Among the many things I made for Thanksgiving this year was a humble pie. ;)
Alright, so it wasn't exactly humble...I had to doctor it up a bit (as with most things I make these days!).
Every year, I always make at least two pies. One is always pumpkin and the other is always apple. I play around with the toppings/fillings/flavors just to keep things interesting. I'm never into making the same thing twice, unless I absolutely have no choice. I enjoy pushing myself to be creative, especially while making desserts.
Pie is such a staple during Thanksgiving. I've had the generic double crusted apple and cinnamon pie so many times. I honestly never liked it all that much. When I started to bake, I fell back in love with cooked apples. There are so many uses for them (ehem, stuffing!) while making both savory and sweet dishes. I particularly like to add them into fillings to balance out salty or bitter flavors from other vegetables and fruits. What I decided to do with this pie is no different...
The crust I made was a little less than half of a doubled recipe that you can find here. Now, yes, normally I would make my own flour blend from scratch. However, sometimes life ruins thngs and I have to "cut corners". Bob's Red Mill saved my day with their pie crust dry mix. I just veganized it by using vegan butter. I've also used refined coconut oil in place of butter. It tastes great, but is a bit more difficult to work with as it gets warm very quickly.
The only other amendment I made to Bob's pie crust recipe is that I used a splash of apple cider vinegar with the other wet ingredients. This makes the crust a bit flakier, I've found. Plus, cider vinegar is magical and I like to throw it in anything I possibly can! ^_^
As for the filling, I used a mixture of granny smith and fuji apples. I like the balance of sweet and sour that these two varieties of apples provide to a filling. They retain a bit of their bite after cooking as well, which is wonderful for texture. (There's nothing more disappointing than mushy apples! >_<)
I decided to get a little crazy and add some thick date caramel to the pie filling. This idea turned out to be a good one for a couple reasons...
1. The caramel adds some fruity sweetness which helped the over all flavor of the pie since I did not use cane sugar in the filling.
2. The caramel helped to bind the pie filling together with the streusel topping. It also added a creamy texture that was quite unexpected!
I never waste anything (if I can help it) while I cook. I had a sizable amount of leftover pie dough after rolling out 2 base crusts, so I cut it into my streusel topping! The topping isn't an actual recipe, per se. I just cut in my leftover pie dough with coconut sugar to taste (brown sugar will do too), leftover almond pulp (from making almond milk!), a pinch of salt, and a generous amount of cinnamon (to taste as well). I also had to add some AP gluten free flour to obtain the correct level of dryness. This is something that I just eyeballed. Once the mixture feels like slightly moistened sand, it's ready to use.
Date Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
Yield: 1-9" pie (8-10 servings)
Sources: Date Caramel Recipe by The Detoxinista; Filling Recipe, adapted from Plant Powered Kitchen
* See image above for an example of "pie pricking" =P
** See passage above for my streusel "recipe". If you don't have almond pulp or leftover pie dough, you can use this recipe from Veganomicon, which is my go-to recipe for a basic streusel. It's pretty fool-proof!
Oven 350 F.
Happy Pie Making! <3
I've decided to serialize my Thanksgiving post so that I can feature a different recipe each time. Otherwise, I'll write a huge blog post that no one will be able to sit through (probably including myself). This year, I decided to forgo making a vegan "entree" to stand in for turkey. Because, honestly, I'm all about Thanksgiving side dishes. I mean, let's be honest, stuffing? potatoes? pie? Okay, so, pie isn't exactly a side dish...but, I still think about it just as much as everything else. Maybe more. ;)
Last year, I made a delicious lentil loaf with Italian herbs and spices. It was quite divine, but very filling. I decided instead to add a soup and salad to my lineup for a pre-Thanksgiving "brunch" of sorts. My family always eats dinner early, around 2 to 3 PM. Because we get hungry in the morning while we cook and prep everything. I decided to make something light for everyone to munch on. This is the best way to make sure no one over eats at dinner, too. Well, they might still do that.
This stuffing was my entree stand-in and it was absolutely wonderful. I made the stuffing entirely from scratch, using an amazing bread recipe by Cara of Fork and Beans. I've tried many gluten-free vegan bread recipes, and each one was different, pretty tasty, yet not entirely what I wanted. The texture of gluten-free bread can be very tricky to get right. Most gluten-free breads on the market right now are filled with eggs, which is no bueno for me.
There are some brands I will buy in a pinch, but they weren't going to do for Thanksgiving. I have to go the extra 10 miles and make as much from scratch as possible. The bread recipe from Fork and Beans is actually pretty simple and not as time consuming as I had thought. The most difficult part of the recipe is creating the appropriate flour blend. I substituted some flours for others since I did not have all of them handy. Luckily, my concoction yielded a very tasty loaf of bread! =)
Feel free to use any type of vegan bread that you choose if you do not need to watch your gluten/wheat intake. If you are looking for a simple gluten-free bread recipe though, I highly recommend taking the time to make this one. It's well worth it. Better yet, make two loaves and use the other for french toast, sandwiches, or bread pudding. P=
I wanted to use lighter flavors in this stuffing than usual. Normally, I would load my stuffing up with mushrooms, vegan sausage, and tons of vegetables. I wanted to make my stuffing a bit more "clean" tasting this year, but still flavorful. I opted for bright green apples, leeks, carrot, celery, onion, and meaty walnuts. The result was still filling but less robust. Deliciously different. B)
Leek, Apple and Walnut Stuffing
Yield: 8-10 servings, approx.
Source: inspired by Walnut-Apple Stuffing recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas
Oven 350 F.
First of all,
Happy World Vegan Day!!!! =D
What better way to celebrate being vegan than with cruelty-free, delicious doughnuts!!!! <3
It's hard to believe that I (an avid baker) haven't tried to make actual doughnuts before. I've made doughnut recipes in muffin tins before, yes, but that doesn't really count...
This fall, after seeing many an apple cider doughnut picture on Instagram, I decided it was time to make my own homemade doughnuts. I've always loved the allure of a warm doughnut in the chilly fall months. There's something wonderful about it. There also must be a hot mug of something to go with said doughnut. The two cannot be separate. It's impossible.
About a year ago, I got my hands on this wonderful book:
Babycakes NYC is a famous bakery in (you guessed it) New York City. There are two other locations in California and Orlando, Florida. I, unfortunately, have never had the privilege to visit any of the bakeries (...yet!). However, I've admired their baking and cake decorating from afar for years now. I've had my eye on their recipes, too. Being able to transform every day baked goods (like, doughnuts, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, madelienes, etc.) into vegan and gluten-free treats is something miraculous when done correctly. I give Erin McKenna major props for creating all that she has. Her recipes yield accurate and effective results, which is important. I never feel good about trying a new recipe only for it to fail and become garbage. =(
What I also love about Erin's recipes are the fact that they are all made using real ingredients. For fats, she mostly uses coconut oil or some other neutral oil. She shies away from using any processed vegan substitutes. These products have their places in baking, sure...However, to use them all the time is kind of cheating in my book! I love to be able to taste food in the most pure form I can. There is nothing to hide in these desserts. Each baked good you will make from this book will taste pure (and sweet! I'll get to that in a minute...).
The only alterations I've made to Erin's basic cake doughnut recipe (my favorite!) are the key flavor ingredients (pumpkin, apple, banana...) and the type of sugar. She uses vegan sugar, which is fine, of course. I have this thing with sugar...I don't particularly like it in large quantities. It's extremely sweet, and I'll admit, I like to use it for certain things that must be just that (frosting, dusting sugar, etc.). But, again, using sugar in large quantities I find overpowers other ingredients in a recipe. I always try to strive for balance in everything I cook, even desserts. Desserts don't have to feel like their socking you over the head with sweetness...they can be complex and satisfying at the same time! (I promise...) ;)
For the batter itself, I used coconut sugar. For anyone who has read my other recipes, you probably know by now that coconut sugar is my go-to sweetener. Well, that and maple syrup! But, for the sake of these autumnal flavored doughnuts, I wanted the deep caramel-like complexity of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is also wonderful because it's less sweet and also low-GI for anyone who is sugar conscious.
However, to kick these doughnuts up a notch, top them with glaze and real sugar. Since the cake itself is only mildly sweet and a little spicy (thanks to cinnamon and friends), the sweetness on top balances and pulls the whole thing together!
I try to think about these things. ;)
So, without further introduction, here are Babycakes NYC doughnuts three ways. Enjoy and have fun with other flavors!
Oven 325 F
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Doughnuts
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts (same)
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in the glaze once completely cooled.
Whisk together all ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. Thin out with more maple syrup if needed.
Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in peanut butter glaze after they have cooled completely.
Peanut Butter Glaze
Whisk together until thick but still liquid. Add more coconut oil if needed to thin out.
Enjoy and make a little extra for the ones you love. Show them that vegans can (and do) eat more than kale and grass and stuff. =P
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.