website. Both of these apple varieties make a great pie as they hold their form and don’t cook down as much as a lot of other apple varieties. They also have the perfect tartness.

Original recipe here:
http://minimalistbaker.com/deep-dish-apple-crumble-pie/

We didn’t really change much, and we’ve now made four pies over the last few weeks. It’s a great recipe that is a huge crowd pleaser and will make your guest’s think you have incredibly impressive baking skills!

20141026_141150

20141026_141721

Notes:

  • We’ve tried the crust with a mixture of Earth Balance butter and Earth Balance shortening, as well as with just the shortening. Both produce a nice crust, but I thought the shortening alone produced the flakier crust.
  • We also tried the crust with half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour, as well as just all purpose. Both were great!
  • Halve the ingredients below if you only need to make one pie, but you may as well make 2 pies while you’ve got all the tools out and freeze it or bring to a gathering.
  • There’s no need to pre-bake the crust for this recipe.
  • The Earth Balance butter and shortening sticks are easiest to use as each packaged piece is marked in tbsp measurements. (1 box has 32 tbsp, 1 individual package from the box is 8 tbsp)
  • Serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or some dairy free ice cream.

Ingredients (for 2 pies)

Pie Crust (yields 2 10″ crusts)

2 heaping cups unbleached all purpose flour (or 1 cup unbleached all purpose, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold Earth Balance butter (or sub EB shortening)
6 tbsp cold Earth Balance shortening
6-12 tbsp ice cold water

Pie Filling

14-16 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Northern Spy and Mutsu work nicely)
1 1/2 cups sugar (brown or granulated)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flour
lemon juice and lemon zest

Crumble Topping

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
8 tbsp cold Earth Balance butter

20141011_161103

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. To make the crust: Add flour, salt, butter and shortening to a food processor and pulse a few times until combined. You should have pea sized crumbs at this point. Add 6 tbsp of the ice cold water and pulse a few more times. At this point you may need to add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until you have a nice dough that scrapes away from the bowl. 9 tbsp of water total seemed to work best for us.

3. Remove dough from the food processor bowl onto a well floured surface. Divide dough into two equal pieces and mold together with hands. Form each half into a 1 inch thick disc and then roll out into an even circle, adding more flour if it gets sticky. Roll onto a floured rolling pin to gently roll into your pie dish or cast iron skillet. Gently form your pie dough to your skillet or pie pan, trim if necessary, and crimp the edges if you desire although leaving it rustic works nicely here. Repeat with your second pie dough. Refrigerate while you prep the apple filling.

4. Apple filling. You can work with half the apple filling mixture at a time if you don’t have a large enough bowl. Mix together 7-8 of the apples, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tbsp of flour for each pie. Add some lemon zest for a nice bright flavour for your filling. It’s actually best to toss everything together as you’re cutting the apples to prevent browning. You can coat the apple slices in lemon juice as well while you continue slicing!

5. Fill your pie dough with the apples. It should be nice and full.

6. Pie Topping: Add the crumble topping ingredients together, minus the butter, and mix together. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork. I actually used my hands as it worked better. Just work somewhat quickly to keep the butter from getting too warm. Divide over your pies, spreading evenly to coat, and push down slightly to pack the topping.

20141011_141712

7. Bake pies for 40-50 minutes, or until nicely browned and the apples are cooked but still have a bit of bite to them. At 40 minutes, top the pies with foil to prevent from getting too browned if the apples are not cooked through. Pop back in the oven until the apples are cooked.

8. Let rest before slicing. Serve warm!

20141026_14102820141011_161023


Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Pie!

20140626_190927Peanut butter and chocolate and pie. I already knew I loved peanut butter and chocolate together, but putting them into a pie?! Oh man. This is a game changer. This recipe from the Minimalist Baker tastes pretty much like one giant peanut butter cup. The filling is fairly light, while the chocolate is a bit rich so it’s a great combination. I made this for a birthday boy who really loved it. I used some coconut and toasted pecans to top the pie with, but you can use any chopped nut or just leave it ungarnished if you wish (but the crunchy texture from the nuts is lovely).

Recipe adapted from Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie over at the Minimalist Baker.

Notes:

  • The Mustard Seed co-op sells vegan graham pie crusts so I used one for this recipe since it was ready to go in my freezer. You might be able to find something similar at your own local store. You can easily make your own pie crust though with vegan graham crackers pulsed in your food processor, mix in some melted earth balance or coconut oil and press into a pie dish.
  • The coconut milk must be chilled to make your whipped cream as this separates the fat portion from the liquid portion and you only want the solid stuff.
  • I actually preferred to slice the pie while it was still frozen, then allowing it to defrost before serving. It can be a bit tricky to slice otherwise. Just remove from the freezer and let it sit for about 5 minutes to make this easier to do.

Ingredients

1 vegan graham pie crust
1 12-14oz package firm silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge at least overnight

Chocolate Ganache Topping
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli brand will give a nice rich topping)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (coconut milk preferred, but almond milk works too)
1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Garnish (optional)

1/3 cup chopped, roasted nuts (peanuts or pecans would work)
1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut

1) Preheat oven to 375 F.

2) Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely. In the meantime make your filling.

3) Add tofu, peanut butter and maple syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. If your peanut butter is unsalted you may want to taste and add a pinch of salt to your liking.

4) Whip your coconut milk into coconut whipped cream using my previous post for instructions.

5) Once nice and fluffy, gently fold your peanut butter mixture into the coconut whipped cream.

6) Pour filling into crust and smooth with a rubber spatula. Pop into the freezer for about 1 hour to chill.

7) Prepare ganache topping by adding chocolate chips, non dairy milk and coconut oil into a pan on low-medium heat. Stir gently and a smooth ganache should form.

8) Pour the ganache over the pie filling and use a rubber spatula to spread if necessary. Top with chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut or a mixture of both and pop back into the freezer to allow to set.

9) When ready to serve, remove from freezer and allow to defrost slightly before slicing and serving. Keep covered with plastic wrap and store in the freezer if there are leftovers.

Makes 1 super delicious pie!