Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cranberry-Pear Crumb Pie

I decided to get ambitious this afternoon and bake a pie, what with it being the holiday season and all. Aside from switching real butter to vegan butter, the rest of this recipe was already vegan!

To make the crust, spoon one cup all-purpose flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife. Transfer to a bowl, and combine with 1/8 tsp. salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons chilled vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) and 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening - try the non-hydrogenated, vegan-approved shortening from Jungle - you can find it in the baking aisle at Whole Foods.

Cut the butter and shortening in either using a pastry blender, two knives, or the back of a fork, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time, up to 3 and a half tablespoons (I used three), tossing with a fork each time until the dough is moist. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 4-inch circle. Cover with an additional sheet of plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

(Note: in case it's not obvious, ice water is just ice and cold water in a bowl together so that the water gets extra cold).

While the dough chills, make the filling and the topping.

For the filling: peel and thinly slice enough pears to equal 5 cups (about 5 pears or 2 pounds worth). Combine in a bowl with a cup and a half fresh cranberries. Add 2/3 cup organic brown sugar, 3 tablespoons uncooked tapioca, a tablespoon lemon juice, a teaspoon grated lemon rind, a teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Set aside.

For the topping: spoon 1/4 cup all-purpose flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine in a bowl with 1/4 cup more brown sugar, 1/4 cup regular oats and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in 2 more tablespoons butter, using the same method as in the dough above, until the mixture is like coarse crumbs. Set aside.

When the dough is done chilling, place on a flat surface and roll, still covered in the plastic, into a 12-inch circle. Remove one sheet of plastic, and fit into a 9-inch pie pan coated with cooking spray (oops! I forgot this step... Crossing my fingers that the dough doesn't stick to the pan...). Remove the top layer of plastic wrap.

Fold the wedges of the dough under and flute. I admit I did a sort of half-assed job on fluting since it was my first attempt. For better instructions than I can give you, follow this link:

Now spoon the pear filling into the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the topping. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Let stand at least 20 minutes before serving.

Cut the pie into 10 wedges and each serving is 310 calories.

And here's a piece of pie:

vegan butter $3.39
pear $5.15
lemon $0.79

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance