I had an irresistible craving for cherry pie this Thanksgiving. Vegan pie recipes are not very common, and when I do run across them they tend to have graham cracker or all-shortening based crusts. But before the days of veganism, I didn’t use any shortening, and I’m still not a huge fan of it.
So what’s a girl to do? Well, make her own recipe of course! Since it was a huge hit (so much so that neither R nor I got to taste any!) I thought I’d share it with you all.
Anni’s Sweet Cherry Pie
Crust (double crust)
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup chilled solid non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, such as Earth Balance, cut in pieces
1 1/2 sticks of cold non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance), also cut into pieces
small bowl of ice water, to use as needed
In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or, if you don’t have one, two sharp knives (but really, invest in one, you’ll be glad you did!) and gradually cut in margarine and shortening. Splash in cold water as needed, but not more than 6-8 tablespoons. When all the wet ingredients are added, knead with your hands and form two equally sized balls of dough. Stick these in the refrigerator while you make your filling – or make ahead of time and wrap TIGHTLY in plastic wrap before freezing. This dough really only stays good a day or two in the freezer.
4 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup cane sugar
dash of sea salt
1/2 lemon (to squeeze juice into mixture)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine, cut in small pieces
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease your pie pan with about a tablespoon of margarine. Then, pit your cherries. I actually found this to be sort of fun with our new cherry pitter! Just be warned that the pits sometimes fly everywhere, so don’t wear your favorite outfit. Mix in your dry ingredients, then the almond extract and juice from your lemon. I find it easiest to do this with my hands, as it tends to get everywhere otherwise!
At this point, I rolled out my crusts and put the bottom crust in my ceramic pie plate. Spoon your cherry mixture into the pie pan, but if an excess of liquid has formed at the bottom of your bowl, only allow a little to dribble onto the mixture. Take your remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance and disperse little pieces throughout the top of the mixture. Cover your filling with the second crust and trim the overhand from the sides. Cut two slits in the middle of the pie to vent, then sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top of your crust.
Bake in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake about 25 more minutes. I’ve found that I often have to cover the edges of the crust with tin foil for the first 15 minutes or so of baking, otherwise they begin to burn. The pie is ready when your kitchen smells heavenly and it’s browning on top.
My finished product (sorry for the iPhone picture, we’re currently selling our dSLR so I can afford my 7D!)