Thanksgiving is so close I can almost taste it! If you haven’t already, it’s time to start finalizing your Turkey Day menu. For those of you who recently started following a vegan meal plan and are stumped about what to feed your friends and family this year, be sure to reference last week’s blog post, where we featured our favorite vegan holiday recipes. We think you’ll find them delightful.
For those in charge of dessert this Thanksgiving, don’t click that back button. We have two vegan pie recipes and two vegan pie crust recipes we’re excited share with our fellow plant-based foodies. Below you’ll find a Thanksgiving classic, Pumpkin Pie, along with an Apple Tart, which has proven to be a crowd favorite throughout the holiday season. While you can mix and match your favorite pie to your favorite pie crust, we recommend pairing our Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust with the Apple Tart. Our Toasted Pecan Pie Crust is a divine match for the Pumpkin Pie. Enjoy!
1 baked Toasted Pecan Pie Crust*
16 pecan halves
12 oz. firm silken tofu
2 cups pumpkin puree
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
¼ cup cornstarch
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare your pie crust. If you're using a store bought crust, cook according to package directions. I like to under bake the crust just a bit so it doesn't get too dry.
2. Toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for 7 minutes and set them aside to cool.
3. In a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients: tofu, pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Process until smooth and completely combined. Pour your pumpkin mixture into your prepared crust.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the filling sets along the edges and your crust is golden brown. The center may still be jiggly and soft, but it will firm up as it cools.
5. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then gently top with your toasted pecans. Then let your pie cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to set for another hour or two.
Adapted from Orangette
1 uncooked Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust*
6 to 7 medium Granny Smith apples (about 2 1⁄2 lbs)
1 c. evaporated cane juice or sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 c. water
1. Set an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Whether you're using homemade or store bought crust, be sure to let it soften a bit before rolling it out. This will keep it from cracking.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that's about 11 x 16 inches. (If you use store bought crust, keep in mind your tart will probably be round, not rectangular. But no big deal. It can be any shape.)
4. Transfer the dough to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
5. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Remove the cores, and toss them into a medium saucepan along with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
6. Lightly simmer over low heat until the mixture has reduced to a thick syrup. Strain out and discard the apple bits. Set the syrup aside. Meanwhile, cut the apples into thin – roughly ⅛- to ¼-inch-thick – slices. Arrange the apple slices over the pastry in 5 rows, overlapping them just slightly (see photo). Sprinkle sugar generously over the apples. Fold over the edges of the dough a bit to form a small rim.
7. Bake the tart until crisp and golden brown and the apples are just beginning to color (mine stayed pretty pale), about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
8. Just before serving, rewarm the glaze. Slide the tart from the pan onto a cutting board. Brush the apples with the warm glaze. Slice, and serve.
You can totally skip making your own pie crust. Vegan pie crusts are widely available in the freezer section of most health food stores. It might just save your sanity and make pie making a relaxing and enjoyable experience if baking isn't necessarily your thing. Regardless of which route you choose, under bake your crust. Take it out of the oven at the first hint of browning. If your crust starts to get too dark during the second bake (with the filling) make a little foil cover for it.