vegansaurus!

05/17/2010

It’s spring, let’s make a pie!  »

Start with two pounds of cherries that were fresh last week. Realize you have to do something with them, and look up recipes until you find the right one for you. Realize you don’t have enough cherries, and add fresh strawberries until ideal weight is achieved. Wash, stem, and pit cherries. This will take longer than you think, but it won’t be nearly as irritating as you expect, I swear.

Adjust your recipe according to your ingredients and tastes. “But it’s a pie! I’m afraid!” Don’t be; the filling is super-easy and you have leftover crust from your last pie in the freezer, so now all the hard work is over.

I adapted the above-linked recipe and this is roughly what constituted the filling:
2 pounds fresh cherries, and 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar (could’ve been less, really, the cherries were very sweet)
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract (there wasn’t any almond)
a dash of whiskey
Stir, cover, and let sit for a few hours. Now you can defrost your pie crust, and clean up your mess. Fun!

Now instead of making one giant pie, maybe you want to make two smaller pies. I did! Unfortunately after rolling out two pie crusts and heaping the tins full of filling—no pre-baking the crust this time—I didn’t have any crust left over for a top. What to do? Make a crisp topping, obviously!
1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy butter
cinnamon, to taste
Combine in a bowl until everything is all pebbly. Then sprinkle across the tops of your pies, like so. Very nice!

While you’ve been mixing and sprinkling, your oven has been preheating to 400 F. When it’s ready, pop the pies in, with foil over the tops, but make sure they’re on some kind of tray, because they will probably erupt a bit and you don’t want cherry-strawberry mess all over your oven. I had to bake mine individually because of this. Pro tip: If you re-use a tray that’s already covered in semi-carbonized pie overflow, it’ll bake on so hard it may never come off. Best not to.

After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and remove the foil from the pie. Bake for another 30 to 45 minutes (mine needed 30), then take out of the oven—mind the spillage on those trays!—and place on a wire rack to cool. See how much overflow there was? Thank goodness I used a tray!

Now, allow to cool for a good long time before devouring. Why? First, because the pie filling is like sweet, delicious lava that will blister ever part of you that it touches. Second, because, like a pudding, it’s still setting. You don’t want to cut it open and have all the filling spill out like some ridiculous fruit-waterfall, right? Of course not. So, wait. Give it a good hour at least.

Finally, slice and eat. Although to be honest, this pie is best served at room temperature at least 12 hours after baking. The flavors need more time to develop, I guess, to get comfortable with each other, so try not to eat it all up that night. Allow their relationship time to grow!

Still, definitely eat a piece when it’s done. You pitted cherries for this!

[pictures by Meave]

04/07/2010

Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream Pie from one of our favorite vegan food blogs, Manifest Vegan. Not only is the design ridiculously adorable, the recipes are easy to follow and always delicious. I just want to run through a field of these holding my lover’s hand and shit. Beautiful. 

Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream Pie from one of our favorite vegan food blogs, Manifest Vegan. Not only is the design ridiculously adorable, the recipes are easy to follow and always delicious. I just want to run through a field of these holding my lover’s hand and shit. Beautiful. 

03/25/2010

I made this pie and you can, too! It was super-easy!
Step 1: Follow the steps to a perfect pie crust on Smitten Kitchen, substituting Earth Balance for butter.
Step 2: Make this caramel apple pie from VegWeb, halving the caramel filling recipe.
Step 3: Devour, with a big cup of coffee!
This was the first pie crust I ever made, and it turned out really well, even with 100 percent whole-wheat flour (I live with crazy people who are terrified of white flour) and my own total lack of lattice-ing skills. Vegan pie, it’s the tastiest!
[photo by Meave!]

I made this pie and you can, too! It was super-easy!

Step 1: Follow the steps to a perfect pie crust on Smitten Kitchen, substituting Earth Balance for butter.

Step 2: Make this caramel apple pie from VegWeb, halving the caramel filling recipe.

Step 3: Devour, with a big cup of coffee!

This was the first pie crust I ever made, and it turned out really well, even with 100 percent whole-wheat flour (I live with crazy people who are terrified of white flour) and my own total lack of lattice-ing skills. Vegan pie, it’s the tastiest!

[photo by Meave!]

11/09/2009

Where to get your vegan Thanksgiving pie!  »

Let’s be real: the only thing that matters about Thanksgiving is the pie. When everyone else has forsaken you, you can always turn to pie. Unfortunately, we’re short on pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan pies here in the Bay Area, but maybe next year!? All I know is, we gots to ask for what we want so if you want these types of pies, email your favorite pie place and ASK FOR THEM! Come on vegans! This is three-minute activism, you can do it!! Okay, enough of the patronizing, let’s pie this!

Alameda Pie has got you covered with vegan apple pie. They’ll be delivering all over the Bay Area but get your orders in, stat!

Mission Pie has an Apple Brandy Raisin pie for the vegans. Get your orders in on the double. Pick up at their store.

Bike Basket Pies is gonna hook you up with several variations on apple and pear pies, including apple-cranberry and pear-ginger. THEY MIGHT ALSO HAVE A PUMPKIN PIE. No word yet but perhaps if enough vegans requested it, WHO KNOWS!? Pick up in the mission.

In The Mood For Food Vegan Catering has a vegan pumpkin pie! Woohoo! They also have apple-walnut tarts, pear-pecan tarts, apple pies, pear pies, PECAN PIES, brownies & carrot-oat cookies! In fact, they have a full on vegan Thanksgiving catering menu so check it out & get your orders in ASAPly! Oh, and they DELIVER.

Rainbow is selling several vegan pies, including some new stuff from Sugar Plum Vegan, including a gluten-free chai spice sweet potato pie and a pumpkin cheezecake. You gotta head to the store to see what their selection is.

Whole Foods will definitely have vegan pies. Sure, they’ll be boring but you know, you gots to takes what you can gets NOW GO EMAIL SOME PLACES.

Oh and yeah, I’m sure any of our local vegan bakeries (sugar beat sweets, violet sweet shoppe, fat bottom bakery, cinnaholic, sugar plum vegan, idle hands baking company, ETC ETC - google them for more info because girrrrl, I gots a job I gotta get back to!) would be stoked to help cater all your holiday pie needs, so don’t forget about them!!

ONE LAST THING: You can always get a vegan ice cream cake (pumpkin ice cream YES PLEASE) from Maggie Mudd! Bonus point: all ice cream cakes are 20 percent off in November!!!

ONE MORE LAST THING: Perhaps you choose to keep it super-fancy and want to bake one yourself. OH YOU ARE SO FANCY AND BETTER THAN THE REST OF US.

11/02/2009

Recipe: vegan potato-spinach-cheddar pie by Bike Basket Pies!  »

The lovely Natalie from Bike Basket Pies has supplied us with a Vegansaurus exclusive (!!!) recipe for her famous vegan potato-spinach-cheddar pie. It’s ridiculous so get ready for a party in your mouth!! AND PANTS! What? Yes, the pie is that good.

You’ll need:

pie crust!

  • 1 stick Earth Balance shortening
  • 1 stick Earth Balance buttery stick
  • 12 oz flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8 Tbsp ice cold water, mixed with the vinegar, plus 4 Tbsp reserved

filling!

  • 2 lbs or so, maybe less, yukon gold or russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb Daiya shredded cheddar flavored cheese substitute (now available at Rainbow!)
  • salt
  • pepper

To make the pie dough:

  1. Cut the Earth Balance sticks into small cubes and put them in the freezer while you prepare everything else.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar.
  3. Using a food processor (use the pulse setting) or hand pastry blender, cut the very cold Earth Balance cubes into the flour mixture until the shortening pieces aren’t much bigger than peas.If using a food processor, transfer to a bowl.
  4. Slowly add the apple cider vinegar and ice water, and gently but quickly mix until the dough forms a ball. I use my hands. Add more ice water as necessary.
  5. Divide into two balls, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and throw into the refrigerator. Chill dough for at least an hour.
  6. After the dough is chilled, remove from fridge, liberally flour a clean surface, roll out one disk and line a 9-inch pie pan. Trim edges that hang over so only about 1 inch hangs out. Put back in the fridge.

Assemble the pie:

  1. Heat the red pepper and the garlic in the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add washed spinach and slowly turn to wilt all of it. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste—definitely over-season. Transfer to bowl, chop with kitchen sheers if using adult spinach (as opposed to baby spinach).
  2. Line the dough-lined pie tin with a layer of sliced potatoes; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Liberally sprinkle Daiya “cheese.”
  4. Layer spinach.
  5. Add another layer of potatoes; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Add more spinach and Daiya; repeat until the pie is filled.
  7. Roll out second dough disk, place on top of pie, trim edges, fold under other dough disk’s edges, crimp and flute. Wet your fingers with a little ice-cold water during this process if you wish, and maybe even sprinkle the pie with a little kosher salt (be light). Cut pretty slits in the top.
  8. Put back in fridge, preheat oven to 425 degrees while your pie is chilling. Bake the pie at this temperature for 20 minutes; then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes or until crust looks golden and gorgeous.
  9. Let it cool on a rack for 20 minutes or more until you slice into it.

Eat it all and be the fattest and happiest person in all the land. Which actually isn’t hard because this is San Francisco and most people are skinny and depressed!

Adorable photo of Natalie & her delicious pie (perv!) is courtesy of Rachel Styer!

08/17/2009

Alameda Pie!  »

There is a lot of pie in our lives right now. But that doesn’t make any of the pie less special, and certainely doesn’t eliminate the need for more pie because you ALWAYS NEED MORE PIE. The newest contender in the pie olympics is Alameda Pie, and this one comes packing heat. I’ve mixed like five metaphors in this post already. I’ll keep going. Alameda Pie makes and delivers pies to your home. You order at the beginning of the week and that Friday (or Saturday!) delicious fresh pie is DELIVERED to your DOOR. We ordered the 10” apple pie and the 5” coconut curry pie. The apple pie was super-duper tasty (both playing solo and à la mode!) BUT THE COCONUT CURRY PIE. Giiiirrrrrl, it was off the hooooook! Potatoes, onion and carrots coated with perfect, rich yellow curry. It was seriously ridiculous. My only regret is that it was only 5”, we could have easily taken down a 10”. or a 60”. Whatevs. Bring it, Alameda Pie. IN FACT, I propose we have one of those contests where they make the biggest pie they can possibly make (100”?) and if I can eat it, it’s free. Who is in!? I AM! Alameda Pie, your turn. WILL YOU MAN UP TO THE CHALLENGE? You have two days to accept at which time, we will breathe collective sighs of relief that you are less batshit crazy than I am. Man, I’m so sleepy and so full of pie this review is done GOODNIGHT, SIR!

08/12/2009

Omnivore pie-baking contest, let’s get a vegan to win this bitch!  »

So Omnivore Bookstore in Breeder Noe Valley is having a Pie Baking Contest. The details are a little sketchy since they seem to be releasing them only over their twitter but so far we know, it’s on Thursday, September 10th, from 6-7 pm. Any kind of pie - cut into small pieces! Prize money is simply described as: $$$. I’m guessing that’s roughly $3 million? Entrance is free to bakers bringing their pies, and $5 for folks just coming to eat and judge the pies. Door money will go to winner—easy! Let’s get all that delicious “door money” straight into a vegan’s pocket.

WHO IS IN!?

I think the main question is whether or not to reveal your pie as vegan before the contest? Your thoughts on this? I think what would be really interesting is for someone who makes both non-vegan and vegan pies, to enter both and see which one gets a better reception. Don’t mention that either of them are vegan. I’m curious. Because I had the cherry-pluot pie from Bike Basket Pies yesterday and let me just say, I won a whole nother kind of pie contest and this one involved me becoming fatter and more awesome.

06/11/2009

Bike Basket Pies!  »

These pies are seriously ridiculous. The strawberry rhubarb! The blueberry & candied lemon*! Heaven! OH AND THEY’RE VEGAN. Well, not all of them but I’m working on that (can I get a what-what for Earth Balance!? Nevermind! Further, BLOW ME, EARTH BALANCE IS THE SHIT AND ISN’T MILKED FROM THE UDDER OF A COW WHO’S USED UNTIL SHE LITERALLY FALLS DOWN AND DIES. Oh those are the lucky ones, the others go to slaughter. Actually, I can’t tell who the lucky ones are, opinions?)

SO ANYWAY, you should track them down on twitter @bikebasketpies and request many vegan pies and then eat them all and be tremendously happy. They also have a website, where you can then write me numerous love letters thanking me for sending you to this hand-held pie-in-the-sky gloriousness. Next, you can send me a blank check. After that, I’ll take the check straight to Singapore Airlines and buy a one-way ticket to Tokyo where I’ll seamlessly blend into Japanese culture by losing 200 pounds and dressing like a Cabbage Patch Kid. We all have different dreams.

My point is, these pies are great, though only available on Tuesdays. FOR NOW. I have a feeling they are going to take off and become famous. Well, as famous as food products can become. Which is to say, very famous. Please see: The Hamburgular.

I need to eat dinner.

*Pictured! And I know, my photography skills suck: the pie is much more delicious-looking in reality, but I wanted to put something up because apparently people don’t read blogs without big pictures because everyone is really stupid now.

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