Fall Favorites

Growing up, fall in our house meant lots of baking with our favorite autumn ingredients. Our mom made peach crisp every fall and the crumbly, decadent peaches always left us wanting second helpings. This week, Jess shares a vegan, gluten-free crumbly peach crisp that is sure to be loved by vegans and non-vegans alike. Meanwhile, Nikki takes on a classic autumn favorite, apple pie, but adds her own unique twist. Enjoy!

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final pie

Click the link below to check out both recipes!

VEGAN PEACH CRISP

The great thing about this peach crisp is that it is incredibly easy and quick, and suited for a variety of diets. The crumbly topping comes from blended walnuts instead of flour so it is gluten-free. I also used maple syrup instead of any sugar, so the crisp is paleo, as well! This is a great guilt free alternative to traditional peach crisp, and your tasters will be pleasantly surprised.


Ingredients:
Filling:

  • 2 pounds chopped peaches (feel free to leave the skin on)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces/halves
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened if preparing paleo)
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat your oven to 350. In a large pot over medium heat, stir in peaches, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continuing to stir, allow the maple syrup to come to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer until peaches are tender and can easily be poked with a fork. Turn off the heat and let sit while you make the crumble.

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Place walnuts and shredded coconut in a food processor. Blend until crumbly and add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, the coconut oil, salt, and vanilla extract. Blend again until the mixture is moist and crumbly. You may need to add another tablespoon of maple syrup, and/or water. The topping should be pretty moist.

Pour the peach mixture into a 9 inch pan (no need to grease the pan). Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top. Sprinkle cinnamon over the topping, amounting to about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes; you want a golden brown topping. Serve warm, with coconut ice cream on top!

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HEART-CRUSTED APPLE PIE

There are few things better in life than apple pie in autumn. What better way to celebrate such a beautiful season than with an American classic that is both nostalgic and delicious? This time, I wanted to get a bit more creative. For the pie filling, I used a traditional recipe with fresh Granny Smith apples. For the buttery, flaky crust (the best part), I was inspired by this beautiful pie, and decided to get cutesy with a heart cut-out crust. I have seen adorable versions with fall leaves or other seasonal cut-outs adorning the crust. Many kitchen supply stores have copious amounts of cookie cutters, including many seasonal shapes. I purchased my heart cookie cutter at Sur la Table. So let’s get to the good stuff! Follow along below for a classic, scrumptious fall favorite.

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Look at those beautiful Granny Smith apples! Just begging to be baked, of course.

RECIPE

This pie is a bit labor-intensive, so if you have time, make the pie dough a day ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pie (Just a head’s up, the dough must be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes anyway). For a quick and easier version of this recipe, store-bought refrigerated pie crust (gasp!) is a great solution for those who don’t have a lot of time and can be purchased at most grocery stores. Pillsbury makes one that is almost as good as a fresh one! However, I used one of my go-to recipes for pie dough, by Ina Garten. It is a reliable recipe that makes for the perfect buttery, flaky crust. The original recipe can be found here.

INGREDIENTS

Pie Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup ice water


Apple Pie:

  • 2 1/2- 3 pounds (depending on size) Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of zest
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 egg white


INSTRUCTIONS

Pie Dough

1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Dice the butter and add the butter it to the food processor, along with the vegetable shortening. Pulse the mixture 8-12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Apple Pie

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place oven rack to the lowest level.

2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator once it has been refrigerated for at least 30 minutes. Cut the dough in half. Reserve one half of the dough. Roll the other half on a well-floured surface (I use my counter tops) and begin to form it into a circle. Roll from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough as you go along, making sure it does not stick to the surface. Roll into a circle shape a little larger than the pie pan. Fold the dough in half, place in the pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Set aside. (Recipe continues below, there are a total of 7 steps)

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3. Toss the peeled, cored, and sliced apples (they should be about 1/4″ slices) with lemon juice and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix ¾ cup sugar with flour, salt and spices. Combine the dry ingredients with the apples. Pour the apple mixture into the pie plate.

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4. Roll out the second half of the pie dough using the same method as used with the first half. Once the dough is rolled out, use your cookie cutter to cut shapes in the pie dough. Continue using the cutting scraps and re-rolling the dough until you have used most of it.

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5. Beginning at the crust, layer the hearts on top of the apple mixture, pressing the hearts firmly into the crimped crust. Work inwards, layering hearts in between the gaps. Whisk 1 egg white in a small bowl and brush the entire crust with egg wash. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the pie.

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6. Place the pie on a baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. After that, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.

7. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for 2-3 hours.

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final pie

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