Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warm Apple-'Buttermilk' Custard Pie

I made a couple mistakes with this dessert, but luckily they were aesthetic ones, not ones that spoiled the yummy effect on the taste buds!

Namely, the original recipe called for fitting a 9-ounce pre-made pie crust into a deep-dish pie plate, a fact which my eyes skimmed right over. So when using the pre-made crust from Wholly Wholesome (certified vegan and available in the freezer section), I left it in its original 9-inch pie tin - which is not deep-dish. That meant that when it came time to assemble the pie, mine overflowed! I'll tell you more later on how I dealt with it... But basically, what you'll want to do, is let 1 Wholly Wholesome pie crust thaw to room temperature (they come 2 to a package so save the second crust for another use). Remove the thawed crust from its original tin-foil pan, and roll out on a work surface so that it forms a 14-inch circle; transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; fold the edges under and flute, then return to the fridge until ready to use.

Next, make the streusel topping: lightly spoon 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into a measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine the flour with 1/3 cup packed organic brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Cut 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) into small pieces; cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, or, I find that the back of a fork works just fine if you don't have a pastry blender; the mixture should look like coarse meal by the end. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

Next make the filling: peel and slice 5 cups of Granny Smith apple (about 4 apples). Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the apples, 1/4 cup raw sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the apple mixture into the prepared crust and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup raw sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp. salt and the equivalent of 3 eggs using egg replacer (such as Ener-G).

Make 2 cups vegan buttermilk by pouring 2 tablespoons lemon juice into a measuring cup, then filling with plain soy milk (such as Silk) to equal 2 cups. Let stand 5 minutes to clabber (sour) the mixture. Pour 1 and 3/4 cups of the 'buttermilk' into the sugar mixture - you can discard the extra 1/4 cup - along with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Pour this custard over the apple mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees; sprinkle the streusel over the pie and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Although the original recipe said to sprinkle on the streusel without removing the pie from the oven, I found this next-to-impossible without burning my hands on the top rack, so I confess to snatching the pie out for a moment.

After baking, let the pie stand for 1 hour before serving. Slice into 10 wedges of 320 calories each.

Okay, so it came to my attention that my pie plate wasn't deep enough when it came time to pour on the custard! I poured in as much as I could, but since my pie pan wasclose to overflowing, I decided to play it safe and place the pie plate on a baking sheet, to avoid spills on the bottom of the oven floor. There was still about 1/2 cup custard leftover, which I found dissatisfying, so when it came time to sprinkle on the streusel, I poured in the rest of the custard rather recklessly - this resulted in some spilling onto the baking sheet below my pie tin, but most of it managed to cover the apples! Basically, I made a mess :) But sometimes, that's what baking is all about, and like I said, all of these mistakes were purely aesthetic - my pie still tasted delicious, even if it looked a little sloppy. Again, these problems can be avoided if you use a deep-dish pie plate to start.

Here's a photo of the mess on my baking sheet!

But here it is after it's cooked and set...

Granny Smith apple $3.22

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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