Harvest Pie from Sweet Vegan Treats by Hannah Kaminsky is a perfect treat for fall get togethers. Made with apple, sweet potato, cranberries, and walnuts, it’s the ultimate dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s great for holiday parties and Christmas, too.
Before I went vegan, I was an avid baker. I was known for the elaborately decorated holiday cookies, and my chocolate cheesecake once garnered a marriage proposal. Once I went vegan, I had no idea what I was doing. It was easy to replace milk in baked goods, but what about eggs and cream cheese? I went through a baking void that lasted 5 or 6 years.
A few vegan baking cookbooks came out several years later that helped me get back into the swing of making vegan desserts. One of them was My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky. I baked my way through it, treating my friends and coworkers to batches of Lychee Cupcakes, Pink Lemonade Tartlets, and Hazelnut Ravioli.
More than 10 years later, Hannah has changed the way she bakes, so she’s reworked the beloved recipes from My Sweet Vegan, and she shares then in her newest book Sweet Vegan Treats. The recipes have less sugar and vegan butter instead of margarine. There are more gluten-free and whole-grain options, and corn syrup has been given the boot. The recipes have new names, too.
Hannah begins Sweet Vegan Treats with an ingredient guide for those who are new to vegan baking (and for those who aren’t but need a reminder). She also shares tools of the trader, as well as a guide to essential baking techniques. Not sure how to roll out a perfect pie crust? Don’t worry, Hannah has you covered. There’s also a trouble shooting guide. If your cake didn’t ride or your cookies are dry, Hannah has tips that can help.
And then, of course, there are the recipes. Who can say no to a Crumb-Topped Brownie, a wedge of Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, or a slice of Marshmallow Mud Cake? Sweet Vegan Treats contains desserts for all occasions, including celebrations, holidays, and just after snacking. You’ll find recipes cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, bars, truffles, and so much more. There’s also a chapter with breakfast recipes, such as granola, muffins, and scones. Hannah has included a chapter with basics, too, So, if you want to make your own ice cream or graham crackers, she’ll show you how.
- Sweet Starts
- Cookies and Bars
- Cakes and Cupcakes
- Pies and Tarts
- Miscellaneous Morsels and Desserts
- Pantry Staples, Components, and Accompaniments
Hannah took the drool-worthy photos that accompany the recipes. Even if you’re not a baker, you’re going to want a copy of this book just for them!
The first recipe I made from Sweet Vegan Treats was the Harvest Pie. It’s an updated recipe from My Sweet Vegan that I hadn’t tried yet. Since it’s full of cranberries, apples, walnuts, and sweet potato, I knew it would be a good autumn dessert.
I’m going to admit that I don’t really like working with dough. I usually avoid making pies, or I buy premade crusts. But I was up for a challenge, so I gave Hannah’s sweet maple crust recipe a go. It was actually really easy to make! She gives instructions on mixing the ingredients by hand or with a food processor, and I used the food processor option. It came together really quickly.
After the dough is mixed, it’s refrigerated and then rolled out. Rolling the dough was really easy, and transferring it to pie pan was simple to do. Hannah suggests getting creative with the top piece of crust and using cookie cutters to cut fun shapes. I copied her idea of placing leaf shapes around the outer edge of the pie. (Although her pie looks much prettier than mine!)
Making the filling is as simple as chopping up an apple and a sweet potato and tossing the pieces together with walnuts and cranberries. You then add a little cornstarch, some salt, a little nutmeg, and brown sugar. Right before baking, you sprinkle vegan bits of vegan butter over the filling for an extra touch of lusciousness. (I used Miyoko’s butter.)
The pie bakes up in just 35-40 minutes. Serve it as is or with a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream.
If you’re new to vegan baking or you’re a baking pro looking for more recipes for you collection, you need this book!
Autumn Harvest Pie
Sweet Maple Crust:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup vegan butter well-chilled or frozen
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 –5 tablespoons water
- 1 large sweet apple (such as fuji or gala)
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces)
- 8 ounces whole cranberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- Aquafaba to assemble
- For the crust, toss the flours, salt, and butter into a medium bowl, and combine them with a fork or pastry cutter. Alternately, this may be done in a food processor, pulsing to roughly incorporate. Continue blending until coarse crumbs develop and small pieces of butter are left intact. Mix in the maple syrup, followed by the water, adding just one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a cohesive ball. You may need to work the dough with your hands as it becomes stiff. Divide the resulting dough into two even pieces, smooth them into round disks, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours before proceeding.
- Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat your oven to 400ºF (205ºC). Take one of the disks and roll it out to about a ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Carefully move the flattened round of dough into a lightly greased 9-inch round pie pan and patch any holes or tears that may have formed in that transition. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you assemble the filling.
- Peel, core, and chop the apple into bite-sized pieces before tossing it into a large bowl with the lemon juice. Peel and dice the sweet potato in a similar manner before mixing it in as well. Add all the remaining ingredients for the filling, except for the butter, and stir gently to coat the fruit evenly with the dry ingredients. Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator and pour the fruit and nut mixture into your prepared crust. Cut the butter into very small pieces, and scatter the chunks atop your filling. Set aside.
- Take your second disk of dough and roll it out in a similar fashion, but this time cut out shapes of your choice with a cookie cutter. Here’s your chance to get creative! I like arranging an artful pile of leaves around the edge, adding veins and other details with toothpick impressions, but there’s no right or wrong approach here.
- Brush the exposed lip of the base crust with aquafaba, just a small patch at a time, before firmly but gently pressing the shapes in to adhere. Brush the exposed surface with additional aquafaba when everything is in place. Carefully slide the whole pie into your oven and bake for 10 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 350ºF (175ºC) without removing the pie. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the top crust pieces turn golden brown. Let cool before serving.
Other Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
- Chocolate Gingersnap Fall Bars
- Thanksgiving Rice
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Garlicky Mashed Butternut Squash
- Holiday Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing