Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2nd Annual Vegan Baking Roundtable

Maybe Jocelyn has got a nice photo of one of our creations to insert here, but until then this frosted Chokecherry plant will hold the place :)

For only 6 adult participants ( and two great kids! ) there sure was a lot of food at our 2nd annual Vegan Baking Roundtable on November 22nd. Some of the recipes will follow my shameless gushing of our wonderful vegan baking efforts, and others are available on several links provided. All in all, it was another wonderful testament to how great cruelty-free cooking can be :)
Meggin brought the most incredible Blueberry Pie...only one ragged little piece was left standing by the time we wrapped up ( I got to have it all to myself the next night ). The blueberry flavor was intense in a perfect balance of sweet yet tart. Amazingly deep color and a lightly browned lattice crust made this pie as nice to look at as to eat! Keep reading to find her recipe.

Vineet and Pooja brought 2 gorgeous pumpkin pies that were made from pumpkins they grew themselves. I have had issues with "traditional" Pumpkin Pie in the past...too sweet, too dense....all that egg and dairy I guess. Vineet's pie was fresh and light, the pumpkin and spices were the stars, not just a flavor. He generously brought the second pie for Jamie and I to keep and have for Thanksgiving...thanks Vineet! You can find his recipe and check out his cool blog, The Green Vine.

Jocelyn, her husband Michael Neese, and their two kids, Nylah and Jackson brought a ton of food! Before long she was browning a skillet full of Tofurky sausages she'd found at a bargain price, and decided to share with us ! We munched on those along with my Roasted Cauliflower Quiche ( recipe to follow ), some local Winesap Apples w/ Vegan Caramel Sauce ( also to follow! ) to dip the slices in if you wanted to. Then Jocelyn, with help from Nylah, did her Spiced Banana Pancake demo, including a variation that uses an easily found brand of vegan chocolate chip, Gheradellis. Visit Jocelyn's awesome new blog, Vegan Family Values ! Check out Michael's informative little essay on a strange , but harmless ( and apparently tasty! ) fungus found growing on a tree, and how they cooked and ate it on their blog as well.

A Vegan Baking discussion would not be complete without talking about all the ways to replace eggs, not only as a leavening, but as a main ingredient as well, as in my quiche. We also surfed the net some, looking at several vegan sites, including Veganbaking.net which has loads of information on all things vegan baking. Check out the recipe for the Raw Cranberry Cheesecake there...I've got to try that soon ! Of course, we also showed off our own lovely blogs.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's book The Joy of Vegan Baking is highly recommended for clear instructions and inspired recipes...this would make a nice gift for the baker in any family.

Jamie ( who provided our tech support for the computer/tv connection) joined us towards the end, bringing Bosky back from a visit with Dad, and offering his opinions on our efforts...the pies were his favorites!

Meggin's Blueberry Pie
For the Crust:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
8-10 Tablespoons cold water

For The Filling:
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup tapioca
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-sized. Add in the water 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing with a fork until dough is moistened, but not sticky. Sepearte dough into two halves. In another bowl, stir together the filling ingredients. Roll out half the dough and line a 9" pie pan with it. Add the blueberry filling ingredients. Roll out the second half of the dough, and either cut into 1/2" strips for a lattice top or place entire sheet over the filling and cut steam vents. Roll together and pinch crusts along edge of pie pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is lightly browned.

Vegan Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup canned coconut milk ( i used Trader Joe's light)
3/4 cup light brown evaporated cane sugar
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 Tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine milk and sugars in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Mix the arrowroot and water, stirring to dissolve the arrowroot. Add to the simmering mixture,whisking well to keep it moving. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before pouring it into a jar for storage. Store in the fridge. Will keep for several weeks. Try it on ice cream, pie, or as a dip for apples.

Roasted Cauliflower Quiche
The crust was pre-baked, at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, using the recipe from an earlier post on this blog, titled Hand Pies...or you can use your own recipe, a store bought crust, or even make crustless naked quiche. Try also in-season asparagus, broccoli, greens ( Vineet has made some great ones using Swiss chard ). The filling is based on a recipe from the cookbook, You Won't Believe It's Vegan! I like all the ingredients to be room temperature before it goes into the oven.
2 heaping cups of cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, cut into a small dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 14oz. water-packed block firm tofu, drained but not pressed, room temp.
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons light miso ( optional)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt-free Spike seasoning "salt"
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
Heat the oil in a big heavy skillet, add the onion and cauliflower, cover lightly and sweat the veggies for a few minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook,on medium-high, stirring the veggies to keep them from burning, but allowing them to caramelize some. Cook until just tender. Remove from heat. ( alternatively, you could roast these or just about any other veggies you want in your quiche, in the oven at 400 for about 20-30 minutes. Be sure that the vegetables are cooked thru ).
Crumble the tofu into a food processor or blender, along with the next 5 ingredients and blend until very smooth, adding a little water or plant milk as needed to get a very thick batter. Stir the roasted veggies and parsley into the tofu blend and spread into your pie crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cold!