Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pie

I live in Louisville, Kentucky, which is home to the original Derby Pie, a rich tart-like pie with walnuts, chocolate chips and, of course, bourbon. As you might expect, in its original form, it’s not vegan at all.

While reading the latest issue of VegNews, my husband came across a recipe for a Chocolate Bourbon Pie from Chef Chloe Coscarelli. It’s a veganized version of the trademarked classic. I left the house to go to yoga and came back to smell this pie baking in the oven. I love my husband very much.

He said the pie came together easily, especially with the help of a ready-made piecrust. It bakes for a total of 55 minutes, but, thankfully, you don’t have to wait for it to cool to eat it; it’s best served warm.

Banana-Toffee Pie

Pies are still unfamiliar territory for me. The crust, the filling — it’s all still intimidating. But this Banana-Toffee Pie (found in “Vegan Pie In The Sky“), with the help of a store-bought crust, was really easy to put together and it was really delicious.

The filling is a dulce de leche-like caramel that surrounds slices of banana. Whipped topping and shaved pieces of semi-sweet vegan chocolate are layered on top.

I had originally planned to make the coconut milk whipped topping for this, but I didn’t realize that you need to refrigerate the can of coconut milk a few hours before. So, for a substitute, I used a can of soy whipped cream, which was just okay. It’s very pricey for what you get and it deflated by the time I was ready to serve the pie, which was disappointing.

I will say, the next time I make the pie, in addition to making the topping from scratch, I’m going to double the filling ingredients because it didn’t seem to make enough. Of course, that also could be because I took some out of the pan to eat with a spoon. Yes, it’s that good.

Vegan Food Happenings

When you’re on a tight budget, it’s hard to break out of your food comfort zone. That’s definitely been the case for us lately. Our weekly meals have been a rotation of stir-fry, pasta dishes, soups and basic sandwiches. And not that that’s a bad thing; it just doesn’t make for an interesting blog. But every now and then we make something kind of new (I’ve made them one other time), as is the case with these banana biscuits (with veggie sausage and blackberry jam — not the prettiest picture, but delicious) from “Vegan Diner.” And I say “we” because my husband has become quite the baker lately. He’s been knocking out cookies, muffins, cupcakes and quick breads like it’s nobody’s business. I came home on Friday to find a fresh batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.” They were so delicious that we ate them (with a little help from my parents) before I had the chance to take pictures.

We did manage to pick up Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terry Hope Romero’s latest dessert cookbook, “Vegan Pie in the Sky.”

According to Amazon, the book isn’t due out until October 25th, but we found it at our local bookstore. We’re planning on making an apple pie today, so hopefully I’ll have something a little more exciting to post here very soon.

I hope everyone is well!!

Happy (Vegan) Thanksgiving!

Sorry, my pictures turned out a little blurry.

I know it’s the day after, but Happy Thanksgiving! For years, my husband and I have talked about making a 100 percent vegan Thanksgiving spread, and this year we finally got around to doing it. I’ve never made a full spread of food before, and I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off. But I have to say, it turned out really well. In fact, it was downright delicious!

For our first-ever vegan Thanksgiving, I decided to veganize traditional dishes: green bean casserole, maple sweet potatoes, stuffing, and mushroom gravy. We also picked up a Celebration Roast and rolls from Whole Foods, as well as a can of cranberry sauce (I can’t help it—I love the kind that looks like a can).

For the green bean casserole, I used Lauren Ulm’s alfredo sauce recipe for the base, and added sautéed onions and cremini mushrooms. I used frozen haricot vert because they are a little more tender than regular greens beans. Plus, it saved me a little prep time. I also added roasted garlic, lots of pepper, and, of course, fried onions throughout and on top. I baked it in the oven for 50 minutes total, but removed the foil and added fried onions to the top for the last 10 minutes.

For the sweet potatoes, I simply peeled and cut them into small, uniform cubes, and boiled them until tender. After that, I placed them into a casserole dish and tossed them with brown sugar, Earth Balance, maple syrup, and pecans. I topped them with Dandies Vegan Marshmallows and baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

The stuffing, though tasty, was the one dish that I felt could use some more tweaking. I first cubed day-old whole wheat sandwich bread and spread the cubes out onto a baking sheet. I placed them in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes to dry them out a bit. While they were in the oven, I sautéed lots of onion and celery. I also made about 8 cups of vegetable broth using Better Than Bouillon and lots of sage, thyme, and pepper. (I used some of the broth to baste the Celebration Roast to keep it moist while it warmed in the oven.) I mixed the onions and celery with the bread cubes and ladled the broth onto the bread mixture. I baked it alongside the green bean casserole for 50 minutes. The end result was a little too moist for my liking, but I was able to toss in some extra bread cubes to soak up some of the broth. Next year, I’d like to play around with the recipe a bit and add some different ingredients.

The gravy recipe came from Veganomicon and it was fantastic! The only difference was that I splashed in some red wine instead of white because that’s all I had on hand. Also, the recipe made a ton of gravy, so I will probably cut it in half the next time I make it.

And, finally, what Thanksgiving would be complete without a pumpkin pie?

I used the pumpkin pie recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, which was incredibly easy and ridiculously good. Instead of making my own crust, I went to Whole Foods and found a pre-made spelt flour crust that was all-natural and free of animal products. It worked perfectly. We topped the pumpkin pie with soy whipped cream.

With the help of my husband and some good music on the record player, the whole meal took about 3 1/2 hours to make. I made the pumpkin pie first, then I made the green bean casserole and stuffing and baked them at the same time. While they were baking, I made the sweet potatoes and threw them in the oven, too. I threw the rolls in at the last minute to warm them a bit.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!