Pumpkin Pie

I know I said I was going on vacation, but I just couldn’t resist! I really felt obligated to share this pie with you. It’s how I’ll show my thanks for being here with me.

I already told you I like mini pies. They’re the perfect size. Who wants to make a whole 9″ pie for two (or three) people? Besides the fact that you eat twice as much, half of it goes bad (or soggy…) before you can really do any damage. And! When I make mini pies, it gives me an excuse to make them more often.

But, I do realize that some of you have large families. Or that you’re making it to share. Or that you just really really like pie! I recommend tripling both the pie crust and filling recipes if you decide to make the 9″ pie. You’ll likely have a bit left over, but that’s better than the alternative!

I also already told you that my boyfriend is a (keyword) self-proclaimed pie expert. Especially when it comes to pumpkin pie. So how did this one hold up?

Incredibly well.

He only had one complaint – The crust is too flaky. Now, I’m not sure that’s possible. Maybe he just likes it a little chewier, but I, for one, am a fan of this:

Give me all the flaky I can get!

Pumpkin Pie

Print this recipe!

For the mini 4″ crust:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour (or 2 Tbsp AP flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp Earth Balance butter, straight out of the fridge
2 Tbsp ice water

For the filling:

1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp each ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp white granulated sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 can pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 450F and lightly oil a pie dish.

For the crust:

Combine flours, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until you have chunks about the size of your fingernail. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, tossing well. The dough should be a bit rough, not sticky at all, and should just hold together when you squeeze it. You can add a bit more water if you like, but too much water will make it difficult to roll out and less flaky.

Squeeze the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes while you make the pie filling.

When you’re ready to roll it out, place the ball of dough between two layers of plastic warp and roll into a circle. You’ll want to make the circle a couple of inches wider than the diameter of your pie pan, or it won’t go all the way up the sides.

For the filling:

Combine lemon juice and non-dairy milk in a small bowl. Set aside for a couple of minutes.

Combine flour, cornstarch, spices, and salt in another bowl.

Mix pumpkin, sugar, and oil in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and mix well. Add half of the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the flour and mix very well. Be sure not to leave any chunks of flour!

Roll out your pie pastry. Gently place it in your pie dish and add the filling. Leave about a 1/4-1/2 inch room above the top of your crust – the filling will rise a bit while baking.

Bake the pie at 450F for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350F and bake an additional 30-35 minutes. To check for doneness, gently shake the pie dish in the oven. The center should jiggle slightly. Allow to cool for several hours, preferably overnight.

Now I’m off for my vacation. Have a great Thanksgiving, and eat lots of vegan pie!

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Pumpkin Muffins

I’m a big blog reader.

I could waste hours of time. Reading recipes, searching recipes, studying pictures, enjoying other peoples’ lives…Seriously. Hours.

So when I come across an amazing blog, I get really excited. I jumped for joy when I found Daily Garnish (and I kind of want to steal her new baby). I fell in love when I stumbled upon Chocolate Covered Katie and her Cookie Dough Dip. I decided I want kids like Sara Matheny’s at Peas and Thank You. And finally, I’ve decided to go punk, so I can go not-punk and be just like the Post Punk Kitchen.

And make Isa’s “Best” Pumpkin Muffins.

Her recipe is picture-less. I’m of the opinion (just like everyone else, duh) that a picture speaks a thousand words. But here, there’s no “you-want-to-eat-me muffin” staring right at you. There’s no fancy lighting to make it look enticing. There is only a recipe, and it speaks for itself.

I won’t post the recipe here (it’ll force you to go over to her blog!), but I will show you some pictures I took.

Make these muffins now. Seriously. You’ll be glad you did.

Question of the day: Who are your favorite bloggers? And what is your favorite recipe of theirs?

I already told you some of mine, so no surprise there. But I’m always searching for more, so I’d love to know your favorites!

Pumpkin Scones

It’s officially Fall!

At least my calendar thinks so. San Luis, on the other hand, can’t quite decide. Some days are cold (and by cold I mean in the 60’s), and some days are positively hot! Just last week I was going to class in shorts and a tank top, feeling like I still had too much clothing on. The thermometer hit somewhere around 100 degrees F, and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in the sky. This week, however, is a different story. Our morning bike ride yesterday required all the clothing I had, and my feet still went numb under my wool socks. Yet, the day warmed up a bit and the weatherman is predicting a high of 75 today. Hmm. Not so fall-y.

That is a word.

The only real sign of fall that I see is some changing of leaves from red to gold to brown. So pretty! And my garden doesn’t seem to want to produce anything more for me to eat… Looks like I need to find some winter plants.

Anyway! Elissa and I decided to try usher in the fall spirit by baking something with pumpkin. No other flavor describes the atmosphere, flavors, and feeling of fall so well as pumpkin and it’s complimentary spices. We threw them all together in some scones and topped them with a sugary cinnamony glaze. They not only made amazing dessert, but amazing breakfast, too.

Pumpkin Scones

Print this recipe.

1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp All Purpose flour
1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
7 tbsp cold earth balance butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp nondairy milk (I used soy)
1 tbsp ground chia seeds or flax seeds, + 3 tbsp water

For the spiced frosting:
1 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp nondairy milk (I used soy)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

———-

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the chia or flax with the water and let sit for a few minutes.

Combine flour (minus the 3 tbsp), baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or a fork until chunks of butter are fairly flat and about the size of your fingernail.

Place the pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, and flax mixture in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing only enough to moisten all the flour. It is best to do this with your hands so you can really get a good feel for the dough. It should feel light and fluffy and hold its shape. If it feels too wet, add the extra flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until you feel you have the right consistency.

Dust a surface with some flour and knead the dough just a few times. Shape into a rough circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Transfer the wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes, just until you see the edges start to brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let sit while you make the frosting.

Combine all the ingredients for the frosting and whisk until smooth. Once the scones are cool, you can either brush the frosting on with a pastry brush, or pipe it on using a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner. Let the frosting dry for 30 minutes. Or just eat them right then and there. It depends how strong-willed you are! (We aren’t very strong-willed…)

We had some frosting left over so we tossed it with some almonds and baked them for 15 minutes at the same temperature. It added just a touch of sweetness and made a wonderful snack 🙂

Any ideas for good plants to plant during winter?

Frost isn’t a big issue – we’re 15 minutes from the west coast. Just about anything grows here!