Walnut and Cinnamon Peach Crisp

The perfect bite of peach crisp

Walnut and Cinnamon Peach Crisp

Walnuts and cinnamon and peaches … oh, my! Looking at half a flat of local peaches, I was devising ways to use up a good portion of them when a crisp came to mind. The dessert turned out so velvety, luscious, and decadent that I wanted to eat the entire dish in one sitting, for dinner. A few bites were saved for breakfast, but it’s best to reheat it to bring out the full peachy flavor.

The recipe I liked had few ingredients and good preparation techniques but made a large baking dish of crisp, so I scaled it down. Then I added walnuts because I love a crunchy topping. To veganize it I used vegan buttery sticks. Fortunately, nothing needed to be changed for altitude. My final fix was to prefer mixing with my hands instead of using a stick blender. It made for easier kitchen cleanup, and it allowed me to create larger clumps of topping goodness.

Walnut and Cinnamon Peach Crisp adapted from Cinnamon-Oat Peach Crisp

3 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4” slices
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
2 TBS + 3/4 cup all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
1/2 cup rough chopped walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan margarine, softened

Toss peaches, granulated sugar, and 2 TBS flour in a bowl to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup flour in a large bowl to combine. Add margarine and mix it in with your fingers, removing any lumps.

Place a rack in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 350F. Scrape peaches and any juices into a 2-qt baking dish. Evenly scatter oat topping over peaches and bake until peaches are soft, fruit juices are bubbling, and topping is a deep golden brown, 40–45 minutes. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Until next time, happy baking!

Fruit Pocket Pies

Fruit Pocket Pies

Fruit Pocket Pies

Summer is all about the fruit as far as I’m concerned. And the best way to combine fresh fruit and baking is to make pies. If you are a regular reader, you know that I’m not fond of pies. So, the creation I found isn’t exactly a pie but a fruit pocket pie, a.k.a. a hand pie. It requires fewer steps and less perfection than a standard pie therefore it is a treat I will happily bake.

The recipe I used was already vegan and didn’t need high altitude tweaks, so I didn’t change much. However, I didn’t blend all of the berries together as the original recipe stated. Instead I made each pie its own fruit at my hubby’s request. Also, you may notice that my rolling pin looks like it has big rubber bands on it in the picture below. Those bands are an item that ensures the thickness of your dough without measuring or having to eyeball it. This dough-rolling novice thought they made the work much easier, and easier work in the kitchen is a good thing.

Fruit Pocket Pies based on Berry Hand Pies

For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS mild-flavored vegetable oil
3 to 5 TBS water, as needed to bring dough together
3 TBS maple syrup

For the filling:
1/3 cup vegan sugar
1 TBS all purpose flour
1 TBS lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup strawberries, destemmed and cut up
1/3 cup blueberries
1/3 cup red raspberries
1/3 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/8 tsp ground ginger

For the topping:
1 tsp vegan sugar

For the pastry: to a large bowl, add both flours, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk to combine. Drizzle oil over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, work the oil in so the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water and maple syrup and stir until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the filling: in a small bowl, place sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cardamom, and toss gently to combine. Add strawberries to the sugar mixture and roll around to coat. Remove the fruit and place in its own bowl. Repeat with the blueberries and then with the raspberries. For the cherries, add the ginger to the remaining sugar mixture and stir in. Then add the cherries and roll to coat. Set the four bowls of fruit aside.

berries, dough, and rolling pin

berries, dough, and rolling pin

Transfer the chilled dough to a floured work surface. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out to 1/8” thickness, then cut it into 5” circles. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the circles to the prepared cookie sheet. Add trimmings to the remaining pastry dough and repeat the procedure to yield 7 or 8 circles. Add a fruit filling to the center of each circle. Carefully fold over one side of pastry dough, press down around edges of the dough to seal, then crimp edges with a fork. Sprinkle the pies with the remaining one teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Until next time, happy baking!

Coffee Ice Cream Pie

coffee ice cream pie

coffee ice cream pie

While writing this post I learned a few things: 1) my husband does not like whipped topping, and 2) you can make a fantastic vegan caramel sauce without coconut (coconut, ewww). I had been determined to find a recipe for a yummy caramel sauce for years. In my search I also ran across many chocolate sauce recipes so I decided to make them both. The question was – what to do with them? I grabbed the Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I’d made over the summer and combined everything into a frozen pie. That’s where my husband’s lack of desire for whipped topping came to light. So, my pie has no vegan whipped topping, but if you want to garnish your pie with some then you go right ahead.

Let’s start with the sauces …

Caramel Sauce adapted from GoDairyFree.org
3/4 cup plain almond milk
3/4 cup vegan sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 TBS water
1 TBS arrowroot powder
2 TBS vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place milk, sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk well to combine. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together water and arrowroot, and then whisk mixture into pan. Cook mixture, while whisking constantly, an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until it thickens. Remove pan from heat and whisk in margarine and vanilla. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Chocolate Sauce adapted from KitchenTreaty.com
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup vegan sugar
1 cup cold water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBS vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder and sugar until blended. Add water and salt, and whisk over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Continue boiling until mixture thickens, for 3-4 minutes. It will still be fairly thin. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. It should keep for at least a month.

Now we put it all together in a chocolate shell …

Coffee Ice Cream Pie
1-1/2 cups vegan chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (can use gluten-free, if desired)
3 tablespoons vegan margarine, melted
4 cups vegan coffee chocolate chip ice cream, softened
1/4 cup caramel sauce (see recipe above)
2 TBS chocolate syrup (see recipe above)
In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and margarine. Press into bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9” pie plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon ice cream into crust. Spread caramel sauce over top. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.

Until next time, happy unbaking!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pi Day Pie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pi Day Pie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pi Day Pie

Pi Day, celebrated on March 14th (3/14), is upon us. And, because I like math and puns, I am making Pie. If you read my Pi Day post last year, you know that I’m not a fan of traditional pie crust. So, I searched for a different type of pie recipe. The one I found sounded too good to pass up because it highlighted peanut butter and chocolate.

This unbaked pie didn’t need any high altitude tricks, and it was vegan so it didn’t require any of those conversions. My additional of milk did make it easier to blend and pour into the pie shell. I may have taken the easy route, but, c’mon – chocolate and peanut butter … in a pie. So here is a simple, albeit time-consuming in the fridge, pie recipe to help you celebrate Pi Day.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pi Day Pie based on Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
for the Crust
10 graham cracker sheets
5 TBS melted coconut oil
for the Filling
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1.25 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup almond milk
12 oz silken tofu
banana slices for decoration
Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they are completely ground up. In a bowl, combine ground graham crackers with melted coconut oil and stir well. Pour mixture into an 8” pie pan and firmly press the crust onto the bottom and sides of pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Combine melted chocolate, peanut butter, milk, and tofu in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust and decorate with banana slices. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Until next time, happy un-baking!

Key Lime Pie Tarts

key lime pie tarts

key lime pie tarts

Pi day is tomorrow (3.14) and I wanted to celebrate with pie. The problem is that I don’t like crust so I’m not fond of pie. There is just one that I adore – Key Lime Pie. By making it I also thought that I could sneak in a nod to St. Patty’s Day with a “green” pie, although I ended up not adding food color. But the lime still evokes green, and I made crust!

The recipe I found was already vegan, so that part was easy. With the simple tart crusts I did not need to make high altitude changes. The adaptations I made were for other reasons. To start, I was going to visit a gluten-free friend so I found gluten-free, vegan cookies for the crust. It took some searching but Enjoy Life brand fit the requirements.

The other major change was to make a chocolate crust. When I was a kid I used to make a Key Lime Pie from packaged ingredients with a premade chocolate crust. The flavor combo of deep chocolate with tart lime was heaven. I recreated those tastes here and bumped up the chocolate by garnishing the mini pies with shaved chocolate. Memory lane can have some tasty moments.

Key Lime Pie Tarts adapted from Minimalist Baker
Crust:
1 1/4 cups gluten-free chocolate cookie crumbs (from about 5 oz of cookies)
2 1/2 TBS canola oil
Filling:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight), then drained
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, well shaken
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3-4 large limes or 6-7 key limes (1 Tbsp zest, 1/2 cup juice)
1/3 cup agave nectar
Garnish:
shaved dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Add cookie crumbs to a food processor and process until you achieve a fine meal. Add oil and pulse to combine; you should get a consistency like wet sand. Distribute evenly among muffin tins and press down with the bottom of a shot glass to flatten. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Add filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime juice for more tart, or more agave for added sweetness. Pour filling into muffin tins and tap on counter to release air bubbles. Cover loosely. Freeze for 1/2 hour, then garnish with shaved chocolate. Return to freezer for 1-3 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Until next time, happy baking!