Gingerbread Apple Pie (Vegan)

December 9, 2010

Girl has got to make some money, so I work in a toy store. In general, I love my job. My co-workers and I play around, dance, and talk to people all day long. But as you can imagine, December is a tough month for toy stores, tough in the sense that the employees are physically and mentally drained, putting in more time and effort than any other month of the year. I’m really fortunate to work with fantastic people, which makes for a wonderful, supportive, and fun environment even when the going gets rough. Most of my co-workers are now my close friends, and those that aren’t close, I still consider my friends. Before I wax poetic enough to make you gag, here’s the point: I’m baking up a storm before Christmas to make sure everyone around me knows how much I appreciate their hard work, and their showing up to begin with, because even that’s hard on some days.

Last week, I posted a note in our office, asking everyone to write down something about baked goods they enjoy, be it an ingredient, a type of treat, or even something in particular if they were craving a certain dessert. There are eight of us, total, and I have until December 20th to bake for each and every one of them. Yay!

So, first up! This is what I had to go on,

“vegan things! pie > cake”

What I came up with was vegan gingerbread apple pie, from Vegan with a Vengeance. Isa is my go-to girl, what can I tell you. I got up super early on Saturday to peel, core, and slice apples, so that the pie would be fresh out of the oven when I brought it to work. It was worth every minute of sleep that I didn’t get. Honest to goodness.

Another great part about waking up early to bring a fresh pie to work was that I could hold the warm pie tin on my walk. Take that, freezing Boston wind!

Gingerbread Apple Pie

(Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

I baked this in a 9 inch pie tin.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the crust:

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)

1 –  1 ½  teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup margarine, softened

1 tablespoon molasses (or two, if you’re me)

2 tablespoons cold water

Method:

1. Sift together the flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder, into a bowl large enough for all the dry ingredients.

2. Add the margarine one tablespoon at a time, cutting it into the dry mixture. You can use a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers.

3. Drizzle both the molasses and water over the dough, now mixing with your fingers until the dough begins to come together.

4. Knead the dough into a ball, then press it evenly into the bottom and sides of a prepared pie tin. (My dough was a little sticky, and it was difficult to work with because I mixed it too thoroughly with my fingers, which made the dough too warm. Keep mixing to the barest minimum possible, as with most pie crust recipes.)

5. Bake crust, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

For the Filling:

Ingredients:

2 lbs, or about 8 peeled, cored, and thinly sliced granny smith apples,

½ cup brown sugar (Again, I used light brown.)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground ginger

a pinch of ground cloves

¼ cup maple syrup (I used agave syrup, not being a huge fan of maple syrup)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons arrowroot (or tapioca starch)

Method:

1. While the crust is baking, combine all ingredients, except the arrowroot, and stir to combine.

2. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder over mixture.

3. Mix the apples until all the arrowroot is absorbed into the other ingredients.

To assemble and bake the pie:

1. Fill the pie crust with the apple mixture and cover with tin foil.

2. Bake for 20 minutes, covered.

3. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more.

You’ll know the pie is done when it is bubbling. Or when you notice your entire apartment smells like gingerbread and apple pie. If only you could attach that smell to your person, and carry with you all day, without being kind of a creeper and always carrying a piece of warm pie in your coat pocket.

My unusually clean kitchen, accented with a stained cat potholder and FANTASTIC PIE.

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