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pie

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Summer becomes real when you have a slice of peach pie on your plate from fresh fruit just picked from the nearby orchard.

This, my friends, is true summer beauty.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

I may have to declare this as one of the best pies I’ve ever made. And it’s the peaches that went inside that must be bestowed with a large portion of the credit.

Peach season here in Pennsylvania has reached its prime, and the fruit on the trees this year is thriving.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Juicy and sweet, peaches are certainly undergoing a stellar year.

And as a result, the pies that are produced from those peaches are reaping all of the benefits.

After all, a pie is only as good as the fresh fruit that’s going inside of it. Which is why the filling needn’t be anything too fancy or complicated.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

The project in undertaking the creation of this pie isn’t the filling, but the crust, which you’ll find true of most pie recipes. After some slicing and dicing, the filling takes minutes to make.

Meanwhile, the crust takes a little finesse. But nothing unmanageable, even for the novice baker.

I like to consider pie-making as the perfect put-on-a-few-records and chill-in-the-kitchen-all-Sunday-afternoon activity. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

If you’ve never done a lattice before, basically you’re just attempting to weave the top strips of crust over and under each other. You may wish to refer to a simple tutorial when you get to that step, as I admit, my instructions may not be the most extensively written-out.

The warm slice of pie that comes out of the oven, (one you’ll top with cold ice cream…perhaps vanilla coconut!) is certainly worthy of every last second of effort that goes into creating this. As I said earlier, this is true summer beauty on a plate and certainly summer baking at its finest.

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Pumpkin Pie Muffins

The first wave of pumpkin in the culinary arena did not make me happy. Pumpkin spice lattes at the outset of September? Come on Starbucks, I’m still enjoying summer, thank you very much. Then, my friend had me traversing with him through the city to pick up his new favorite beer, a pumpkin variety of course. The sweaty bike ride to get there made me feel a bit wrong about sipping on the brew, no matter how cold and tasty it was. (Though, if you like pumpkin beer, you should likely try this. I’m not even generally the biggest fan, but this one had such an amazing depth of flavor.)

I admit, however, I’m a pumpkin lover, not hater. Once my love of boots and sweaters finally pulls me to let go of summer, the orange puree quickly starts creeping into my own culinary world. From soup to oatmeal to cookies, my tastebuds welcome pumpkin in all forms. Luckily, the it’s packed with a bunch of healthy stuff, so my body can welcome it, too. Yes please to the fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium.

My latest and first pumpkin recipe of the season is this muffin one. These are super moist, reminiscent of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving pie, but with all the best qualities of a portable cake.

The muffins will hit the sweet spot, but aren’t overpowering in this way. This enables them to serve as a nice breakfast option, too. If you’re ready for fall, then I’m betting your tastebuds are ready for these.

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Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Late night baking calls for a healthy and quick, subsequent morning meal. Not that I wasn’t chowing down on Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies right alongside this bowl of Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats… Regardless, I wanted something a little less butter and sugar-filled to be the base of my breakfast. With some leftover pumpkin from the cookies, I got to work creating this while the last batch of cookies were still baking away in the oven.

There’s not much to say about this bowl of oats other than that it’s a heavenly way to start your morning if you’re a pumpkin pie fan like me. If you’re not familiar with overnight oats, I have a bunch of other recipes that will introduce you to the make-ahead creation. Usually, my base is oats, soymilk and yogurt. For this one, I swapped the yogurt with pumpkin puree, making it my second ever vegan overnight oats recipe. The pumpkin add a creamy consistency equivalent to that of yogurt, and with the spices, brown sugar and walnuts, you’d be tricked into thinking this wasn’t much healthier than the previous night’s cookies you might pair alongside it. But oh it is, and equally delicious!

Serve with a dollop of plain soy yogurt if you’d like a tart component to compliment your pumpkin pie in a bowl.

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Pecan Pie Truffles


With the pumpkin pie already covered by another family member, I set out to find a different dessert I could bring to the family Thanksgiving celebration.  I had been eyeing the VegNews Pecan Pie Truffles featured on the New York Times for sometime, so I settled on making a slightly modified version.  Although not typically a fan of pecan pie, I knew this recipe looked good.  And indeed, it certainly didn’t disappoint.  These balls were packed with flavor, infused with all the goodness of maple syrup, buttery toasted pecans, and a kick of spiced rum.  A chocolate covering made these extra decadent, allowing them to stick out among all the other dishes on the dessert table.  This one’s a keeper.  Move over Christmas cookies.

Pecan Pie Balls

(Yields about 24 truffles)

-2 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
-1 cup graham cracker crumbs
-1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons maple syrup
-1/4 cup spiced rum
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt until well combined. Add maple syrup, spiced rum and vanilla, stirring thoroughly. Use your hands to make sure the mixture becomes fully incorporated.

Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then place on a parchment sheet-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

In the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until firm.