Holiday Pie Recipes

Over the holidays, many people get together to enjoy a meal with family.  Pies make the perfect dessert – portable for potlucks, eye-catching, and delicious.  The challenge is making them as healthy as possible, by avoiding animal products and keeping the sugar and fat to a minimum. This piecrust recipe is both easy and healthy!

For toppings, look for vegan whipped cream, such as Soya Too. Coconut ice cream is another delicious alternative to whipped cream.

Simple and Flaky Piecrust

½ cup flour (barley, whole wheat pastry or unbleached white)

2/3 cup walnuts or Brazil nuts

½ tsp salt

½ cup quick oats

¼ cup or more water

Place flour, nuts and salt in a food processor and blend about 1 minute, until nuts are ground as fine as the flour.

Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in the oats. Add water, gently forming dough into a ball with your hands. Add a bit more water, if needed for a soft but not sticky ball of dough.

Roll the dough from center to edges between parchment paper, forming a 12 inch circle.

For a prebaked crust, prick bottom and sides of pastry generously with the tines of a fork. Prick where bottom and sides meet all around the pie shell. Bake at 400 F for 10-12 min.

Pecan piePecan Pie

Makes 1 pie

2½ cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

¾ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons flaxseeds
1½ teaspoons arrowroot

1/3 cup soymilk
1 prebaked simple and flaky pie crust

In a medium saucepan, combine maple syrup, rice syrup, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

In a spice grinder, grind flaxseeds to a powder. Combine powdered flaxseeds, arrowroot, and soymilk with the maple syrup mixture, pour into a blender, and blend until smooth.

Place the pecans in a large bowl. Pour the liquid from the blender over the pecans. Mix well and pour into a prebaked pie shell.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the filling has firmed up. Let cool.

Pumpkin Custard Pie

Makes 1 pie
Cornstarch is used as a thickener in place of eggs in this pie.

1½ cups soymilk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups solid-pack canned pumpkin or cooked pumpkin
½ cup raw sugar or other sweetener
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Fat-Free Pie Crust or unbaked commercial pie crust

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together soymilk and cornstarch until smooth, then blend in pumpkin, sugar or other sweetener, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Pour into pie shell and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm. Cool before cutting.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Makes 8 servings.

This dessert is perfect for autumn, when cranberries are available and apples are fresh, but you can make it at other times of the year using frozen cranberries. Brown rice syrup is available at health food stores. No pie crust needed for this recipe!

2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2/3 cup apple juice
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange apple slices in a 9″×9″ baking dish, then sprinkle with cranberries. In a bowl, mix Grape-Nuts, oats, and cinnamon, then stir in brown rice syrup. Spread evenly over apples. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix apple juice and cornstarch or arrowroot, then pour evenly over other ingredients.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until apples are tender.