Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Autumn Apple Pie

Luckily, most fruit pies are vegan. The fillings are simple: fruit, sugar, maybe some nuts, some spices and the crusts are too: flour, salt, water, shortening. Of course, I've seen recipes that call for an egg or some milk in the crust, but the real good old-fashioned recipes almost never do.

I made this pie the standard American way: white flour, white sugar, shortening, etc. So this is a great thing to take to a Thanksgiving dinner as it will blend right in, lol. However, the next time I make a pie I'm going to do it the look-at-me-I'm-a-foodie way. We're talking no refined sugar, less refined flour, and a coconut oil pastry crust (among other things). But until we get to that point, we've got an Autumn Apple Pie that's about as American as you can get!

Pie making can be a little tricky in the crust department, but the homemade crust is always 100% worth it. Like everything else, it just takes a little practice. To get you started in the right direction, I have a sort-of pie crust tutorial.

Flaky Vegan Pie Crust:
(makes two 9-inch crusts)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. shortening (please make this non-hydrogenated though!)
1/3 c. ice-cold water
3/4 tsp. salt

1. Combine flour and salt; add shortening. Mix it with your fingers until it gets crumbly and looks about the size of small peas. Meaning: no clumps of shortening bigger than a pea, smaller is okay. It should look like this:

2. For that ice-cold water, I really want you to put ice cubes in it and make it ice-cold. The coldness works with the fat in the crust and together they help create that awesome flakiness. So, once it's super cold, add the ice-cold water and stir it until a dough forms (20 seconds? it's quick).

3. Form the dough into a ball, then cut the ball in half. Roll each half out on some waxed paper/parchment paper. Recipes usually say "floured surface", but when you're rolling it out to like, 1/8 inch thickness, you ain't getting it off the table in one piece! Place this rolled out half into your pie pan. Most cookbooks say to roll it out 2 inches past the edge of the pie pan, so if you can do that, you officially awesome. Mine usually covers the pan with a little hanging over and that's good enough for me. Gently press the crust down into the pan so that there isn't any air bubbles; trim off any extra crust pieces. SAVE THE CRUST PIECES!!

4. Roll out the second ball of dough in the same manner as above, except leave it on the parchment paper and let it hang out while you prepare the filling.

At this point I quick taking as many photos because my hands were covered in pie dough. Lol.

Not all apples are treated equally. To make a good pie, you need good pie apples. They need to be tart, firm, and juicy. I literally had an apple squirt me in the face when I cut it with a knife. Seriously. Anywho, some apples excellent for a pie are: Cortland, Rhode Island Greening, and McIntosh. Some apples that are rated very good for a pie are: Golden Delicious, Jersey Red, Jonathan, Rome Beauty, and Fuji. You can also google your apple to see if it'll make a tasty pie. I used Golden Delicious ones for this recipe. If you choose to use tart Granny Smith ones, most recipes suggest upping the sugar another half cup.

Also, you'll want to cut these apples thinly, and definitely uniformly. The apple slices need to be cut about the same so that they all finish cooking at the same time.

This is my mess.

Autumn Apple Pie Filling:
(for a 9-inch pie)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of salt
6 c. thinly sliced apples, pared (about six medium apples)
2 Tb. vegan butter

1. Heat oven to 425F (I'm assuming your pie crust is already made and we're moving on). In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well.
2. In a large bowl that contains your apple slices, mix together your flour mixture and your apple slices. Turn it into your prepared pie pan. Top with dots of vegan butter.
3. Top your filled pie with the second crust. Press together all the edges to seal and cut a couple of silts in the top to vent the steam. You can mix up a little cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it on top of the pie for extra tastiness. Place a strip of aluminum foil around the edge of the pie to keep it from burning. Bake it for about 45 minutes, and remove the foil from the pie during the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Note 1: I like to place a large sheet of foil under my pie to catch any drips.
Note 2: If you cut it when it's hot it will be runny. If it's completely cool when you cut it, the filling will be solid.

Hehe. It's my pie.Wait. No. Get your mind outta there!

Now you can enjoy your slice of pie with some vegan ice cream or maybe some soy whipped topping!

Remember those bits of crust? Now what you do is spread then with a little vegan butter and some cinnamon-sugar and bake them next to your pie for about 10-15 minutes. These little tasty bits of crust are the main reason I like to make pies! 

This pie will be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike! 


Anonymous said...

Mmmm pie...

Stephanie said...

Looks so amazing, great job! I bookmarked this recipe, because my omni boyfriend's parents are coming over for Thanksgiving, and all that I know is that they love apple pie. Might have to make this and conveniently leave out the fact that it's vegan...


Jeni Treehugger said...

Mmmm yummy. Me want pie.

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

My grandma has always made pie crusts with all shortening too. Elsewhere, apparently people have strong feelings about butter crusts - i.e., that all pie crusts should be all-butter. Maybe the shortening is a Midwest thing?

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Woah. I didn't know that. I need to get out of Missouri more often! Lol.