Monday, February 14
Vegan Baking with That Silhouette Girl
Hi guys! I'm Catherine, from Silhouette Girl, filling in for Maggie today. I've never done a guest post before, so I'll admit, at first I was a little clueless on what to write about. I figured since it's Valentine's Day, half of us are probably celebrating while the other half of us are probably avoiding it. I'd throw myself into the latter group, but this is because of those pesky college applications.
Anyway, there's probably no better way to celebrate or avoid this holiday than eating delicious desserts - chocolate, cake, cookies, you name it. Lately I've been particularly fond of apple pie, so I'll share my recipe with you lovely readers! My aunt talked me through baking my first pie, but I've since haphazardly recorded the recipe, and now here's my fully edited version.
I use vegan versions of these ingredients, but feel free to swap out whatever you have on hand (butter instead of margarine, etc.).
Beforehand, you need: an oven preheated to 450 degrees, measuring cups and spoons, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 small mixing bowl, pastry cutter (or two forks), wax paper and tape/saran wrap, rolling pin, 9" pie pan, cookie sheet covered with tin foil
For the filling:
5 medium sized apples (I use Macintosh, but you could probably use Gala or a combination of different apples for a unique taste)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 quarter teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
Peel and cut apples, put in large bowl. Mix sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg/flour together, pour over apples, toss/stir until coated. Set aside.
For the crust:
2.5 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
1.5 stick margarine (or 1 stick of margarine with .25 cups shortening)
.25 tsp. salt
(.5 tsp. sugar, if you like your crust a little sweeter)
Cut margarine into little pieces, place in a metal or ceramic bowl. This next step might sound funny, but if you've baked a pie before, you know why. Place the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes, feel free to put the pastry cutter (or large forks, spoons, etc.) in too.
If you're using shortening, add it after the freezer - it's pretty difficult to work with frozen. Cut the margarine (and shortening) into flour with cutter, press in until smaller pieces until crumbly. Do not use your hands to mix yet - it has to be kept very cold! Add between 3 to 5 tbsp. of cold water quickly to mix into dough – this is used to bind the crust.
At this point, use your hands to mix the ingredients and form into a large ball. Cut in half, make two patties. Place one in the fridge, while the other is rolled out.
Set up your workstation: tape pieces of wax paper together, or cut several pieces of saran wrap and stick them together. (I use the latter - it's usually easier, and you can easily peel the dough off.) Lightly flour the surface, as well as the dough and rolling pin.
To roll it out, roll in opposite direction of previous roll. Go up, down, sideways, and diagonally until it's large enough for your pan. Put in pan, pour apple mixture in, and place four slices of margarine on top of the apples. Repeat the rolling process for the top layer.
Attaching the top can be a little tricky at first, but it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Use a fork to make ridges on the edge of the pan, then brush water on the edge. Carefully place the top layer on, and make fork ridges along the edge again.
Cut off excess dough with a knife, and cut slits in the center of the pie so steam can escape. You can brush on soy milk (or water) to make the pie a little shiny, but I usually skip this step. Sprinkle a little sugar on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then decrease to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour. HELPFUL TIP: Since pies can be messy in the oven, place a cookie sheet lined with tin foil on the rack under the pie to collect whatever may spill. Even if you think your top is well-attached, I'd recommend this for first-time pie bakers... hopefully you won't learn the hard way!
And that's it! It may sound like a lot, but it's rather easy and less time consuming to clean up compared to cupcakes or the like. Seriously, I make/eat these pies like it's my job.
xox Catherine, the Silhouette Girl