Before Thanksgiving, someone (a non-vegan) asked me what kind of pies I was making. My first response (pumpkin) received an mmm of approval. My second response (vegan apple, with an olive oil crust) was met with a look of disgusted incomprehension.
I was uneasy about the olive oil too. For a long time, I considered both vegan baking and gluten-free baking to be, well, inferior. Now, I think it’s more appropriate to say they are scary, particularly for someone who has never tried.
Now, pretend I had never mentioned olive oil. Does this pie look any different from your average buttery, lardy pie?
Not really. And while the crust certainly tasted differently, it was still a flaky, crisp, complement to the tart apple filling. To my genuine surprise, at a ten-person Thanksgiving dinner with one vegan in attendance, this was the pie everyone wanted, and it was the only dessert to be eaten in its entirety.
If you have never tried vegan baking, I have a few suggestions.
1) Start simple. Don’t pick the strangest, most tricked-out multi-flavor vegan cheesecake you can find.
2) Find a good recipe. Ask your vegan friends for cookbook recommendations, or find a blog/website that seems reputable. Don’t just pick the first thing you found on Google.
3) Don’t get discouraged. Just because one recipe turns out badly doesn’t mean you should forego all vegan baking. Give yourself some time to figure out what you like and how to use potentially unfamiliar ingredients.
I picked this recipe because I’ve had success with Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s recipes, and olive oil is more appetizing to me than vegan shortening and margarine products. I hope you enjoy it!
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