Sometimes I like to just make it up as I go in the kitchen. It can be fun to experiment and see what you come up with! I had some leftover pie crust after making a pot pie, and I had a variety of frozen, fresh, and dried fruit. I didn’t have enough of any one or even any two fruits to make a pie, but altogether I had just enough. So I went with the ‘kitchen sink’ way of cooking – throw in everything but the kitchen sink. I had frozen strawberries, frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), frozen mango, a fresh apple, and dried apricots.
I topped it off with some crumb topping and the result was surprisingly yummy! If one fruit makes a tasty pie, then six make an extra tasty pie. The flavors blended really well together, and I think I’ll be mixing fruits in pies more often!
1 batch of pie crust for a crust on top and bottom, or half a batch for a crust on bottom and crumb topping on top
4-5 cups of fruit ( I used 2 cups of frozen berries, 1 cup of frozen mangos, 1 fresh apple, and about 1 cup of dried apricots)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegan butter
- Prepare your dough and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour before using. Preheat the oven to 350°.
- If you’re using frozen fruit, defrost it. Chop the fruit and place it in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon zest. Stir until all of the fruit is evenly coated.
- Prepare the crumb topping. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter using a pasty blender, fork, or even your hands. You could also use a stand mixer on a low setting until it’s reaches a crumbly texture. Don’t over mix or it will eventually turn into dough rather than crumb.
- If you made a full batch of pie dough, split it in half and roll out one half on a floured surface. It should be rolled to about 1/4 inch thickness. Pick up the dough using the rolling pin to support it and place it in the bottom of the pie dish. Trim excess dough and crimp the edges.
- Pour your fruit mixture into the pie crust and spread it out evenly. Top the pie with the crumb topping. Or, if you’re putting a crust on top, roll out the crust, place it on top of the pie, trim the excess, and crimp the edges. You’ll also want to poke a few holes in the top crust with a fork so steam can vent out.
- Bake the pie at 350° for 45-60 minutes. The crumb should be starting to turn golden, and the fruit juices should be bubbling around the edges.
My girlfriend, Laura, grew up in Central Pennsylvania, and she has PA Dutch roots going back to the 1600’s. Her favorite pie is Shoofly pie which is a traditional PA Dutch recipe featuring molasses. I had never had shoofly pie before, but wanted to try making a vegan shoofly pie like the ones she had growing up. There are different variations on the shoofly pie including wet bottom and dry bottom. Laura said this pie is very similar to the ones she grew up with and that it falls somewhere between a wet bottom and a dry bottom shoofly pie.
Having never had shoofly pie before, it tasted similar to gingerbread minus the ginger since the molasses bottom and crumb topping merge and create a cake-y layer in the middle. Although pies are usually best warm, I actually liked this pie better after it sat in the fridge for a day or two. The molasses firm up and I like the texture after the layers have settled a bit. This makes it a perfect recipe to make a day ahead of time for Thanksgiving or Christmas! The molasses give it a flavor that just seems to fit with the fall/winter months when gingerbread, gingersnaps and other recipes with molasses are popular.
Before we get to the recipe, I also wanted to share a list of upcoming craft shows where I will be selling my handmade fused glass including pendants, earrings, bracelets, pins, and ornaments. My brother, Don Morrison, will also be at these shows with me selling his fused glass and metal jewelry and glass dishes. It would be great to see you at a show! If you don’t live in the area, check out the jewelry I have posted on my Etsy Shop – The Creative Kat. I have many more pendants, earrings, and bracelets than I can list on Etsy, so if there’s something in particular that you’re looking for or you want to see other colors or designs, let me know!
And now, back to the Shoofly pie!
Pie Crust – make a full batch – you won’t need all of it, but half a batch wasn’t quite enough
1 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup boiling water
3/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder + 2 Tbsp warm water
- Prepare the pie crust following this recipe. Place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour before assembling the pie.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Place it in the pie plate, remove the excess dough, and crimp the edges. Set aside.
- Break the vegan butter into small chunks. Prepare the crumb topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, and butter. You can use a stand mixer or mix it by hand using a pastry cutter. Mix it until it starts to stick together and look crumbly. Over-mixing will turn it into dough, so keep an eye on it.
- Whisk together the Ener-G Egg Replacer powder and warm water and set aside. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the molasses and egg replacer mixture.
- Pour the molasses filling into the crust. Then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the filling. Most of the crumb will sink into the molasses filling, but some will stay dry on top. This is what creates the layers of molasses, cake-y middle, and crumb top.
- Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes. Let it cool and serve warm or cold based on your preference. Enjoy!
My mom used to make chicken pot pie while I was growing up and it was one of my favorites. It’s really easy to veganize and perfect for feeding a big group or bringing to a pot luck. It’s a crowd pleaser! I made it for a family gathering of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores and everyone seemed to like it.
It also makes yummy leftovers the next day. You can make the filling and dough a day ahead of time if need be, and assemble it right before you bake it. This can help ease your work load if you’re cooking for a holiday or have family and friends over.
1 3/4 cups veggie broth
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup soy milk
2-3 potatoes chopped (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
2-3 stalks of celery
4 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
1 8 oz pack of seitan
1-2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 1/2 cups frozen peas or mixed veggies
- Follow the directions from my pie crust post to make a vegan crust for the top of the pot pie. Since you only need a crust for the top of the pot pie and not the bottom, you can cut the recipe in half. Add fresh herbs into the dough if you like. Place the dough in the fridge while you prep the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Bring the veggie broth to a boil in a large pot. While you’re waiting for it to boil, peel and chop your potatoes into small pieces.
- Reduce the broth to a simmer. Whisk together the flour and soy milk and add it to the veggie broth. Whisk to combine.
- Add the potatoes and pearl onions to the stock and allow them to simmer while you prep other ingredients.
- Peel and chop your carrots. Chop your celery. Finely chop the shallots and onion and mince or press the garlic.
- Saute the shallots, onion, and garlic in a little vegan butter.
- Add the carrots, celery, shallots, onion, garlic, and frozen peas/veggies to the broth. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes. If the sauce doesn’t seem to be thickening enough, you can whisk up a little more flour in soy milk and add it to the broth. Add salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to taste. Pour the filling into a casserole dish.
- Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface. It should be about 1/4 inch thick and a little larger than the shape of your casserole dish. Place the crust on top of the casserole dish. Fold over the edges of the dough and press them down crimping along the edge of the dish. Remove any excess dough.
- Poke some holes in the dough using a fork so steam can vent out.
- Bake the pot pie for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the crust is getting too dark you can place tin foil on top during part of the baking process.
Homemade pie crust is one of those things that can be intimidating to make the first time, but it’s actually not that hard. I got a new pie plate and a pie bird for Christmas, so I wanted to try them out. I veganized a pie crust recipe from The Joy of Cooking to make an apple pie a little while back and the crust came out perfectly. Everyone has their own way of making pie crust, but this one works really well for me.
Growing up, my mom always made her own pie crusts, and she’s really good at it. Maybe I’m just spoiled, but I think homemade pie crust is so much better than frozen store bought crust! It’s really worth the effort to make it yourself. Try out this recipe with your favorite filling. It makes enough for the top and bottom crust for a 9 inch pie plate. It could also work as the top of a pot pie if you added in some savory spices like thyme or rosemary.
A few tips before you start… The recipe calls for using ice cold water. The reason that you want cold water is so the shortening and vegan butter don’t melt in the dough. On that note, the shortening and vegan butter should also be cold when you start working with them. Don’t leave the vegan butter out to soften up. Another important thing is not to overwork the dough or it will get tough. Just do enough to get everything combined. The amount of water you need to add can also vary greatly depending on a lot of different factors. Just pay attention to the dough and only add a little at a time until you have just enough. If you’re wondering what a pie bird is, it’s a little ceramic bird that is open on the bottom and the beak. It helps vent steam out of your pie while it bakes. They help prevent the filling from boiling up and breaking through the crust.
If you want some very detailed and more scientific info about making pie crust and the various factors that come into play, check out this post on Serious Eats called The Food Lab: The Science of Pie Dough.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vegan sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Spectrum vegetable shortening
1 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance or Smart Balance) or another cup of vegetable shortening
1/3 + 1 tbsp (and maybe more) of ice cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir so they are well combined.
- Break the vegan butter and shortening into chunks and add them to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients. The mixture will start to form crumbs, with some of the shortening and vegan butter remaining in about pea size clumps. Don’t over mix it. It should be dry and crumby, not pasty like a dough or batter.
- Slowly drizzle 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp of ice cold water over the mixture. Using a spatula, gently cut the water into the mixture so it’s evenly distributed. It will start to form into balls of dough that should stick together if you press them together. If the dough won’t come together, continue to add ice cold water 1 tbsp at a time until it does. The dough should be a little on the dry and flaky side however, so don’t add too much water. You can use your hands or the spatula to gently coax the dough together. It’s not going to look smooth like bread dough. It will be a rougher texture. It’s okay to still see little bits of the shortening and butter in the dough. Don’t overwork the dough. Just do enough to get everything combined.
- Separate the dough into two even balls and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for at least half an hour, but it’s best to leave it several hours.
- When you’re ready to use the dough, preheat the oven to 425°. Roll the dough out on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin until it has formed a circle big enough for your pie plate. If any holes form, patch them with extra dough. Using the rolling pin to support the dough, pick it up and place it flat in the pie plate. Pinch off excess dough that hangs over the sides.
- If you’re using a pie bird, place the pie bird in the middle of the crust and fill the pie with your favorite fruit filling around the pie bird. The bird’s head should be sticking out of the top of the fruit. Then roll out the dough for the top in the same way you rolled the bottom. Lift it up with the rolling pin and place it on top of the filling. Cut a little x in the center of the dough so the head of the pie bird can peak through the crust. Crimp down the edges of the dough to form a seal, removing excess dough as you go. If you aren’t using a pie bird, you’ll want to poke the top crust with a fork 6-8 times around the top so the steam can vent.
- Before baking the pie, I brushed on a little soy milk and sprinkled on some cinnamon sugar, but this is optional. I like the texture and golden color it creates on top though.
- Bake the pie at 425° for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° and bake 30 to 45 minutes more. The top of the pie should look golden brown and you should see thick juice bubbling around the edges when it’s done. Pull the pie out of the oven and let it cool. Enjoy!