I have a special treat for you today. Or rather, I should say that Joni and Celine have an incredible dessert for you today. Fresh from their new cookbook, Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, comes this drop-dead decadent (yet somewhat wholesome) apple pie, pictured here with the most monsterous “a la mode” scoop of vanilla (dairy-free) ice cream that I have ever seen. These ladies take their desserts seriously.
But what really sets this pie apart from other apple pies is the pecan crust. Sweetened lightly with brown sugar, the pecans are ground to infuse a pecan pie-like flavor into the crust. Two pies in one! How can you go wrong with that? Of course, this is just a sampling of the “Ooey, Gooey, and Downright Sinful Sweets” in Hearty Vegan. And yes, that really is the title of the jam-packed dessert chapter!
Enjoy the following recipe over the holidays or any day that you deserve something sweet …
- Non-stick cooking spray
- ¾ Cup (74 g) Pecan Halves
- 1-1/2 Cups (180 g) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- ¼ Cup (55 g) Packed Light Brown Sugar
- Pinch Fine Sea Salt
- ¼ Cup (56 g) Dairy-Free Margarine
- ¼ Cup (60 ml) Dairy-Free Milk Alternative, as needed
- 4 Large Granny Smith or other good-for-baking apples, peeling optional, cored, quartered, cubed into bite-size pieces
- 2 Tablespoons (28 g) Dairy-Free Margarine
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) Dairy-Free Milk Alternative or Fresh Lemon Juice, divided
- ½ Cup (110 g) Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pinch Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon (8 g) Cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Lightly coat a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate with spray.
- Add pecans, flour, sugar, salt and butter to a food processor. Pulse a few times to grind pecans and combine.
- Add milk, a little at a time, just until the dough sticks together when pinched.
- Evenly crumble dough into the prepared pie plate, and press it down to cover the whole bottom and sides of the plate. Make sure no cracks are left so that the filling has no chance to seep down through them. Alternatively, you can roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface and carefully transfer it into the pie plate to fit it in. You can also optionally reserve a generous handful of the crust to crumble on top of the filling as it bakes.
- Cover the crust with a piece of parchment and pie weights. Pre-bake for 24 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients (only 2 tablespoons [30 ml] milk or lemon juice, and save the cornstarch for later!) in a pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook on medium for 14 minutes, stirring often. The syrup must be rather thick and the apples just barely tender without falling apart.
- Combine remaining milk or juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add into the apple mixture, stirring well, and cook for another 2 minutes until thickened.
- Place filling evenly into crust. Bake for another 24 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
- Place the pie plate on a wire rack to cool.
- As is customary with pies, the first slice might be a mess: a good excuse to sacrifice yourself and have at it before anyone else does. Awfully sweet of you, innit?