14 September 2012

{food} vegan peach pie. with a coconut oil crust.

We've eaten two and a half peach pies this week. My poor experimental guinea pig children.
My poor under-stimulated digestive system. My poor husband.

Funny, cause the neighbors said they wouldn't mind taste-testing. But I'm too proud to let them try my pie if it's not perfect. Silly me. I should remember the dessert I took to a party once without any sugar. That was bad. These pies haven't been that bad.

The first pie had a ww pastry flour based crust and smart balance. The second pie had white pastry flour and coconut oil in too big chunks. The third pie was almost perfect. I rolled the crust, put it in the dish and chilled it in the fridge before putting the fruit in and baking it. It turned out soggy on the bottom {really its only fault} so I'm blaming that extra chill step. I don't think it's necessary.

So. I think if I baked a fourth pie, which I do NOT plan to do just yet, it would be just right.
For now, we're going to document these results for future baking.
I say poor children, but they have not been sad about these experiments at all. Another peach pie?! YUM.
The filling was awesome from the start. Kudos to this blogger for landing a great combination of ingredients. I slightly reduced the sugar in the fruit and used lemon juice rather than zest. I thought about adding cinnamon and vanilla, but didn't. We'll do that in pie #4. 

This filling is thick without being jello-like. It's so perfect. I think the combination of tapioca and cornstarch does the trick. Super juicy pies with soggy crusts aren't the best. This recipe works. 
A note about using coconut oil. It behaves differently than butter, having a higher melting point. The trick to making this crust is cutting in the oil {doesn't need to be chilled below room temperature} very very thoroughly. The coconut oil will be hard even at room temperature. You'll want to cut it into the flour with a knife until the pieces are teeny tiny. My pieces weren't small enough for pie #2 and the top crust ended up with little holes in it from the melting coconut oil.

My opinion is that the crust can be made and used immediately, without being chilled, because the coconut oil behaves differently than butter. It doesn't warm much while being mixed or rolled into a crust. I'll be testing this theory with pie #4, but I'm going to advise rolling, filling with fruit and baking without any chilling of the dough.


Vegan Peach Pie
inspired by Buerrista

for the crust:
2 1/2 cups white pastry flour
3/4 cup coconut oil, cut into the flour thoroughly {chilled Smart Balance works too!}
8-10 tbsp ice water
1 tsp salt
2 T sugar

for the filling:
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar {based on the sweetness of your fruit and your tastes}
2 T cornstarch
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups peeled and sliced peaches {about 6-7 peaches}
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix together the pastry flour and coconut oil. A food processor might save time here. I used a knife to cut the oil into the flour. Try to reduce the coconut oil chunks to smaller than pea sized. Add in the salt and sugar, but don't add the ice water yet.

Peel and slice peaches fairly thin. Sprinkle them with lemon juice to keep them from browning. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, tapioca and salt together first, then sprinkle over the peaches and combine.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

When you are ready to put the pie together, add the ice water to the flour/oil mix a couple tablespoons at a time, gently combining. Don't mess with it too much. When your hand can form it into a ball, you have enough water. Make a ball carefully, collecting all the loose flour. You are ready to roll out the dough.

Cover a surface lightly with flour and place your dough in the center. With a rolling pin, begin to flatten the dough by rolling first one way, then the other. You'll want to flip your dough once or twice, reapplying flour to your surface and rolling the dough thinner until it is a nice circle shape about 1/8th of an inch thick. Carefully lift the circle into your pie plate and press it to fit all around.

Now, prepare your top crust just as you did the bottom. When it's ready, pour the fruit onto the bottom crust and cover with the top crust. Pinch the edges against the side of the dish, mostly for looks but also to keep the juiciness inside the pie when it boils happily in the oven. :)

You're ready to bake it {unless you want an egg wash, but I skipped that}! Make sure your oven rack is closer to the bottom than the top {so your bottom crust gets baked well}. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, then remove and cool completely before cutting.

Enjoy!

Now I want to try this crust with this Peach Crumb Tart recipe. But we might need to wait until next summer...