Pie Crust Crisps with Pumpkin Mousse and Whipped Cream | Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Twenty

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Three: Ingredient Challenges
Deconstructed dish: Hipster style food. Serving it on a slate is optional.

I was tossing and turning the other night, awoken by a thirsty Moria who’d gotten up for a midnight drink, when the idea came to me: deconstructed pies. Pie crust — turned into individual crisps. Pie filling — turned into dip for said crisps. Whipped cream — because duh. A hands-on eating project where you have completely control over your pie-to-filling ratio.

It was, apparently, a better idea than the one I’d been planning on for this prompt: deconstructed pierogies, basically potato-onion patties, pan-fried and served with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and cashew sour cream. Those fell squarely into the MoFo fail category; I tried making them in September and they were… not good. Gluey and dense, the patties reminded me more of a make-your-own-paste project than pierogies in any form.

Pie crust crisps with pumpkin mousseHappily, this deconstructed pie idea worked out much better. Although I think apple pie would’ve been lovely here — I’m imagining dipping the crust crisps into gooey apple-y filling — I opted for pumpkin, simply because I had a can on hand and knew I could whip up a mousse-like dip easily. This recipe is more like a template; play with it to create the deconstructed pie of your dreams!

Pie Crust Crisps with Pumpkin Mousse and Whipped Cream

Makes a whole lot

  • 1 recipe your favorite pie crust recipe (I used this one, swapping in 1/4 almond meal for some of the flour and using half coconut oil alongside the shortening.)
  • 1 recipe pumpkin mousse (I used this one, but used just two tablespoons brown sugar and 1/3 cup maple syrup. It’s not super sweet, so adjust accordingly. I also added spices to taste.)
  • 1 recipe aquafaba whipped cream or coconut whipped cream (The former is nice and light, while the latter is richer and creamier.)

First, prepare your pie crust dough according to the recipe’s instructions, including preheating the oven and lining a pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough to a little less than 1/4″ thick, then cut into triangles. (I cut around a small plate, then sectioned that into eight triangles.) Move the triangles to a baking pan. Optionally, brush with aquafaba and sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake according to directions — mine took about 17 minutes. Don’t overcook!

While the crisps are baking, prepare the mousse and whipped cream according to your recipes.

Remove crisps from oven when just barely golden. Let cool before serving.

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Pie crust crisps with pumpkin mousse // govegga.com

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Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Three: Rainbow Week

A few years back, the phrase “sweet potato pie” would’ve made me pull a face and retch theatrically. I became a sweet potato fan in my mid-twenties after side-eying them dubiously for much of my life. (That ol’ sweet-when-it-should-be-savory distaste again!) But after going vegan and encouraging myself to try foods I thought I didn’t care for, I found that with the proper preparation, even previously off-limits ingredients like squash and sweet potatoes could be — shocker — quite enjoyable.

So today I’m bringing a beautiful toasty orange color into rainbow week with a creamy sweet potato pie ensconced in a nutty pecan crust. Sweetened by dates and maple syrup, this pie elevates the humble sweet potato to Thanksgiving dessert status. If time isn’t on your side or you’ve got someone with a nut allergy at the table, feel free to substitute your favorite regular ol’ pie crust. (And pardon my cake tin in the photos below — I didn’t have a “real” pie pan when I first developed this recipe!)

Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

This pie comes together surprisingly easily after you’ve measured out the ingredients and pitted the dates. You actually won’t need any mixing bowls: the crust ingredients are whizzed up in the food processor, while the pie filling gets combined right in your blender. The hardest part is probably waiting for it to cool! But make sure you do; you want it to solidify so it cuts well and doesn’t melt onto your plate.

Bonus: Assuming your oats and cornstarch are certified gluten-free, you’re on your way towards making a beautiful vegan, gluten-free sweet potato pie sure to please everyone.

Serve with your favorite vegan whipped cream (coconut, aquafaba, Soyatoo) for a decadent treat. <3

Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust

For the crust
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 16 dates)
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 T coconut oil (solid)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the pie
  • 2 cups sweet potato, baked and mashed (measure after baking)
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp ginger (depending on how much of a kick you like)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash cloves

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

First, make the crust. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until crumbly. The mixture should hold together if you scoop it into a ball and press it between your hands; add a few more pecans if it’s too soft. Prepare a pie pan by spraying liberally with oil, then use your hands to press the crust into the pan, pushing it up the sides by 1/2″ to 3/4″.

Next, prepare the filling by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender. (A regular one will likely work, but I’d recommend soaking the dates first.) Pour filling into the crust and use a spatula to spread evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is set. Chill for at least three hours before serving.

Notes

  • If maple syrup breaks the budget, feel free to substitute agave nectar instead. Brown sugar would also likely work, though I haven’t tried it.
  • I recommend baking the potatoes a day in advance to save time. Just put them in the oven alongside anything else you’re cooking, then on the day you make the pie, they’ll be cool and easy to pop out of the skins. Baking is crucial to get a really caramelized, sweet flavor; don’t try to steam the sweet potatoes as a shortcut!
  • I got the idea to use aquafaba from another blogger who made a pumpkin pie using it, but I can’t recall who it is. Thanks for the tip!

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Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

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Apple Galette!


Okay, okay—I know I just said that I was wearying of baked goods. But how could I let this MoFo pass me by without making some sort of apple pie?! It would be a travesty. It would be a golden opportunity lost. It would be downright un-American.

Having conquered a lattice crust last year, I felt little pressure to go all-out for this pie. Instead, I fell prey to the easy and unaffected charm of a galette. To make a galette, you simply prepare a bottom crust and gently tuck it around a version of pie filling that’s less juicy than usual. It’s a great no-fuss option, especially because it’s meant to look rustic and a bit rough around the edges.

 

apple-galette_9829650833_o

I borrowed heavily from this pear galette at RansomCakes, using that recipe for the crust. For the filling, I thinly sliced four Macintosh apples and tossed them with:

  • 2 T vegan sugar (plus a small dash of brown sugar)
  • 2 T spelt flour
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • A few dashes nutmeg

I also borrowed the idea of using extra dough to make shapes on top of the galette. Stars aren’t particularly seasonal, but they’re the smallest cookie cutters I have!

To be honest, I wasn’t in love with this—the crust’s texture was a little off; it just wasn’t at allc crispy (S liked it, describing itc as “almost biscuit-y”). And it made a rather small galette, with just six or so small pieces. (That might’ve been my fault; I probably could’ve rolled the dough a bit thinner.) But it was easy and pretty quick to put together, so I’m not complaining!

What’s your favorite pie-type food to make or eat?

A Post About Pie

Saturday was an odd day. It was unseasonably warm, but that didn’t stop S and I from going through with our Saturday-morning plans – seeing a matinee of Skyfall (solid Bond movie – I really enjoyed it). Afterwards, we went home and had a late, snacky lunch, then headed out to a local park with Moria to enjoy the warmth and read our books. Shortly after we arrived, however, the clouds came out, the sun hid, and we got a bit chilly. We packed up and started heading back just as it started to drizzle.

After we got home, S left to get a haircut while I started a baking project. Just a few moments later he returned; the barbershop was closing soon and wasn’t taking anyone else. Things started to go downhill at that point – I got cranky because the kitchen was a mess and there were dishes to put away, S didn’t like my crankiness, I got even crankier… it was Not Good. S left again, this time to pick up some panko for dinner, and I continued my baking project. He returned. He apologized. I ignored him. (Yes, sometimes I’m a child.) I continued my baking project. S disappeared into the other room to put away laundry. As I worked, enjoying the thrill of trying a new-to-me technique, my crankiness slowly dissipated. I apologized, and then I showed off my creation:

Top-down view of an apple pie with a lattice-work crust. It's sitting on a plaid tablecloth.

Pie!

Yes, that is my first-ever lattice-crust pie! I know the edges need work; I didn’t leave enough overhang. But! The lattice isn’t half-bad, right? I was so proud as I eagerly checked the oven during baking and saw the pastry crust getting all flaky and puffy and beautiful! The funny thing is, though, that I actually don’t care much for pie crust in general – it doesn’t taste very good to me, and I just find it overwhelmingly rich. As a kid, the uber-fat-laden crust gave me a stomachache, so I often left large crust portions uneaten. Nowadays I can handle it a little better, but not by much – I still sometimes leave bits uneaten. For this particular crust, I followed Vegan Dad’s recipe, and as far as crusts go, it tasted just fine. ;)

In keeping with the season (nominally, if not actual-weatherly), I made an apple pie. Why not start the Thanksgiving season a little early, right? I used a mish-mash recipe for the filling, but next time I’ll be sure to cut my apples much, much thinner; I got a bit lazy with this batch and some of them were a little large. I was pleased that the pie wasn’t gooey or liquidy at all – there’s nothing quite as disappointing as a runny pie, y’know? I even had a little extra crust after applying the lattice – enough to make a mini-pie in my super adorable mini casserole dish:

Small oval-shaped casserole dish with apple filling and messy lattice crust.

Baby pie.

Both pies baked up beautifully (and I got to cross off one of my 25 for 25 goals!). As I topped S’s piece with some Soyatoo I’d picked up a few weeks back, I felt a little less guilty for snapping at him earlier – nothing like making dessert to prove your love and sincere regret for bad behavior, right? ;) Not that S needed it – he is insanely patient with me. Even while I was being mean to him, he’d been putting away my laundry for me. What a guy.

And what a pie.

Top-down view of a single piece of pie on a while plate. The tip is eaten and a fork is stuck into the top.

Ah, the wonders of natural light.

What’s your pie crust style of choice?