Maple Pecan Pie and Vegan Pie in the Sky Cookbook Giveaway

‘Tis the season for gorgeous, luscious, delicious pie and just in time comes a book with every kind there is– deep-dish, tarty, free-form, cobbled. And fruity, creamy, nutty, chocolatey. All of it vegan, of course.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, the team that in previous seasons showed us with their fabulous cupcakes and cookies just how yesterday butter and eggs are in a modern baker’s kitchen, are back with Vegan Pie in the Sky, a book that crams into the authors’ signature square pages tons of pie-making wisdom.

This is a definitive guide for any pie baker– seasoned, novice, vegan, or not– on how to make one of America’s most cherished desserts from scratch, with sections on:
–Buying the right kind of pie-making equipment, from pans to rolling pins for making the crust.
–Creating different kinds of crusts, from single to double to shortbread, puff pastry, and even chocolate (and you thought there was only one kind!)
–Step-by-step recipes for 75 pies, including vegan versions of those you grew up with like Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie, to fun ones with clever names like She’s My Cherry Pie and Pucker-Up Raspberry Pie, to elegant desserts like Blueberry Orange Cheesecake and Cappuccino Mousse Pie. There is even a Basil Peach Pie and a Curried Macaroon Pie that features curry powder in the filling. Honest.

Because I was reviewing the book, I chose to make a more traditional dessert, just so I would be better able to compare it to the non-vegan versions I remember eating from the past: Pecan Pie. In this book it’s a Maple Pecan Pie, with the maple syrup adding warm, rich tones to the nutty pecans. Perfect.

There was another sneaky reason I wanted to try the Maple Pecan Pie, and that’s because it uses tofu: an ingredient I simply do not like in sweet dishes. While tofu works wonderfully in savory recipes, in sweets it’s really difficult to shake off that chalky aftertaste it leaves in your mouth. My perverted little tastebuds wanted to really, really know if Isa and Terry had indeed managed to conquer the tofu-aftertaste demon in this recipe.

The single-crust recipe that goes with this pie required the addition of some apple-cider vinegar. While that might appear a surprising addition, I guess it’s meant to add tenderness to the crust, and it did. This is certainly one of the best vegan crusts I’ve ever tasted, with the right balance of flaky, crumbly and crispy deliciousness. It tasted especially great with the gooey, sweet filling.

The caramel for the pie filling required 10 minutes of stirring the sugar and maple syrup over the stove, but the time went by faster than I had imagined. The rest of the prep for the filling was really simple: you blitz some tofu and nondairy milk with some cornstarch (which acts as a thickener) and vanilla, mix it with the caramel and sugar, and voila! Time to bake.

As some of you already know, I live with a pie hog (Desi) who is quite non-vegan, and it gives me a lot of joy to give him a plate of vegan pie that he will adore and then wag an I-told-you-so finger in his face. This Maple Pecan Pie passed his taste test with flying colors and more. It definitely passed my tofu test because I could not tell it was in there. But most important, it passed the finicky canine test with Opie and Lucy loving every little bit their humans were willing to share, from the flaky crust to the caramel-bathed pecans.

As delicious as this pie was, I did run into one issue — the filling did not set after the 40-minute baking time given in the instructions, so I let the pie go for another 5 minutes because ovens do vary so widely. It was jiggly when it came out, like the instructions said it would be, but it never quite set– not even the next morning after standing on a cold counter all night. I even put it in the refrigerator for several hours and although it did solidify just a little bit more, it was still not quite set. Maybe a little more cornstarch would be the solution?

Next on my list of must-make pies from this book are the Strawberry Hand Pies– they look so adorable! Or maybe it will be the elegant Pear Frangipane Tart. Can’t make up my mind.

***
As you have no doubt gathered from the headline of this post, the publisher of Vegan Pie in the Sky is giving away to one of my readers living here in the United States a free copy of this lovely book. But before you can win, you need to do a little work– just a little, I promise.

Here’s the deal: Post this giveaway announcement with a link to this page on Facebook and/or Twitter. Then leave me a comment on this post to tell me you did so. That’s about it.

Good luck, all! I’ll announce the winner in my next post, so be sure to check back and see if it was you. Now here’s the recipe for the Maple Pecan Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky.

Enjoy, all!

Maple Pecan Pie

Single (And Lovin’ It) Pastry Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening

4 tbsp or more ice water

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry cutter or in a food processor to form a crumbly dough.

Sift together 4 tbsp of the ice water and vinegar, then drizzle a third of it over the flour. Gently mix to moisten, drizzle in another third of the liquid, and mix to moisten. Repeat with the remaining mixture until the dough forms a soft ball when pressed together. If it hasn’t come together yet, sprinkle it with another tbsp (or more) of ice water until the dough can be gathered into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap or sandwich between waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour.

When you are ready to roll out the crust, tear off a 14-inch piece of waxed paper or baking parchment and lightly sprinkle it with flour. Flatten the dough into a disk and place in the center of the paper. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, in even, long strokes, roll out the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Occasionally rotate the dough while you’re rolling to help form an even circle.

To transfer the dough to a pie plate, slide your hand underneath the center of the paper and quickly flip it onto the plate. Peel off the paper and gently press the dough into the plate. If necessary, trim any overhanging dough edges with a sharp knife, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of dough for the crimped edge. Crimp the edges as desired.

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine

6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (1/2 of a tetra pack)

1/4 cup cold, unsweetened, plain nondairy milk

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves

For the caramel, in a saucepan, mix together the sugars and the maple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start forming rapidly, stir pretty constantly for 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy. It shouldn’t be boiling too fiercely. If big bubbles start climbing the walls of the pan then lower the heat a bit.

Add the margarine and stir to melt. Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and let it cool for a bit. In the meantime prepare the rest of the filling.

Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch, and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Check and see that the sugar mixture has cooled sufficiently; it’s okay if it’s a bit warm, just not boiling hot. Add the tofu mixture and the vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in the pecans.

Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. When done, the pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set. Let cool, slice, and serve!

(Recipe from the book Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, published by Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011.www.dacapopresscookbooks.com)

P.S.: This giveaway is now closed.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

53 thoughts on “Maple Pecan Pie and Vegan Pie in the Sky Cookbook Giveaway

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    MikeC

    November 2, 2011 at 1:38pm

    I posted a link on FB just now. Want to make that pie this holiday season. Would love to win the book.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Skay

    November 2, 2011 at 2:03pm

    This does look good, totally understand what you mean about Tofu. I’ve got to try this one.
    I’ve posted the link on my FB page. :)

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    CarolynBP

    November 2, 2011 at 2:21pm

    I shared the link on my FB page. That close-up photo is amazing! Makes me want to have this for breakfast :-)

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Kaycee

    November 2, 2011 at 2:53pm

    I shared the link on FB, thanks so much!

    kaycee(at)veganmachine(dot)com

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vicki

    November 2, 2011 at 2:59pm

    I posted it to FB. Now I can’t get that scene out of my head from ‘When Harry Met Sally’. I want to partake of your Pecan Piieee. :)

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Mikey

    November 2, 2011 at 3:03pm

    I posted I POSTED!!! I need pie in my Life!

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Leslie R.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:13pm

    The tofu in pecan pie sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway- I posted it to Twitter :)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Meg

    November 2, 2011 at 3:21pm

    I shared on Facebook! However I manually entered the link instead of clicking the facebook button – hope that’s ok?

    I hope I win, I am dying to try out these recipes but I have to pay for my classes and textbooks. :C

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sarah C

    November 2, 2011 at 4:05pm

    Looks gorgeous. I guess I can’t enter the drawing officially since I don’t Facebook or Twitter. Still, lovely pie and I’d love to get my hands on that book some day!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    mandy

    November 2, 2011 at 4:42pm

    Just posted on facebook. This pie is exactly what I want to eat right now. Yum. Thank you for testing it out Vaishali!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    The Unintentional Vegan

    November 2, 2011 at 5:52pm

    Just tweeted about the giveaway! That crust looks amazing!(@las_dos_ashleys) (theunintentionalvegan@gmail.com)

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tiffany

    November 2, 2011 at 7:03pm

    The pie turned out beautifully! I just posted a link this giveaway on Twitter (@breadwobutter). :)

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    saffronstreaks

    November 2, 2011 at 8:42pm

    pecan pie is one of the most classic pie recipes and you did it so well, loved it with maple syrup addition. simply irresistible and vegan version is quiet intriguing.

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    miriam

    November 2, 2011 at 9:03pm

    i’m that weirdo who doesn’t have facebook or twitter. ):
    but i’d post a link if i could! does that count? ;)

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tibik

    November 2, 2011 at 9:09pm

    That pie looks delicious. Just retweeted your post.
    Tibik

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    SkinnyMinnie

    November 3, 2011 at 1:24am

    I FBed this page! That book looks so awesome. It was already on my Amazon wish list :)

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Miri

    November 3, 2011 at 11:48am

    What a beautiful pie Vaishali! :) and btw, even I have a giveaway on my blog!

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Lori P.

    November 3, 2011 at 1:21pm

    Posted on Facebook & Twitter!

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Cadry

    November 3, 2011 at 11:40pm

    That pie looks divine! Terry and Isa’s books are always a must have. This would be great to win! I tweeted!

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Swati Sapna

    November 4, 2011 at 10:41am

    Tofu in a pie?? Gawd… sounds awful. But the pie looks so gorgeous that i’m inclined to believe you that it tasted just as good :)

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    radioactivegan

    November 5, 2011 at 8:20pm

    Your pie looks so good! I’d love to try the great recipes in this book. Strawberry Handpie sounds delicious!! I posted the giveaway to twitter.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Get Skinny, Go Vegan.

    November 6, 2011 at 2:23am

    The pie looks great. Just made a raw pecan pie recently that was super sweet, but really yummy. Want this book but then I kind of “quit” sweet sweets!!!! So I enjoy through your post!

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    November 6, 2011 at 9:48am

    Hi vaishali,

    i have a query. If I want to shop online APF which is the best brand and as for the first time what should be the quantity? Since I have never done any online shopping till date; m a bit skeptical about the process and its reliability? So if you have any experience in this kindly help me.

    God Bless,
    Nisha.

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    November 6, 2011 at 8:29pm

    Hi Nisha, I buy any brand of All-purpose Flour I can find– preferably the one that’s on sale. :) I am not very picky except I try to buy the unbleached kind. I am not aware of the Indian brands, but I would guess all would be pretty much similar, as they are here.

  25. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    stacey

    November 6, 2011 at 9:18pm

    I posted this link on my facebook page. Your book looks wonderful i do i hope i win. thank you

  26. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    November 8, 2011 at 9:04am

    Thanks vaishali.

    God Bless
    Nisha.

  27. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    MizzBzVegan

    November 8, 2011 at 2:49pm

    Posted giveaway on facebook wall. Am going to make this pie tonight – looks so good!

  28. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Terri Merritts

    November 8, 2011 at 4:44pm

    I posted to Facebook and tweeted to Twitter. I am also sharing this recipe on the three Facebook veggie pages I administer.

  29. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Madhuram

    November 8, 2011 at 10:43pm

    I rushed to this post after reading the title because I have been looking for a decent egg free/vegan pecan pie recipe. I too did try one by myself and had the same problem of the pie not setting quite enough. It was a chocolate pecan pie, so who cares if it doesn’t set or not. We were digging it with our spoons.

  30. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Larry and Theresa

    November 14, 2011 at 1:07am

    I just found your blog, love, love, love it! I tried the Spicy Tofu Corriander Quiche soooo yummy and creamy! I can’t wait to try so many of your other recipes, I spent all day perusing and bookmarking all my favorites :)
    Like · · about a minute ago

  31. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    choclatehelps

    November 22, 2011 at 4:04pm

    I have been looking for vegan pie recipes all over the internet, but the picture you posted takes the cake, hehe. I will be making this pie for Thanksgiving and will blow all my meat eating families minds!! Also, I posted too and really really really want to win. If not, it doesnt matter, I found a great new site to follow, so I win anyways!

  32. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    November 22, 2011 at 4:13pm

    Choclatehelps, welcome to the blog. Sorry but the giveaway has closed and I already announced a winner.

  33. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ruby

    November 25, 2011 at 5:52am

    I just tried this recipe out today for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Everyone in my family absolutely loved it- thanks for sharing it on your blog! Also I tried it with a little extra cornstarch like you suggested and wasn’t too jiggly, so I think that worked out well.

  34. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    November 27, 2011 at 2:46am

    Ruby, thanks for the feedback. Glad the recipe worked for you, and good to know that more cornstarch worked too. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  35. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Qi Ting @ A Dessert Diet

    December 7, 2011 at 12:07pm

    Hi! Can I substitute butter/margarine for nonhydrogenated shortening (in both crust and filling) for a non-vegan version? Thanks!

  36. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    December 7, 2011 at 3:17pm

    Qi Ting, Yes you can, although you’d make me so much happier if you left out the butter and used margarine instead. :) You’d get an equally fabulous result.

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