I’m actually making a pie for Pi Day. If this doesn’t impress you then I’m sorry, but I usually never remember these fun food holidays so this feels like kinda a big deal for me. This is a simple classic vegan berry pie with a flaky crust made with a little bit of spelt flour for good measure and a very ooey gooey fruity filling with hints of lemon and vanilla bean throughout.
I used my go-to vegan flaky pie crust recipe and subbed in a 1/2 cup of spelt flour and added a spoonful of my homemade vanilla bean extract with vanilla bean seeds. If you have something similar go ahead and use it or instead scrape the seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean or use vanilla bean paste or powder. Options. For the fat I used 1/2 vegan butter alternative (earth balance) and 1/2 shortening (nutiva) plus a smidge of extra virgin olive oil (it makes it extra flaky). I get a lot of questions about this… No I don’t chill the dough before rolling. I know. Breathe. While chilling pastry dough is necessary when using dairy butter, I found that it doesn’t really matter with vegan butter or shortening because… they don’t melt so quickly like real butter. It’s also much easier to roll out, especially if your using whole grain flours, and you wont have any of those pesky cracks.
Having no-cracks in your bottom crust is important for avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom. It’s also important to seal and crimp the top and bottom crust well to avoid side leakage down into the outside for the bottom crust. Take care and go back over your crimping to to be sure it sealed tightly. Then you should be good. Even with this very juicy vegan berry pie filling the bottom crust comes out beautiful and there is no need to blind bake it first.
When I decided to make a pie yesterday (so last minute… my m.o.) I didn’t have many options so I checked the freezer and found bags of wild Maine blueberries that my parents brought us fresh from Maine last summer. Perfect, right? So blueberry pie it was with a bit of frozen raspberries too. I’m calling this berry pie because you can use and one or combo of berries, though I’d probably pass on strawberries, unless you’re doing them rhubarb of course. Adding lemon zest and juice and more vanilla extract, or whatever vanilla concoction you have, gives this pie a wonderful flavor and aroma. You can even throw the scraped vanilla bean pod into the mix and it will infuse itself nicely into the filling while its baking – plus someone gets a surprise in their slice.
I posted step-by-step time lapse videos of me making this vegan berry pie, how I cut the crust and all that (made it up as I went), on my Instagram stories last night. Saved them in my highlights here if you want to watch along. On that note, I appreciate all of your awesome messages on my food stories. Thanks for watching and if you have any questions just shoot me a message or leave a comment below!
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