Pumpkin Pies and Farmers Market

This weekend was a busy one, so I didn’t have a chance to post the pie-making photos from yesterday. Eric and I started the day by going to the Davis farmer’s market, an old tradition from our college days. I got very excited and bought way too many things (in the span of about 15 minutes), including apple butter, hummus, a ton of veggies for the week, freshly made pitas, and about 3 lbs of persimmons (for baking later this week). Still thinking about what to bake with the persimmons. 

After breakfast we headed back since I had a pie to bake. We were invited to a Thanksgiving potluck at a friend’s house and I signed up for pumpkin pie duty. Not to brag or anything, but back in my non-vegan days, I was told that my pie crust was something special.  It was really flaky and buttery but definitely not too good for you. My family still  asks me to make my pies just the way they like them; flaky and buttery. So lately, I  have been experimenting with different vegan versions. For the potluck, I decided to experiment some more. Probably not the best idea because if things didn’t go well I would have nothing to bring to the potluck.

But thankfully, aside from a couple of mishaps, all went well. The first crust was a combination of white flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and pecans. Something about pecans and pumpkin sounded just right.

It turned out fairly well. The coconut oil gives it such a wonderful flavor and it is really good for you. It just wasn’t as flaky as I would like it and was a bit hard to roll out. Next time, I will only keep it in the fridge for a few minutes before rolling it out.

Here it is – all done and ready for the  potluck.

While I was at it, I made another crust using whole wheat pastry flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup. No peacans this time. Since I was just experimenting with the crust and did not want to bake a whole other pie, I put my muffin tin to use for some mini apple pies. I peeled, cored and chopped up two apples and mixed them with apple butter (one of the best purchases I made at the farmer’s market), cinammon, date sugar and brown sugar.  Easy and quick.

This was purely an experiment to test out the whole wheat pastry flour with the coconut oil. Again, love the flavor of the coconut oil. They turned out pretty good but the dough was definitely more dense and less “pie like”. They were perfect for a snack later that night and today.

I added the apple butter to my pumpkin oatmeal this morning. One word – YUM! I will be coming back to pick up some more.

After all the experiments,  here is my favorite recipe for a basic vegan pie crust. It makes enough dough for a deep pie dish, which is the one I like to use. Eric bought it for me last year. Smart move since I definitely put it to good use around here.


2 1/2 cups of flour
2 Tbls. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 cup/ 16 Tbls. of vegan butter (Earth Balance)


Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl or a food processor. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the flour. Pulse in a food processor (if using) until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add 2 tablespoons of water and pulse 3 times. Keep adding 2 tablespoons and pulsing until the dough come together. You will know it’s ready when the dough sticks together but is not wet or sticky. Take out the dough out of the bowl and divide into two round disks on lightly floured surface. You will have enough for a double crust pie (like an apple pie) or you can save the rest for later.  Tightly wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Once you are ready to roll out the dough, let it stand for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Bake in a 375 ° oven (for 50 minutes, if you are making pumpkin pie).

Here is the basic vegan pie crust. These photos were taken about a week ago.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only a few days away. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? 

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  1. Laura Koshy
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I remember hanging out with you while you baked your very first pie for Eric! You were laughing at how domestic you felt. Now you are a pie pro!

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I totally remember that! It was about 3 years ago and I was making apple pie. :)

  2. Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Have you ever tried making pastry crust with cocoa butter? It’s even better for you than coconut (metabolizes to unsaturated fat) and I bet it would make a flakier pastry even than butter, since it’s hard at room temperature. It’s too expensive for me, but if you try do pass it on.

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Great idea. No, I haven’t used cocoa butter before. Mainly because like you said, it tends to be a bit on the pricey side. But I happen to have some left in my pantry so I will give it a try. I will let you know how it goes!

  3. Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I was one of the lucky one who got to taste that pumpkin pie and I thought it was amazing. If I didn’t know better I would never have guessed it was vegan and the crust even tasted buttery!

  4. Linda
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Everything looks so yummy! And it is fun experimenting! I am making Persimmon-Apple Sauce today with mostly persimmon…only one apple. Recipe calls for a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, vanilla and lemon zest. I plan on giving you a jar if it turns out!

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      That’s funny because I have a fridge full of persimmons right now! I’m thinking about making persimmon bread and possibly a tart. The Persimmon-Apple Sauce sounds delicious; I can’t wait to give it a try! I’m sure it will turn out great.

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