Today someone very special to me tried to motivate me to start blogging again. Not sure how and why, but I promised I would start tonight. So here is one of my favorite pie recipes along with a photo of princess Ifi. The crust is perfect for any creamy pie filling and the filling can be also used to make a vegan galaktobureko.
for the crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup ice water
2 TB sugar
pinch of salt
1 TB apple cider vinegar
Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the margarine in small pieces and add it to the flour mixture until you form a crumbly dough. Mix the water with the apple cider vinegar and slowly drizzle it over the flour. Mix the dough with your hands until it forms a soft ball. Add more water if needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Sprinkle your working surface or a piece of parchment paper with flour and roll out the crust. Transfer the dough crust into a pie dish and crimp the edges as desired.
for the filling
4 cups of vanilla soy milk
1 cup fine semolina
1/3 cup of vegan margarine
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/3 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. On stovetop bring milk almost to a boil in a saucepan, and then add the margarine, banana, sugar, cinnamon and semolina making sure to stir continuously over the heat until a thick cream is formed. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes until the top has browned. Let it cool, serve and enjoy!
Until I met my husband this was the only pumpkin pie I ever had. And I believed that this was the only reason that people need pumpkins for. For our first thanks giving dinner he said that it’s a tradition to make pumpkin pie for dessert. So I was really frustrated when I served my pie and he said this is not a pumpkin pie. Of course at the end he loved it! You can make this with store bought phyllo or you can make your own.
For the phyllo
1 kg/2 pounds all purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
water (as much as needed so the dough will be soft but no sticky)
For the filling
1 kg/2 pounds shredded fresh orange pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
powdered sugar and cinnamon for topping the pie
In a big mixing bowl you mix all the ingredients for the phyllo until you have a soft but not sticky dough. Cover the dough and you let it chil in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. In another mixing bowl mix all the ingredients for the filling and set aside. Separate the dough in about 14 equal pieces/ small balls. Dust the surface you will be making your phyllos with flour and use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a thin phyllo. With a fork cut each phyllo in half. In the center of the first cut phyllo you will be filling, place a generous amount of pumpkin filling, roll to cover and then twist the phyllo to make a “snail”. Look here, here and here to see what I am talking about because unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures while I was making the pie. That “snail” you made now place it in the center of a round greased baking pan. Continue by filling the other phyllos, but instead of making snails, roll them around that first snail you already placed in the baking pan. Brush the top phyllos with oil and bake in preheated oven at 180C/350F for about 40 minutes. Serve warm, topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
Vasilopita (St. Basil’s Bread) or New Year’s Cake is a tradition for the Orthodox Church here in Greece. It can be a loaf of sweet bread, cake or a pie. A coin is baked in the dough. On New Year’s Day, after the family dinner, the cake is traditionally cut by the senior male member of the family, and the person who receives the portion of the Cake which contains the coin is considered blessed for the New Year.
Each portion of the Cake is distributed as follows: The first portion is cut for Jesus Christ. The second is for The Virgin Mary. The third is for St. Basil the Great and the forth for the house. The other portions are cut for the members of the family beginning with the eldest.
If you are interested, you can read more about the Vasilopita and its history here.
Since I went vegan 5 years ago, it became a tradition for me to bake the Vasilopita every year. Not just for our house, but pretty much for everyone in the family. For my mom, my aunts, friends etc. This is a really tasty cake and you can make it any time during the year – just don’t write the year on it. It’s great with a morning coffee or a cup of tea.
1/2 cup vegan margarine (1oo grams)
1 cup sugar
2 cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 1/4 cup of water
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of flour
2 Tbsp corn flour
1 ts baking powder
1 ts baking soda
1 cup ground walnuts
Mix the coconut milk with the apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. Mix the ground flax seeds with the water and set aside until it forms a gel. In a mixing bowl sift the flour, corn flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix with a fork. In a big mixing bowl place the margarine and the sugar and use a hand mixer to mix them until the margarine becomes fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract, flax seeds mixture and a little bit of the coconut milk and blend. Start adding the flour mixture and the coconut milk, 1/2 cup at the time and mix with the hand mixer in low/medium. Once you have added all the milk and flour add the ground walnuts. Use a fork to distribute the walnuts all over the dough. Do not forget at this stage to slip a coin (covered in tinfoil) in the cake dough. Grease and flour a baking pan, pour the dough in it and bake in preheated oven at 180 for about 40 minutes, until the cake is ready. Let it cool before removing from the pan. Dust the cake with powdered sugar and write the year on it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I don’t understand why people in Greece do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I find Thanksgiving to be an amazing opportunity to celebrate and be thankful of what you have. I am thankful to have a wonderful family, two adorable kitties, the best husband in the world and really great friends. As Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Greece and had to spend much time working, I didn’t manage to create a really great Thanksgiving dinner. It was also just me and Sean so I preferred to spend more time with him instead of cooking for many hours. Of course we did have dinner. And watched football. For dinner we had black bean cutlets, creamy mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggie pot pie, a pretty green salad and easy chocolate peanut butter pie. I didn’t even think to take any pictures when I served the dinner, so all I have to share today is an after hours photo from our pie. Actually of what it was left…