baking · cooking · Dessert

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Sinful & Unprocessed Dessert Time

I am participating in Virtual Vegan Potluck Day, along with 104 other bloggers, from all around the world. I hope if you enjoy this post/recipe you might consider taking a peek at some of the other posts out there today as well! The buttons at the end of my post will help you along in the circle. Also, be sure to check the fine companies and folks sponsoring this “get together”!

When I was growing up, my parents church was very into potlucks. Not everyone loves a potluck but I have a soft spot for them, be them in person or virtual, where I can only dream of sampling said goodies. I want the memories of a grange hall lined with tables, covered in Crock Pots and Fire King casserole dishes, to always be with me.

What was my favorite when I was a kid? The dessert table. Duh! I couldn’t wait for it to open. Even as an adult I use parties as an excuse to bake and create awesome desserts I can’t justify for at home! The thing is, as my regular readers know, is at 39 I can’t exactly justify eating a butter n’ cream infused pork out. To follow our way of life it has to be as unprocessed as I can make it and be plant based. There is always room for dessert, just not the ones of my youth is all. Kirk really loves pecan pie. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas I make him a pie. Awhile back I perfected a vegan version of it, which came out of the (corn syrup free) maple syrup pie I had created before that. So today I give you two recipes – both vegan/plant-based and both for pecan pie. Both are sugar and fat pits, lets not lie. But hey, no corn syrup and eggs does make up for it a bit. A tiny bit.

Lets start with the crust, I adapted a favorite crust recipe of mine, using whole wheat flour this time. Yes, it will be “heavier tasting”, if you are used to WW you won’t notice it. If anything, I find all-purpose flour to have no flavor or texture now. These are the cutouts I made to top the mini pies.

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 stick Earth Balance buttery stick
  • 3 Tbsp ice water (fill a cup with ice and water, measure from that)

Directions:
In a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the Earth Balance and pulse until coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 Tablespoon at a time through the top and pulse until the dough comes together.
Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Roll as directed below in recipes.

Makes 1 9″ pie crust or 1 batch tarts/cut outs.

Pecan & Coffee Mini Pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup, preferably organic and dark
  • ¼ cup cold brewed espresso
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups pecans, raw or toasted
  • 1 recipe pie crust
  • granulated sugar, preferably organic

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Line 3 small pans with foil, wrapping over the rims, spritz with a neutral vegetable oil. (I used a set of Wilton Mini Cake Pans 3/Pkg-4×1.25 Round.)

Whisk the flaxseed meal and water together, let rest for 10 minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Use a bowl to make 3 6″ inch circles, drape these in the prepared pans, pressing in gently to fit. Use decorative cutters to make small shapes out of the rest of the crust, rolling out the scraps as needed. (The fancy cut outs I made? I used the set of pie crust cutters I bought at Williams and Sonoma. They are not cheap but are beyond cool.)

Place the pans on a small baking sheet, the cutouts on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle both with granulated sugar, then prick with fork tines.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Set aside, letting the cutouts cool fully.

Add the flaxseed mixture to a medium mixing bowl, whisk in the sugar, maple syrup, coffee, vanilla and salt till smooth.

Divide the pecans in the pans, top with the syrup mixture. Return to oven, bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbling and set.

Let cool and then chill. These little pies are gooey, so eat them in the pie shell!

Makes 3 pies.

Maple Syrup Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1¼ cups pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance Buttery stick
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to about 10″ in diameter. Fit the dough into a 9″ glass or ceramic pie pan. Trim the dough and flute the edges if you like, prick holes in the bottom and the sides with a fork.
Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Take out and set aside on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, add cornstarch, ¼ cup of the water and whisk smooth.
In a medium saucepan, add remaining ¾ cup water and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat, boil for 5 minutes, add salt and cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly (be wary when adding the salt, it can start boiling harder). Keep whisking and cook over high until it thickens and becomes a deep brown.
Take off the stove and whisk in the Earth Balance and vanilla.
Turn oven down to 350°. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth out. Add half the pecans, gently pushing down with a spatula and then top with the rest of the nuts, patting down a bit with your hands or a clean spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Cool on a rack before slicing. Keep leftovers covered and refrigerated. This pie is a thick one, easy to slice and serve.

Makes 1 9″ pie.

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~Sarah

32 thoughts on “Virtual Vegan Potluck: Sinful & Unprocessed Dessert Time

  1. The 2 desserts look fenomenal & super tasty! I especially love the 1 dessert: so special & I love the tops too! so well decorated & beautiful! Yummm! It was my 1st VVP! I loved it so much!

  2. My parents just got back from Georgia and brought me some pecan halves. I know what to make with them and can share the pie with my parents! Thanks so much for the great recipes and lovely photos!

    1. I hated pie crusts for years, they were always awful for me. My mom though was a master of them. Of course she used frozen lard…lol!
      The leaves I am so in love with. Now I “need” the matching Christmas set of pie crust cutters 😉

  3. Adding coffee to pecan pie is a GREAT idea. Thanks so much for sharing it. We’re thinking we might introduce a little gluten back into our diet… now and again… and this would be an awesome place to do so 🙂

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