Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cherry-Gooseberry Pie

The season on Gooseberries is so short you need to grab them when you see them. They freeze well but are not commercially grown it is always in my experience a local independent farmer what brings them to market. A good Gooseberry is tart and firm, they make a great counterpoint to a sweet fruit like a Cherry! This particular pie is one of my all time favorites because of all the wonderful flavors in it. I am a fan of the tartness of the Gooseberries if you want a sweeter pie add more sugar or sweetener of your choice. This pie crust is an old family recipe made vegan by me commercially prepared pie crusts are available for people that don't have the time to make their own but I promise mine is much more tasty so try your hand at it and let me know what you think!

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.
the crust rolled out

• 1 1/2 quarts cherries pitted (there are gadgets that stone your cherries for you in all the kitchen stores, but I am a fan of a large paper clip sanitized, and bent into an S, these are the easiest for me to work with, and take up a lot less room than a big cherry stoner)
• 1 quart gooseberries
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 3 tbsp flour (as a binding agent)
these cherries are pitted!
gooseberries added

Mix sugar and vanilla together well, add the cherries and gooseberries, mix well. Place in large pot on low heat for about 10 minutes, this will release the juices in some of the fruit, add the flour and stir well, be careful not to break any of the fruit. Place in pie dish over rolled out dough.
ready for the oven!
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 berries are soft when poked and crust is a golden color.

Done and yum!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vegan Bon Bons

So it is officially hot and what better way to combat the hot weather with Bon Bons! A traditional Bon Bon is made of ice cream and chocolate and most of the time pretty high in fat. Well these little beauties are full of potassium and not as much fat!
• 4 ripe bananas
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
• 2 tbsp agave nectar
In a double bolier start melting one cup of chocolate. To prepare the bananas blend in blender until smooth along with the vanilla and agave nectar then add the chocolate that has been melted, blend until an even color is reached. Freeze this mixture for two or more hours.
frozen mixture

Then with a either a spoon or melon baller make either full round or half rounds. You have to work quick you don't want the mixture to melt in your hands! Then place in the freezer again this time for 30 minutes or longer. Double boil the other cup of chocolate. Remove from heat and drop the rounds in the chocolate, I find it is best to use a fork to get an even coating and not to much clumping. The chocolate will make a hard shell around the mixture and they are ready to enjoy!
Refreshing and Yummy!