Sunday, June 28, 2009

Apple Pie

I am sure you are thinking what is so not vegan about apple pie right?  Well it's the crust and below is a great recipe for vegan crust along with my apple pie mixture!  This is just as flaky and tasty as any other pie crust but its vegan!

Pie Crust Ingredients:
• 2 1/2 cups of unbleached flower
• 3/4 cup cold vegan butter
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 9 tbsp ice water

Before you start chill everything even the dry ingredients.  I use my kitchenaid mixer for this recipe but you can do it by hand or use a food processor as well.  Mix all dry ingredients together until well mixed.  Add a small amount of the butter about a tablespoon mix until there are lumps in the dough then add another tablespoon until butter is all mixed in.  The dough should be lumpy.  Then add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until water is all added.  Dough should be cold and a bit tacky.  Do not over work the dough, it will get very gummy.  After dough is mixed place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour if you are not pressed for time.  Remove dough and place on a floured surface to roll with rolling pin, its best to dust the rolling pin as well. Roll to about 1/3 inch thick place in bottom of your 9' pie pan.

Apple Mixture Ingredients:
• 9 crisp apples peeled and cored 
• 2 tbsp cinnamon 
• 1/4 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients together and place over rolled dough.
For lattice work cut remaining dough in 1/2' strips and weave over top of pie.  The leaf pattern in the middle was done by eye using left over dough, not necessary but pretty!
Bake at 400 for about an hour or until apples are soft when poked and crust is a golden color.

ready for the oven

done and cooling

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Dream Bars

I always get the same reaction from non-vegans that try these for the first time, which goes something like this, no these can't be vegan they are to good, or to rich or to creamy.  Well they are and not to mention a show stopper for sure.  The hardest thing about this recipe is letting the chocolate temper correctly without getting it to cool to fast.  If this happens the chocolate will get a white film on it, much like if you open a candy bar that might have gotten a little hot in the sun and then cooled.  This does not modify the taste of the treat just makes it look a bit funny.  I find it best to let the pan sit on a table for a couple of hours before placing in the fridge.

• 16 ounces of natural peanut butter
• 2 cups of confectioners sugar
• 3 cups of corn wheat or rice cereal, your choice
• 1 package (12 to 16 ounces) dark chocolate chips (remember to check the back for milk fat if you are preparing for a strict vegan)

Put the chocolate in a double boiler to melt on low heat.  As that is melting prep the mix by placing the three remaining ingredients in a bowl and mixing I usually add the peanut butter first followed by half the sugar then half of the cereal then the other half of the sugar and the other half of the cereal.  Mix well and place in a 9' by 13' pan, press down with a flat surface but not to hard.

the mix ready for the pan

When the chocolate is melted poor over the mix in the pan.  Make sure to get the corners they sometimes can get skipped easily.  Then take a fork punch into the mix,  this will allow the chocolate to mix with the peanut butter, do as many pokes as you want!  After they cool cut in small sections because they are very rich!

Mix ready for the chocolate

cooling... then yum!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vegan No-Meatballs

These are great in pasta, in a sandwich, just with sauce!  I love love love these no-meatballs so much, I usually make a big batch and freeze what I do not want to use right away.  They keep well in the fridge for up to a week too.  I think freezing is a better way to go because they naturally will thaw and warm in a sauce cooking on the stove.

• 1 package (14 oz) of "Gimme Lean" Ground Sausage Style Meat Alternative by Lightlife
• 3/4 cup gluten flour
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tbsp "Frenche's" French Fried Onions
• 1 medium onion chopped
• 1/3 cup bread crumbs
• 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped fine (dried is also usable but fresh has a better flavor)
• 1 tbsp dried oregano 
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/2 tsp salt

one big no-meatball!

Combine Gimme Lean and onion and mash, I use my hands to get the mixture mixed.  It will be sticky so if you want put a bit of gluten flour on your hands so they don't get to much stuck on them.  Next add the gluten flower and water, the dough will become gummy in places where the gluten flower and water are not mixed with the rest, keep mixing until no gummy parts exist.  Add bread crumbs and the French Fried Onions keep mixing finally add the spices, and combine into one large ball.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer (the refrigeration is used to stiffen the dough to make it easier to form into balls, in a pinch I won't refrigerate but have a harder time forming the balls).  Next form into smaller balls between 2 and 3 inches in diameter.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes flip and bake for another 12 minutes.  Then enjoy!

just out of the oven