Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Notes on a vegan cherry pie

June 18, 2017


My Twin Peaks cherry pie was so unforgettably good that only a month later I rolled up my sleeves to try making a vegan version. There's just one ingredient that needs substitution: butter. Following discussion on our facebook page, I replaced the butter with the same weight of Nuttelex and set my food processor a-whirring. It melded with the flour, forming a dough without need of any of the water listed as the final ingredient.

Then came the tough part. This vegan crust was easy to roll but impossible to pick up without extensive tearing. I rolled it twice, cursed the heavens a hundred times, and patched it up as best I could. Forming the lattice wasn't much better, with all of my pastry ribbons breaking in one, if not three, spots. For all that angst, my pie was a flawed beauty, just as sweet and juicy and sour and crumbly as the original. (If anything it was even more Twin Peaks-appropriate, with the filling gorily spilling from one side.)


So, what to do from here? Well, in the first instance we dolloped coconut yoghurt on the pie and shared it proudly with friends. A little later I pulled out my vegan pastry reference to compare recipes and reflect. It's possible that I was just rolling my small volume of dough too thin, and likely that my ratio of flour, fat and water was out of whack. Either way, I think the next iteration needs more flour (say, half-to-one cup) and whatever iced water is needed to form a dough. Hopefully this extended note to self will lead to an equally tasty but less fraught vegan cherry pie in... well, maybe one more month.

9 comments:

  1. It looks great despite your struggles! I always roll out pastry between two sheets of cling wrap or baking paper, following my mum's example. It keeps from dusting everything with flour, but also useful for picking up the pastry and moving it to the pie plate.

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    1. Hi Theresa! Thanks for this tip - it's my usual way too. Sadly the baking paper wasn't enough to preserve my pastry as I flipped it into the pie dish...!

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  2. It looks great despite your struggles! I always roll out pastry between two sheets of cling wrap or baking paper, following my mum's example. It keeps from dusting everything with flour, but also useful for picking up the pastry and moving it to the pie plate.

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  3. I am sure you made all takers very happy - looks beautiful. Some of the vegan pastry recipes I read have ground almonds in them (if you are willing to go into the nut minefield of allergies).

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    1. Hi Johanna - I haven't noticed nut-based pastry recipes before... with the exception of those raw ones which aren't rolled, I suppose. If nothing else I'm sure it would taste great.

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    2. Oops I don't mean pastries with all nuts - just with a few spoonfuls of nuts for a bit of extra richness, which might help structure too.

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    3. Ah, got it - I don't think I've ever encountered that before!

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  4. Nuttelex always seems to create a softer, more fragile pastry. Freezing it can help when rolling it out (but only slightly). A better bet might be swap it out for a sturdier vegan fat like coconut oil or even an olive oil

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    1. Hey, thanks for suggesting some different vegan-friendly fats! Definitely something I'll keep in mind for future attempts.

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