Tenacious Tart Tatin

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

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Now that I’m knee-deep in apples, so begins my annual autumnal tradition: trying each and every apple recipe I can get my hands on. In the case of this Tenacious Tart Tatin (also known as a French Caramelized Apple Tart), it also means knocking another dish off my to-do for reviews list. It’s from Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Eats World, and is not nearly as fussy as its sounds.

While the recipe does require a few rounds of waiting for stuffs to freeze (the olive oil and then the crust), I was able to spend that time peeling and chopping apples for storage over the winter. You need fresh, firm apples for this recipe, and I worried that my scrappy, home-grown fruit wouldn’t make the cut. Soft apples are prone to devolving into applesauce, you see. (Applesauce: also on the schedule for this month!) But I offset that by slicing my apples on the large side, which seemed to do the trick.

For all its wonderful flakiness, the crust is pretty easygoing. You’re supposed to bake it in a springform pan, which I don’t have, so I just used a regular pie pan. (But not glass, on accounta the rapid change in temps.) I had some trouble slicing and serving the first few pieces of the finished tart, but otherwise it worked just fine.

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This is a seriously sweet tart, even by my standards. You cook the apples along with the caramel on the stovetop (they taste almost poached when done – so good!), transfer them onto the tart, and then drizzle the caramel on top of the whole shebang. And there was so much caramel, y’all! I wonder if maybe I should have held some back.

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The apples made the house smell heavenly, and the scent even coaxed the dogs out of their rainy-day stupor – as evidence by a shamelessly begging Rennie in the above photo.

Yes, I let her lick my plate. ALWAYS.

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

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WOW. Like I’ve seriously been sitting here at my keyboard for five minutes, trying to think of something, anything, to say about this Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie from Betty Goes Vegan, and this is all I can come up with. Just, wow.

I mean, talk about yer vegan comfort foods. This is basically just a giant plate of junk food. And I mean that in the best way possible!

The “crust” is a blend of vegan ground beef (Lightlife, in my case), bread crumbs, A1 steak sauce (A rather common ingredient in Betty Goes Vegan! I bought a bottle just for this cookbook!), red onions, and some other goodies.

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Press it into a pie plate, bake until golden brown (the directions say five minutes, but I easily tripled that), and then add the potato “filling.”

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Baked potatoes, mashed into creamy goodness (skins and all!), and seasoned with garlic, nutritional yeast, and veggie broth, then mixed with bacon bits and cheddar cheese.

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Top with more cheddar, bake until gooey, and dinner is served!

Garnish with tomatoes, pickles, french friend onions, or legit onion rings. (That last is my idea. I tried it with the leftovers and it was hnnng!)

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Totally worth the twenty dishes it generated. Okay, I’m exaggerating. We’ll call it a baker’s dozen.

And now for the obligatory Dean Winchester gif. BECAUSE PIE!

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Updated to add: Vegan MoFo central is giving away a copy of Betty Goes Vegan to five lucky readers as we speak! Talk about serendipity. Go enter here.

 
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Roasted Carrot and Potato Soup & Sicilian Bread Pie with Broccoli

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Epic mealtime was epic.

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After a slew of cold and rainy weather, I was craving some hot soup and warm bread something crazy. Enter: Roasted Carrot and Potato Soup from Robin Robertson’s The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook (hint: not just for vegetarians!) and Sicilian Bread Pie with Broccoli from Vegan Italiano, by Donna Klein. (Reviewed yesterday, in point o’ facts!)

Rich, creamy, and super-savory, the soup is a new favorite. It takes a little extra planning, since you’ve gotta roast the veggies beforehand, but it’s so worth it. (Bonus points for using leftover roasted vegetables.) You’re supposed to process the whole shebang in a blender or food processor, but I like my soup a little chunky, so I set about 1/3 aside – you can spot a stray carrot piece in the photo above.

Pre-blender, the soup resembles chicken noodle, with potatoes playing the role of featured carb. Also quite delicious! Not creamy, but still totally nom-worthy.

The bread pie was more of a pain; the refrigerated french bread dough didn’t take kindly to my efforts to reshape it from a rectangle to a circle. But I persevered and, while the pie ended up a bit misshapen (like all my pies inevitably do), it was still really good.

The top and bottom pieces didn’t completely fuse together, so I was able to remove the top piece for dunking purposes. Turns out that this soup? Was made for bread.

Craving, satisfied.

Deep Dish Apple Brown Sugar Pie

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

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This would have been the last of the untried apple pie recipes from my giant stack o’ cookbooks – had I not went out and bought a copy of Betty Goes Vegan! That’s okay, though, ’cause I have just enough frozen apples left for one more pie. Serendipity! (In case you’re keeping score at home, this one is from Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food.)

So this was definitely the most problematic crust I’ve worked with (says the girl who never has any luck with sweet pie crusts). First it was too sticky, then too dry, too sticky, too dry – you get the idea. I finally settled on too dry, rolled it veeeeery carefully, and used a giant pizza spatula to scrape the discs off of the countertop. The bottom one wasn’t too bad – I molded it into the dish with my fingertips – but the top piece proved a hot mess, with cracks running every which way. You can kind of see how the crust further split apart while baking.

The whole thing just collapsed into flaky pieces when I cut into it, so today’s sexy individual slice/crossectional photo is of the leftovers. Incidentally, the pie is hella easier to cut when cold.

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The good news is that it’s tasty as fuck. The flip side of having such a messy, flaky crust is that it virtually melts in your mouth. You can’t really tell from the photo, but there’s also a glaze-type topping of soy milk and sugar on the pie which really elevates it to the next level. If anything I’m glad I tried this recipe just for that extra-juicy pro tip. Put sugar on ALL the pies!

I have the best mom of all the moms!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

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Exhibit A: The early Easter presents that arrived in the mail for me today! (Have I mentioned that I’m 34 years old?)

Not pictured is a set of mini pie molds, a couple of animal-themed mugs, and some adorable winter hats for the dogs. Pink and blue snowpeople! Dog clothes are, like, a given. They make excellent padding.

This Easter, we shall feast on pizza cones dripping with Daiya cheese, which we will wash down with mini apple pie bites. So stoked I can’t even!

Apple Butterscotch Pie

Monday, February 11th, 2013

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So this is the second of two apple pie recipes from American Vegan Kitchen. The Apple Butterscotch Pie uses the same crust recipe as Mom’s Apple Pie (obvs!) – which, as you might recall, I had a little trouble with last time around. Here I reduced the water to two tablespoons (vs. the recommended five), which seemed to do the trick: I didn’t have to add any extra flour this time around. The dough was easier to work with, but by no means perfect. Prone to tearing and impossible to lift up, I had to do most of the rolling and stretching once the dough was already in place in the pie pan.

But you know what? Totally worth the trouble, even without the butterscotch chips. (They’re supposed to go on top.) I know, I know; butterscotch is kind of the whole point of the recipe, right? But I didn’t have any butterscotch chips on hand, and Noyes gives a second option using brown sugar, so I went with it. No regrets!

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I had tons of trouble coaxing the first slice from the pan, though. I made a total mess of it, but hey, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Namely: oven-baked apples coated in a cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg-lemon syrup. Yes please.

Next time around I think I’ll give the apple pie recipe in Vegan Junk Food a spin. I think I have enough frozen apples for five or six more pies, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a kickass crust recipe before I’m done.

Errr, not that I have to use all those apples in pies. But let’s not kid ourselves, okay?

(More below the fold…)

Mom’s Apple Pie

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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Truth be told, I don’t remember my mom every making pie from scratch. After-school cookies? Check. Elaborately decorated birthday cakes? Yes ma’am. Ginormous cookie cakes for school celebrations? I was the most popular kid that day! But our pies? Always started out frozen.

I imagine that mom’s pies, if she ever made them from scratch, would look hella prettier than anything I can manage. That’s okay, though, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And inside this pie is thoroughly edible. If you know what I mean. Ahem.

Anyway, the recipe’s from Tami Noyes’s American Vegan Kitchen, which I’ve cooked from so often that I may as well do a review. (So let’s just say one’s forthcoming, i.e., as soon as I plow through the entire dessert case chapter.) As far as apple pie goes, it’s sound but somewhat standard: apples, sugar, cinnamon, etc. Delicious, nutritious (hah!), dependable apple pie.

I’ve yet to find a pie crust recipe that I truly love, and the one featured in AVK is no exception. For starters, I think I used too much water; whereas 2-3 tablespoons would have sufficed, the recipe calls for five. As soon as I added it, the dough got sticky and whatever ball the food processor had working quickly disintegrated. I tried correcting with a little extra flour, but by then the food processor was pooped, so I had to do it by hand. Even then, I don’t think I added enough flour, as the dough proved difficult to work with and kept ripping apart when I handled it. Note to self: add liquid gradually next time!

I spite of my early difficulties, the dough baked into a golden, flaky crust of pure scrumptiousness. Worlds better than some of the crust recipes I’ve found online.

On second thought, maybe I can perfect it with a little tweaking? Only time and (repeated) taste testings will tell. Luckily, I still have fifteen pounds of apples in the freezer, give or take, so I am good to go.

 

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Open-Faced Apple Pie with a Candied Pecan Topping

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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This might just be the tastiest “cleaning out my freezer” dish I’ve ever come up with!

I had half a batch of pie crust left over from the quiche I made for Vegan MoFo, so I decided to try an “open-faced” apple pie. (Like a regular pie, but marginally healthier!) To compensate for the missing top crust, I made some candied pecans to sprinkle on top. (Okay, maybe not so healthy after all.)

The result? Ugh, so good! I think I used more than half the dough crust for the quiche, because what I had left barely lined the pie pan (and then further retracted while baking, oy). That’s okay, though! The pie’s still super-yummy; a little messy, but totally worth the sticky fingers.

The pecans, which harden up a bit upon cooling (but soften when reheated in the microwave – consider this a pro tip), are a nice touch. If you don’t want to use them on a pie, they also make a nice candy. I may or may not have finished off a sizable portion while waiting for the pie to bake. May or may not, I’ll never tell!

 

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Open-Faced Apple Pie with a Candied Pecan Topping

Ingredients

1 pie crust (store-bought or homemade; see e.g.)

6 medium-sized apples, cut into slices 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (or a teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, cut into small pieces

4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup pecans

Directions

1. If necessary, pre-bake the pie crust. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. After you’ve cleaned and peeled the apples, cut them into slices about 1/4″ thick. Consistency is more important than the size; try to cut them as evenly as possible so that they bake at the same rate. The thicker the slices, of course, the longer the bake time!

3. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; mix well.

4. Spoon the apple filling (including the juices!) into the pie crust. Dot with the margarine. Bake, uncovered on the center rack, at 400F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender.

5. While the pie is baking, make the candied pecan topping. Line a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water; stir until the sugar is dissolved. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Cook, stirring all the while, for several minutes. Once the sugar water starts to resemble a syrupy sauce, add the pecans. Continue to cook until the sauce is thick and viscous. Remove from heat and spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper, spreading the nuts out so that they’re in a single layer. Let cool on the countertop.

6. When the pie is done cooking, top with the candied pecans. Break the candy apart by hand if necessary.

 

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Vegan MoFo B-Sides: Fried (or Baked!) "Fiona Apple" Apple Pies

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

 

The song: “Not About Love” by Fiona Apple

The foodstuff: Paula Deen’s Apple Fried Pies (with a variation for baking)

The connection: I just love her so much.

 

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Paula Deen, veganized! (Surprisingly, this was not difficult to do. Probably ’cause it’s a rather simple recipe.)

I’ve been meaning to make these fried apple pies since last Vegan MoFo, but never quite found the time. Seriously, this post has been sitting in my drafts folder for at least a year, maybe more. Vegan MoFo may be over, but I’m still determined to finish this recipe, dammit!

And I’m so glad I did, y’all! These pies are delish. Just for shits and giggles (okay, my waistline), I decided to bake half the pies to see what would happen. The result? Well, I guess that depends on how you feel about fried foods. The fried pies are amazing – I mean, fried biscuit dough, hello! – though they do sit a little heavy in the stomach. The baked pies are still pretty tasty too, and a bit lighter. So be your own decider person, is what I’m saying.

Since I’m new to hand pies, I overestimated how much filling could go in each pie and overstuffed them a bit. Hence the ugly and misshapen pastries you see here. No matter, still just as yummy. Pro tip: if you have a pie that’s a little leaky – due to overfilling or inadequate seams – deep fry it. For whatever reason (probably all that hot oil!), you get less filling eruption in the deep fryer.

Paired with Fiona Apple for obvious reasons. Any song would work, but I liked the vid for this one. Zach Galifianakis!

 

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Fried Apple Pies

Ingredients

2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2-3 medium sized apples)
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a dash of allspice
1 (8-piece) container refrigerated or frozen flaky biscuit dough (or make your own!)
vegan powdered sugar to taste

Directions

1. In a large skillet, heat the margarine on medium-low. When melted, add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Sautee on medium heat for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Roll the biscuits out on a lightly floured surface making an 8″ circle with each of the eight pieces. One at a time, place a few tablespoons of the apple filling on one half of the circle. Brush the edges of the circle with water and then fold it over to made a half-moon shape. Seal the pie by pressing down on the edges with the tines of a fork. Repeat until each pie is done.

3. To deep fry: Preheat a deep fryer, filled halfway with oil, to 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a pot halfway filled with oil and an appropriate thermometer.) Drop the pies in the deep fryer (carefully!), one at a time, and fry for five to eight minutes, or until they turn golden brown, flipping halfway through. Remove immediately and place on a plate or container lined with paper towels. Blot the excess oil with a paper towel. When cool, sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar.

4. To bake: Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

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veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza, with all the fixings!

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

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My Thanksliving Day eats, in all their carbalicious glory! The Thanksgiving Pizza came out smashingly; I’m super-glad we decided to do a test run, since this gave us a chance to tweak the recipe. The assembly was still a little messy, but not the hot mess of last week.

Anywho, this pizza features a layer of garlic and chive mashed potatoes mixed with gravy, followed by hickory smoked Tofurky slices, more gravy, and carrots, sweet corn and green beans. As much as I would have loved to have thrown some stuffing directly on the pizza, Shane and I couldn’t figure out how to properly cook it together with the pizza – since the breadcrumbs need to marinate in vegetable broth and all – so instead we gave the crust a hint of stuffinf flavor by infusing it with veggie broth. And, for bonus points, we served stuffing on the side, along with extra gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes and mixed veggies (both left over pizza toppings). For dessert, we dined on razzleberry pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Both store-bought, since we were exhausted enough after cooking the main course to even think about making the sweets by hand!

You can find recipes for all of the homemade items (PIZZA INCLUDED!) here.

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Two slices down, six to go!

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Shane’s plate; he slathered his stuffing in cranberry sauce.

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Personally, cranberry sauce – being sweet and sugary and all – strikes me as more of dessert item. Which is why I enjoyed a few spoonfuls with a bowl of vanilla ice cream while waiting for the dough to rise! But I digress…

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My plate! “Gravy” is the word of the day, dontchknow.

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The only time it’s acceptable to eat a pizza with a fork is when it’s
a) covered in mashed potatoes or b) a deep dish pie of some kind.

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Licking my plate clean!

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Bring out the pie!

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Pizza & ice cream, could a more perfect pairing exist?

Thanksliving ’08 Recipe Recap

Monday, December 1st, 2008

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Thanksliving has come and gone, but if I might, a late menu and some food porn – if only to give y’all a few ideas for next year (or, better yet, this FSMas).

Since my father’s a vegetarian, I’ve been eating Tofurky for Thanksliving every year since I went veg – which is roughly a dozen Save-a-Turkey Days, give or take. Up until last year, I (and my mother before me) always roasted it using the “traditional” OJ and soy sauce baste from Turtle Island Foods. Last year, the Mr. and I decided to mix things up, so we went with a newer Turtle Island recipe, Tofurky with Caramelized Onion and Cherry Relish. It was delish – but, not wanting to fall back into our habit of falling back on familiar recipes, I started searching for another baste recipe a few weeks ago. Dissatisfied with the Google results for “Tofurky recipe,” I had that aha! moment: why not search for turkey baste recipes? Surely I’d find a wider variety of bastes and marinades, most of which could be veganized, yeah?

Hells yeah! In particular, I came upon this recipe for Maple Roast Turkey Tofurky that sounded awesome. Previously, I’d been eying Turtle Island’s Tofurky Maple-Pecan Roast, but was afraid that the chili paste and 5-spice powder might make the dish too hot for my taste buds. The Maple Roast recipe, then, sounded like the perfect compromise.

And perfect it was! Of the three Tofurky recipes we’ve tried thus far, this was our favorite. And, even though the syrup has to cook and cool longer than the OJ/soy sauce marinade and caramelized onion and cherry relish, it wasn’t especially difficult to make. Not as mapley as I expected – perhaps I’ll try adding more maple syrup next time around – but yummy nonetheless.

As for the other dishes, Shane made our standby Vegetarian Stuffing (which is actually vegan), as well as Cranberry Apple Potato Dumplings, while I was in charge of the white dinner rolls and apple pie. My menu isn’t nearly as impressive as those of other veg*n bloggers (you should definitely check out Elaine, River, Isa, and Jane and Lane’s Thanksliving Day offerings), but it was just the two of us, and we’ve got enough leftovers to last the rest of the week.

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Menu

– Maple Roast Tofurky with potatoes and carrots (recipe below)

– Vegetarian Stuffing (recipe below)

– Cranberry Apple Potato Dumplings (from Turtle Island Foods’ Tofurky Feast)

Rhodes white dinner rolls

– Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Apple Pie (frozen) with vanilla So Delicious ice cream

– Beverages: watermelon juice, Silk Pumpkin Spice, Silk Soy Nog, Bigelow’s Earl Grey Green Tea, apple cider

(More below the fold…)

Is it already that time again?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I hear the Frost On Pumpkin Pie kicks ass.

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Ahem.

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Tagged:

Happy Save-a-Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Or Happy Tofurky Day, as it’s known ’round my house.
 

Happy Tofurky Day!

 
Tonight we’ll be feasting on – what else? – an oven-roasted Tofurky which, along with buhbie carrots and potatoes, will spend much of the day soaking up an orange juice/soy sauce/brown sugary marinade. The stuffed soy dish will be served with all the trimmings – cranberry dumplings, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with vegan “bacon” bits, even a faux wishbone (thoughtfully provided by Turtle Island). You know the deal – basically, vegan versions of your standard T-day fare.

The grand finale: a very sweet vegan rendition of pumpkin pie. This recipe is passed on from dear ol’ ma, but I think the good folks at Tofutti actually came up with it.

Recipe below the fold.

(More below the fold…)