When my friend Dynise Balcavage asked me to share her latest cookbook creation with you, I couldn’t resist. She is enormously talented and has a terrific sense of humor – both traits shine in Pies and Tarts with Heart: Exper...
When my friend Dynise Balcavage asked me to share her latest cookbook creation with you, I couldn’t resist. She is enormously talented and has a terrific sense of humor – both traits shine in Pies and Tarts with Heart: Expert Pie-Building Techniques for 60+ Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies. From the book press release:
PIES AND TARTS WITH HEART
Presented in an easy to follow, step-by-step format, first readers will learn to master their crusts, be it flaky, nutty, cookie-based, vegetable-based, or gluten-free. Then they’ll craft their fillings before moving on to assembling the pieces, decorating it, and even making their homemade topping. (Vegan whipped cream, anyone?)
With more than 70 phenomenal recipes, there’s
something inside for every would-be pie maker and the recipes could be easier. Inside readers will find:
Classics like Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Key Lime Pie
Rustic Freeform Plum Tart
Quiche, 10 Ways
Booze-Infused Mushroom-Polenta Pie
North-African Inspired Kale Pie
They’ll even find vegan “Imposters” like Boston Creme Pie, Whoopie Pies, and Macaroni Pie.
How about a recipe from the book?
Raw Baklava-Crusted Apple Tart
Make this one for your sweeties with sweet tooths … er … sweet teeth? The base of this tart is inspired by the flavors of Baklava, the famously sinful Greek/Middle Eastern pastry. It’s topped with a gorgeous concentric circle of sweet-tart apples, which complement all the flavorings used in baklava, and drenched with lemon-cinnamon flavored Agave syrup.
Makes three 4-inch (10 cm) tarts or 6 mini tarts
½ cup (120 ml) agave nectar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
½ cup (70 g) raw pistachios, walnuts, and/or almonds
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of sea salt
3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) raw agave nectar
½ to 2 tablespoons (8 to 30 ml) lemon juice
2 organic apples (Granny Smith,
McIntosh, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn)
Lemon juice, to prevent browning
Cinnamon, for dusting
(For a 9-inch (23 cm) pie, double the recipe)
To make the syrup: Mix everything together in a large bowl or Mason jar. Ideally you should make this the night before, but let it sit for at least 4 hours before serving so the flavors have time to get to know each other.
To make the crust: Whiz together the nuts, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and agave in a food processor. (If you have one, a mini food processor is ideal for this task.) Chunks of nuts should be visible—don’t overprocess. Add the lemon juice, ½ tablespoon at a time, and whiz until the nut mixture sticks together. Press evenly into tart pans.
Slice the apples as thinly as possible, just before preparing the tarts (a mandoline is ideal for this job) and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the slices in concentric circles atop the raw crusts.
Pile about 1 teaspoon of the fruit garnish in the center. Drizzle with the prepared syrup and dust with extra cinnamon. Serve immediately.
Substitute a ripe pear or an Asian pear for the apple.
About the Author
Dynise Balcavage is the author of The Urban Vegan, Celebrate Vegan, and 11 books for young readers. She has published recipes in VegNews, Vegetarian Times, Philadelphia Daily News, and Végéteriens (France’s first vegetarian magazine). She’s been interviewed in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune, and has done cooking demos everywhere from New York to Paris. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her three cats. Visit her online at http://www.urbanvegan.net.
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