Vegan Pie in the Sky – 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and More

Vegan Pie in the Sky

Vegan Pie in the Sky
75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and More
B&N / Amazon

Holidays? Check. Birthdays? Check. Tuesdays? Check! Our research says life is 100% better any day pie is involved. There’s nothing like a rich, gooey slice of apple pie straight from the oven, baked in a perfectly flaky crust, topped with cinnamon-sugar. And now it can be yours, along with dozens more mouthwatering varieties, vegan at last and better than ever.

Vegan Pie in the Sky is the latest force in Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s baking revolution. You’ll find delicious and adorable pies, tarts, cobblers, cheesecakes and more—all made without dairy, eggs, or animal products. From fruity to chocolaty, nutty to creamy, Vegan Pie in the Sky has the classic flavors you crave. And the recipes are as easy as, well, you know. Serve up some:

- Maple-Kissed Blueberry Pie
- She’s My Cherry Pie
- Chocolate–Peanut Butter Tartlets
- Salted Pecan Caramel Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake

Learn how to rock (and roll) the perfect pastry crust, whether butter, graham cracker, chocolate cookie, or gluten-free almond. Luscious toppings transform your pie into a showstopper. And you’ll even find handheld treats, to make getting your recommended daily allowance of pie more convenient! With gorgeous color photos and Isa and Terry’s irreverent commentary throughout, Vegan Pie in the Sky is the modern baker’s bible for pie that’s out of this world.

Vegan Eats World – 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet

Vegan Eats WorldVegan Eats World
300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet
B&N / Amazon

What If the World Was Vegan?

The true building blocks of cuisines across the planet are the spices, herbs, and grains—from basmati rice to buckwheat, coconut to caraway seeds. Apply those flavors to vegan staples such as seitan, or tofu and even straight-up vegetables, and the possibilities? If not endless, pretty darned expansive.

So what if the world was vegan? Your own cooking is the answer to that question; fire up the stove and make a green curry, simmer a seitan date tagine stew, or hold a freshly made corn tortilla piled high with chile-braised jackfruit in your hand. Chart your course in the great, growing map of vegan food history.

Award-winning chef, author of Veganomicon, and author of Viva Vegan Terry Hope Romero continues the vegan food revolution with more than 300 bold, delicious recipes based on international favorites. With chapters devoted to essential basics such as Spice Blends; The Three Protein Amigos; and Pickles, Chutneys & Saucier Sauces, you can make everything from salads to curries, dumplings and desserts. Vegan Eats World will help you map your way through a culinary world tour, whether you want to create a piergoi party or Thai feast, easy Indian chaat lunch or Your International House of Dinner Crepes.

Vegan Eats World vs. The James Beard House 4/15

Join me during your lunch break at The James Beard House for a reading of Vegan Eats World (yes, I do dramatic recipe readings) and a chat about vegan cuisine May 15 at noon. It’s free for students, with a suggested donation of $20 for everyone else.

Light refreshments will be served, including a taste of my favorite dessert from VEW, my flourless chocolate torte bursting with Ethiopian spices!

 

 

Save the Lamprey Ale & Seitan Pie

It’s Sunday morning, I’m up far too early (jetlag has me running on London time) but if I accomplish one thing today it’s going to be catching the season 3 premier of Game of Thrones. And what better way to re-familiarize myself with my kitchen than crafting a vegan approximation of everybody’s favorite GoT food item (the book series is bursting with detailed descriptions of food and drink) the fascinating and gloriously gnarly medieval lamprey pie.

Sadly, lamprey eels, which look a little like nature’s cosplayers of that perfect X-Files episode, are endangered in the U.K., home to a long tradition of lamprey pie. Any renewed interest in the pie may not only be illegal depending where you live, but just bad news for the slippery little guys. Either way, I’m never going to eat a lamprey, but I love making pie. So an adventure in vegan eel pie is on the menu tonight.

Chewy, adaptable seitan, sliced into thin strips, is my stand in for these beloved parasitic bloodsuckers. Ancient recipes for the pie reveal the medieval chefs’ fondness for flavoring meaty foods with sugar, wine or ale and exotic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and occasionally mustard. Rather than throw sugar into this savory pie, I opted for pairing it with naturally sweet parsnips and a long sauté of the onions to unlock their sugars. I love cooking with booze so naturally I reached for the of ale (a domestic IPA) and a touch of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground mustard creates an aromatic, hearty pie worth getting in trouble in a castle dungeon for (something I recall reading in one of the books, maybe? It’s been a while).

Round out this meal with a shot of green: toss together fresh spinach with toasted hazelnuts, fig balsamic vinegar, a dash of olive oil, Maldon salt, and a twist of black pepper. I recall characters in the book dining on something salad-like at lavish dinners, along with olives and a certain “Dornish chickpea paste” that sounds too similar to hummus, proof that the world of Game of Thrones is totally vegan friendly.

For the crust I use my go-to favorite, the rich and flakey Olive Oil Double Crust in Vegan Pie in The Sky, made with 1 part all purpose flour and 1 part white whole wheat flour. Or use any double crust pie dough you like; a coconut oil crust would be especially decadent. I like to make potpies in a variety of different shaped oven proof dishes and bowls; the wavy edge square dish in the photos is just big enough for two, and the remaining pie stuff was baked in a deep 9 x 11 ceramic dish.

I have no idea if this tastes like genuine lamprey pie, or if these pies can rescue an endangered species (but if a few lamprey are left uneaten, it may help a bit). But when you play the game of (tasty vegan) pies, everybody wins!

Save the Lamprey Seitan & Ale Pie

Serves 4-6 made in a 10 inch round deep dish or 13 x 9 inch square plate

Crust tip: Make any pie crust recipe suitable for a 9 inch double crust, flatten the dough to about an inch thickness roughly the same shape of the baking dish(s) and sandwich between two large pieces of waxed paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a shape about 1 inch wider than the edges of the dish and chill while the filling is prepared. When ready to bake, rip off the top layer of paper and slap it directly on top of the filling in the dish. Gently shape the edges against the sides of the dish, pressing the dough to seal the edges. Use the tip of a knife to slice a few air vents through the top of the crust.

Seitan tip: If you’re making seitan, use any Veganomicon seitan recipe or the Red Seitan from Viva Vegan!. If using store-bought, slice up 2 eight-ounce packages.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe double pie crust, rolled and chilled as directed above

Filling:

  • 16 ounces seitan (purchased or homemade) sliced into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  • 3 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (sliced into half moons)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large parsnip (about 1/2 pound) peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light colored ale (about one 12 ounce bottle)
  • 2 cups richly flavored vegetable broth (I used a concentrated batch of veg Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (or kosher salt) or season to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a deep dish 10 inch pie dish or 13 x 9 rectangle baking dish. Over medium high head preheat a 12 inch stainless steel pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté seitan until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer seitan to a bowl, add 1/2 cup of the ale to the pan and simmer and stir a few minutes to release any fried bits of seitan from the bottom and the ale is reduced by half. Pour the ale (now loaded with tasty bits of fried seitan) over the seitan in the bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the onions and saute for 8 minute or until very tender and golden brown. Add the bay leaves, celery, and parsnip and fry for 4 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and stir for 2 minutes to coat everything in flour, then stir in the remaining 1 cup of ale. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes until thick and bubbling, then add the broth, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, and seitan. Stir occasionally and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes to thicken up a bit. Taste the gravy and add smoked salt and pepper as desired, then stir in the chives. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaves.

3. Pour the filling into a baking dish(s) and cover with pie crust as directed in the tip above. Brush with a little plain almond milk and slide into the preheated over; slip a large baking sheet either underneath the pie or onto a baking rack directly beneath to catch any bubbling juices. Bake for 30 minutes; the pie is ready when the gravy is bubbling through the either the sides or the ventilation slits (told you it would bubble!). Remove and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Broken oven creates a knead for old fashioned soda bread

The oven is broken.

For someone for whom a baking session is the equivalent of a relaxing massage or a few hours of Skyrim, I’ve been a little in crisis mode the past month. Month? A whole month without a working oven! I’ve been busy and not home a lot, so repairing the poor dear has fallen to the wayside.

I wanted to present to you an updated version of my favorite twist on soda bread (just in time for March 17th) from Veganomicon, the Whole Wheat Soda Bread with Millet and Currants. It’s a rich, tender bread similar to a scone with the snappy addition of crunchy millet.

I love it. You should make it sometime.

But that’s not in the recipe cards for me. However, I’ve been told that true Irish soda bread is not baked in an oven but over an open fire or stovetop. Very well, I have a fabulous cast iron Dutch oven that I’ve used for countless versions of no-knead bread. Seems entirely feasible to craft old fashioned soda bread (with new fashioned whole grains and vegan adjustments) with a similar set-up, only setting the covered oven on top the oven instead of inside it.

But I did have my reservations: old fashioned soda bread is a lean thing indeed: no added fat, not sugar and only buttermilk (or for me, clabbered soy milk) and baking soda to make it rise. I was skeptical going in, but it made for a fascinating process…and hells bells, the bread rose and baked all the way through.

And it’s wonderful. The texture is light and springy, and a crunchy roasted crust forms on the bottom (and slightly on top after flipping) with the aroma of the currants and caraway penetrating though the golden brown crumb. It’s unlike any other quick bread I usually make, and is relatively low maintenance for a stove top treat. I adore currants (or here, affordable faux currants made from Zante grapes) and caraway seeds, but you could leave these out for a very simple loaf.

Here’s a few tips for your stovetop bread adventures:

-This is lean bread without any added fat, so the key to a tender crumb is to just barely mix the dough; over-knead it and the bread can be tough and tasteless. So be careful to stir only enough to moisten everything (some streaks of flour in the dough are fine), drop it into the floured surface and shape immediately into a ball.

-Preheating the Dutch oven is key! Using cast iron is probably the best material for making any stove top bread.

-Being generous with the flour coating. No need to grease the Dutch oven; the coating of flour and the preheated surface will prevent sticking. If you bread sticks, you haven’t preheated the pot enough and you didn’t use enough flour

-For a sweeter bread, try using sweetened milk and adding 2 tablespoons sugar along with the soy/almond milk

Broken Oven Soda Bread

Makes 1 generous loaf

  •  1 ½ cups graham flour, whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for dusting
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups plain soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dried Zante currants or genuine dried currants
  • 1 rounded tablespoon caraway seeds

1. Cover cast iron Dutch oven with a lid and preheat over a medium-high flame for at least 15 minutes. If you have a heat diffuser plate, place that underneath the pot.

2. Sift together both flours, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a large measuring cup whisk together soy milk and apple cider and set aside to curdle for 2 minutes.

3.   Form a well in the flour, add the curdled soy milk, currants and caraway seeds. Stir only just enough to moisten ingredients. The dough will be slightly sticky, that’s fine…don’t be tempted to add extra flour.

4.   Generously flour a work surface and drop the dough into the flour. Gently pat the dough into a circle, then carefully flip over a few times to coat generously with flour. Pat the sides with a little additional flour.

5.   Use a shape knife to slice a deep X into the top the dough at least 5 inches long (cut deep, about 2 inches deep). Uncover the Dutch oven, lower the dough into the pot and cover. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the bread is about doubled in size and feels firm to the touch. Uncover the pot. Use a long handled spatula (and wearing oven mitts to protect your hands!), carefully flip over the bread and bake uncovered another 5 to 10 to minutes to lightly toast the top of the loaf.

6.   Remove the bread, transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. Wrap leftovers tightly and reheat before serving.