Apple Rosemary Pie

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This election season has me feeling a little down and I know I’m not alone in this. But, don’t worry, I’m not about to launch into an anti-candidate rant right here, right now. After all, we at Small Fry Pie prefer to devote our thoughts to far more elevated purposes, like dessert.

 

But I would like to take a few minutes out of our day to remind you of some of the things that America can be proud of, like Jack Kerouac and S’mores. We’re a nation founded by philosophical revolutionaries… bigoted, land-stealing, slave-owning revolutionaries, but you know, I’m trying here.apple-rosemary-pie-peeled-apples

 

Okay, let’s try this again. There’s baseball. Not really my favorite sporting event, but I do have a fair number of pleasant memories involving hot dogs with the family while watching the Diamondbacks play. How about Walt Whitman and tater tots? Laser tag and fortune cookies? How about apple pie?apple-rosemary-pie-ingredients

 

I think Apple Pie is something we can all get behind. A warm, apple pie cooling on a windowsill is about as Mayberry as you can get. Even the mythos of the apple has become distinctly American over time. Think about it. The Big Apple? Johnny Appleseed?

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Maybe apple pie is the one thing we can all agree on. So, rather than embracing the contention that has been dividing the country, let’s seek some cohesion through the power of pie. And, Dana found a special way to dress up the American standard by adding a savory hint of rosemary.

This vegan Apple Rosemary Pie adds a culinary twist to the sweet goodness of American’s most popular pie (true story). I suggest using Dana’s Vegan Pie Dough for a rich, crumbling crust.apple-rosemary-pie-ready-for-the-oven

The super secret trick to making this pie really pop is to use fresh rosemary. Do not settle for a dried substitute or the flavor will fall flat.

 

Apple Rosemary Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Apple Rosemary Pie

Ingredients

  • Two rounds of pie dough (enough for top and bottom crust of a 9" pie)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • For the filling
  • 2 - 2 1/4 lbs apples (between 4 to 6 apples, usually. And preferably Granny Smith apples)
  • 2-3 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 TBSP brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • For the topping
  • 1-2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1-2 TBSP turbinado sugar (granulated works well, too)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. The first thing you'll want to do is prepare your pie dough/crust. I like to add fresh rosemary to the dough, I feel it adds that extra little something to the pie. To do this, finely chop a sprig or two of fresh rosemary. Roll out the dough and sprinkle rosemary over the top, then gently fold the dough into itself to incorporate the rosemary a bit. Once those herbs are worked into the dough, roll out as usual. If you want to skip the rosemary, well, that's okay, too. Once the bottom crust is in your pie pan, don't forget to poke some holes in it so the steam is able to escape!
  3. Pre-bake the bottom crust for about 10-12 minutes.
  4. For the pie filling, first peel and slice the apples. The slices don't need to be paper thin, but thinner is a bit better than thicker. Of course, if you like chunky apples, I say go for it. Personal preference is key here.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, chopped rosemary, and vanilla. Give the ingredients a good stir and let sit for a few minutes. This gives the lemon juice a chance to help the apples get nice and juicy. After about 5-10 minutes, gently stir flour into the apple mixture. This will help the filling hold together a bit.
  6. Pour filling mixture into pre-baked crust. Top with rolled out crust or cut-outs.
  7. Gently brush melted butter onto the top crust. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top as well.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes
  9. Let cool, slice, enjoy!
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Vegan Honeycomb Candy

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I don’t know if you have a favorite holiday, but mine is Halloween. Hands down. The winter-gift-giving holidays are a little too much stress on the approach. And, although I enjoy the gluttony of the event, Thanksgiving requires a little too much prep time now that I’m an adult. As a child, it was all parades and naps and extra pie. Now, it’s dishes in the ovens and don’t forget the rolls.

Halloween, however, is simply a joyous event… especially for a coroner’s daughter. All the weird and creepy things I like – owls, witches, ghosts, strange creatures that lurk in the night – are celebrated. It’s a chance to step out of these mortal coils and assume a character of epic proportions. Or, at the very least, to get drunk with your friends while eating dubious amounts of candy and wearing devil horns.

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Gather your ingredients!

At this point in my life, I’m not much of a drinker and I really am not too keen to waste the calories on gorging myself on a pillowcase full of candy. But, I’m not going to allow my burgeoning adult tendencies to diminish my appreciation of Halloween.

No way. Thankfully, as per usual, Dana is ready to rush to my rescue. Her Vegan Honeycomb Candy satisfies my seasonal sweet tooth and it’s both Vegan (no honey) and Chocolate-Free. Best yet, you can whip up this recipe in virtually no time at all.

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Keep an eye on your thermometer!

Usually, I save my annual chocolate allotment for Halloween, but, if you remember from last week, I used my yearly dosage on Dana’s Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie so I might have to skip my Peanut Butter Snickers plan. TOTALLY WORTH IT. Now that I have this Vegan Honeycomb Candy recipe, I have no need for Mars, Inc. and their factory-produced riffraff.

And, now that candy is covered, all I have left to worry about is my costume. Usually, I try to come up with something different. That means, I usually go as something nobody gets. In case you didn’t follow that thought through to the end, that means I usually come up with dumb costumes. Dumb costumes seem to be my lot in life, but that doesn’t prevent me from throwing myself into the whole process with everything I’ve got.

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This candy looks ready to pour.

This year I think I’m going to go as a book fairy. When I told my 7-year-old nephew, he asked, rather poignantly, “Is that a costume you buy or a costume you make?” I told him I would be making my costume and he said, “Oh,” with as much disdain as you can pack into a single syllable.

Well, that tiny Storm Trooper is in for one hell of a surprise. I’m going to get to work on my wings this week and start tearing apart old Anne Rice novels for the construction process. Her books are, after all, the only ones I feel comfortable disemboweling for this costume project. It’s going to be the best dumb costume I’ve come up with yet.

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Transfer your candy from pot to pan. Some wax paper or parchment can save you on the clean-up side.

And, with an offering of Vegan Honeycomb Candy, my guests will be distracted from the piecemeal assemblage I will be inevitably wearing with excessive pride – flashing lights, pink hair, and all.

This candy is extra sweet and you can dress it up to suit your taste. Dana says, “If you break the candy into fairly big pieces, it can be dipped in melted chocolate for extra deliciousness. It can also be broken up in to small pieces and used as a topping for ice cream or for garnishing cakes, cupcakes, donuts… you name it!”

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The candy is ready to be broken into pieces… my favorite part.

Vegan Honeycomb Candy

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Vegan Honeycomb Candy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda (be sure there are no clumps)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray of choice.
  2. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT baking soda in a fairly deep saucepan,
  3. Heat ingredients over medium high heat until it reaches 270 degrees (approximately 12 minutes or so). The mixture should be golden brown. You can try to eyeball it, but this is where a candy thermometer is really useful. It's easy to take it off the heat too soon, in which case the candy won't set up properly. It's also easy to let it go for too long, in which case the candy will taste burned. Yuck!
  4. Once mixture has reached the appropriate temperature, remove from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam up significantly (like your old science fair volcano), which is why you want to use a deep-ish pan for this.
  5. After the baking soda is incorporated into the mixture, pour into prepared 8x8 pan and let sit until candy hardens (usually about 30-45 minutes). Break into pieces and enjoy!
  6. This candy is pretty sweet, so be ready!
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Dana’s Vegan Pie Dough

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Well, folks, it’s been a busy month. We hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes we’ve brought you thus far. It was certainly exciting to see some bakers out there tackling Dana’s Strawberry Jalapeno Pie. Please feel free to post pictures of your completed projects in the comments below and don’t forget to tell us about your modifications. We love hearing about all the food fun!

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In hindsight, we probably should have started with this recipe. After all, Dana’s awesome Vegan Pie Crust is an elemental component in every pie she makes. And, in the interest of transparency, it was her pie crust that first sparked my foodie bond with this baker.

The crust is rich despite the lack of butter; melting in your mouth to fuse with the flavor of the filling. Dana limits the sugar so the pie crust isn’t overly sweet – that’s what the inside is all about!

The trick is to get a nice, pebbly texture when you’re mixing the dough. You can see that in the picture below. If you’re crust is too dry, add a little extra dollop of Earth Balance. Some flours are more absorbent than others.c4e04916-6c9d-4e13-95eb-5a244f2fa833

We have quite a few pie recipes lined up for you this year so this is a great recipe to print out and keep on hand. You can make this pie crust ahead of time and freeze it for future use. Or you can store it in your refrigerator for a few days.

Dana’s Vegan Pie Dough

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 3TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-6 TBSP vegan butter (Earth Balance is preferred), cold
  • 3/4 - 1 cup vegan shortening (Spectrum brand is preferred), cold
  • 1/4 Cup ice water
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. I like to give them a quick whisk.
  2. Add half of the cold butter and shortening, about a tablespoon at a time. Incorporate butter and shortening by cutting it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with fingers. I prefer the hands on approach, so I use my hands for this part.
  3. Combine until the mixture is a bit sandy and pea sized bits of dough begin to form.
  4. Add remaining butter and shortening, and cut into the flour. Use cutter or fingers to work into flour mixture.
  5. At this point, the dough should be starting to come together. Drizzle in the ice water/apple cider vinegar and knead a bit until the dough begins to hold together. Use as much or as little as needed. Remember not to overwork the dough, or you will end up with a tough pie crust.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic and flatten into discs.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. Take dough out of refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to use or rolling out. Don't let it get too warm, just warm enough to be pliable. Keep it as cool/cold as possible until it's ready to go into the oven.
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Strawberry Jalapeño Pie

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We’re based out of Arizona and, for those of you who don’t occasionally zone out to the weather channel, that means we live in the mouth of hell four months out of the year. Literally, the Mouth of Hell (here’s proof).

This year we’re facing record-breaking temperatures. As a result, our dog park adventures are severely restricted and we’ve all taking to hiding from the sunlight as much as our schedules will permit.

But we won’t let this rapid submersion into the Sixth Circle of Hell get us down. No, we refuse to be daunted! Summertime means more than diabolical heat. It’s also the season for fresh berries, arugula, cherries, corn, melons, peaches, and, of course, chili peppers.

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Dana, our resident baker, combines some of these fresh summer offerings to achieve a symbiosis between sweet and spicy. Yes, I’m talking about strawberries and jalapeños.sjpie

Ripe strawberries provide the sweet while the plump jalapeños add a little kick. You can adjust the number of jalapeños to your own particular palate. This pie, like our home state, is meant for the daring, not the weak in spirit.sjpie2

 This vegan Strawberry Jalapeño Pie is the perfect addition to backyard BBQs and other summertime gatherings. Dana’s recipe was originally featured in Phoenix Magazine so you know it’s a big hit within the pie-loving community. Try it today. And don’t forget to check back next week for our new recipe!

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Strawberry Jalapeño Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: One 9" Pie

Strawberry Jalapeño Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 discs of pie dough, one for the bottom, one for the top!
  • 4-5 Cups strawberries, quartered
  • 2-3 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 Tablespoons tequila (optional)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sugar or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 2-3 Tablespoons melted vegan butter/margarine (Earth Balance is preferred)
  • 2 (or more) Tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • Several Tablespoons flour (for dusting)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out dough onto a floured surface into 12" round and maneuver into a pie pan. Fold the overhanging dough under itself, crimp the edges, or any other method that strikes your fancy. Poke holes generously throughout the bottom with a fork.
  3. Pre-bake bottom crust for 10 minutes.Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, jalapenos, lime juice, sugar, and tequila (if using). Stir together until strawberries begin to release their juice. Stir in flour and tapioca starch (or cornstarch) until filling mixture thickens.
  5. Pour filling into pre-baked crust.
  6. Roll out second round of dough for the top. Drape over filled pie for a traditional pie crust (don't forget to cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife!), or cut shapes with cookie cutters for a cute, decorative crust.
  7. Brush top crust with melted butter/margarine. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350. Allow to cool thoroughly, slice and enjoy!
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Meet the Baker: Dana Stern

dana stern 01How did you first get interested in baking?

I was always interested in cooking and I loved experimenting. One day, out of sheer boredom, I picked up a cookbook opened it to the baking section and found a recipe for popovers. I made them, loved doing it, and decided to try pies from scratch. I also loved having something to give away that people seemed to enjoy. So, many moons later, here I am!

How long have you been a vegetarian? What prompted that choice?

Nearly 10 years of being meat-free for me. And, in fact, I believe it was a choice that chose me. Years ago, I was about 6 bites in to a chicken salad sandwich and something in me happened, like a switch suddenly flipped that made the idea of eating meat beyond unappealing to me. I have no idea what prompted this, but whatever it was has kept me on the veggie path all this time.

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Dana’s cat-on-the-table face.

Who are some of the bakers that inspire you?

I think someone like Christina Tosi is pretty interesting, in terms of her ideas. A lot of bakers I enjoy are people I see on Instagram, actually. There are people making really cool donuts (The Caffeinated Kitchen, Glam Doll Donuts, Dun Well Donuts). There is an incredible baker named Katherine Sabbath who does some unreal work. I get a lot of inspiration from seeing what different people are doing and sometimes attempt to translate what they are doing into my own language of pastry.

What is your favorite cookbook?

There are quite a few I like a lot, so I suppose if I took the things I like the most out of each one, that would end up as my favorite. There isn’t one particular book that has earned the title of ‘The Ultimate’.

What makes your creations unique?

I love taking something traditional and putting a new spin on it. Coconut cream pie is delicious, but horchata coconut cream pie is next level. Cherry pie is an all time favorite, but why not splash some rum or whiskey in there to give it an unexpected twist? I find ideas and inspirations in unexpected places at times, and I feel that translates into the finished product.


What are some of your favorite unexpected flavor combinations?

Pairing herbs with fruit is something that makes perfect sense to me, but might be unexpected for others. Apple rosemary and peach basil are a couple perfect examples of that type of combination. I also like to include spices that are perhaps a bit untraditional or, at least, are not what would normally be expected in a pie or other baked goods. I like to add that little ‘something’ that people can’t put their finger on, but notice and enjoy it.

dana stern 03What do you do when you’re not baking?

When I’m not baking, I might be playing in a band. I could possibly be hanging out with my dog. Another scenario would involve reading a book. I’m the wearer of many hats (But not too many).

What are the items you can’t live without in the kitchen?

A microplane, good spatulas, a ceramic knife, the perfect mixing bowl and, the most important item; a taste-tester.

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