Anyone can bake a cake. At the most basic level, a canned mix will suffice. However, there is no canned pie mix. Pie is more complex, and therefore, more impressive. You have to master a crust that is both buttery and flaky yet soft enough to be manipulated into a detailed lattice. Then there’s the filling – fruit fillings shouldn’t leak and creamy fillings should be set, not to mention fillings ranging from fluffy whips to sweet crumbs. But don’t be afraid. We are here to help you. Here’s how to (easily) veg any pie. On your marks, get set, cook!
Puff pastry and butter
We all know it: a flaky, melt-in-the-mouth, perfectly set pie crust. Unfortunately, it’s not always as malleable as Snow White makes it look as she rolls and folds dough into pie pans while birds chirp around her. A recipe for strong, flaky buttery pie crust only requires four ingredients, but the end result is often a gamble if you’re new to baking. If you’re following a basic pie crust recipe that calls for butter, flour, ice water, and salt, just substitute the dairy butter for a vegan butter (we swear by Earth Balance sticks, not the bathtub). Some vegan recipes will use coconut oil, but don’t substitute coconut oil for dairy butter unless the recipe explicitly calls for it. The secret to perfect pie crust is to follow the recipe. You can often get creative with certain toppings, but the dough is science-based.
Try this recipe: Puff Pastry Vegan Pie Crust by I love vegans
Graham crackers and cookie crusts
Far less complicated than traditional dough, this sweet foundation is all about crushing cookies into oblivion. For the graham cracker base, buy a brand that doesn’t contain honey (Nabisco and Keebler Originals are vegan). Toss the grahams with a little coconut oil or dairy-free butter and a tablespoon or two of sugar until you can easily press the dough together and it holds together. The same method applies to cookie crusts, although you can omit the sugar in this case. Wafer cookies work, but the cream-filled variety acts as an extra adhesive, which means you can use less vegan butter and avoid a greasy crust. In that case, you’re allowed to get a little creative and turn any vegan sandwich cookie into a one-of-a-kind pie crust (like the pumpkin pie on Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s) .
Try this recipe: Vegan graham cracker crust by Dessert Done Light
Vegans are clear for this one! Luckily, most non-vegan bakers don’t introduce any animal products into their berry or apple pies. You can follow your grandmother’s recipe to the end for this component of the pie. The only exception is the rare stippling of the filling with knobs of butter (most often with apple pie). Swap the dairy butter for whatever vegan butter you have on hand and you’re golden.
Try this recipe: Mixed Berries and Coconut Whipped Cream Pie by A Saucy Kitchen
We’re talking pecan pie here. Non-vegan pecan pie recipes usually call for eggs and butter. The vegan exchange? Tofu. When carefully tossed with corn syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla (and maybe a little bourbon), tofu acts as a crucial binding agent that gives pecan pie its sweet, creamy filling under the layer of toasted pecans. Please note bakers: use the silken tofu provided in the shelf-stable cardboard packaging. The refrigerated section type will not work.
Try this recipe: Maple and pecan pie by Post Punk Kitchen
Think pumpkin, lime, lemon meringue, chocolate, and chess pie. With cornstarch, these pies rely on eggs to thicken and bind. To vegetate, you have a few options. Along with the ever-reliable tofu, cashews can help create a creamy consistency that won’t runny when sliced. Like the crust, creamy filling pies rely a little more on science than creativity, so while you can try turning a non-vegan creamy pie into a plant-based treat, there’s no such thing as a recipe for success. individual exchange that will guarantee results every time, so be prepared for a bit of trial and error. When it comes to our favorite creamy pie recipes, we turn to vegan recipes as-is for a dependable and flavorful end result.
Try this recipe: Vegan pumpkin pie by Food Network
Why struggle with a complicated lattice top crust when you can just sprinkle over a pile of sweet and buttery crumble topping? Vegetarianize this delicious element easily by replacing the vegan butter with dairy butter. The remaining ingredients – sugar, brown sugar, flour and salt – are ready to go.
Try this recipe: Apple crumble pie by Love and Lemons
Whipped cream filling
Full disclosure: Thanks to all the vegan whipped cream products available, the store-bought version is almost as good as the homemade version. We’re fans of So Delicious’ Cocowhip and Nature’s Charm Canned Coconut Whipping Cream. However, if you’re set on making your own, you’ll need a can of full-fat coconut cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a hand mixer or stand mixer (trust us). , you don’t want to beat this by hand because you’ll need some horsepower to create fluffy cream peaks). The trick is to chill the can of coconut cream until a solid layer forms on top, then transfer this solid mass to a bowl without any liquid. Note: sometimes you will get a “failed” can of coconut that refuses to whip and instead creates a curdled mess. You can’t store it at this point, so it’s crucial to have a rescue box or store-bought vegan whisk on hand.
Try this recipe: Coconut Whip by hot for food
The discovery of aquafaba (whipped chickpea brine) made vegan meringue possible. For years, bakers have been frustrated with the solution of this concoction of egg white and sugar. Who knew the answer was in a can of chickpeas? Aquafaba tends to be slightly less temperamental than coconut cream, so you can try this filling with confidence. Having a stand mixer helps tremendously, but if you’re okay with doing a bit of arm training, electric hand mixers will work in a pinch. Stack your sumptuous vegan pie with a mountain of meringue then take it back with a blowtorch to delight your guests.
Try this recipe: Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie by Pickles & Honey
For more vegan cooking tips, read:
The Complete Guide to Vegan Butter
14 drool-worthy vegan pies for Pi Day
How to cook vegan