Thanksgiving desserts provide the perfect opportunity to showcase fall and winter foods like pumpkin and pecans. Why not serve your pie in a flaky and tender olive oil pastry dough?
It was cold and windy in New York City last night. I’d had a lovely weekend in the country, and was now faced with piles of papers to organize and otherwise “move off my plate.” Wanting a warm, chocolaty, not too sweet treat, I decided to make the quick and easy, but fancy sounding, Chocolat Chaud, which is one of the five Hot Cocoa / Hot Chocolate recipes in Vegan Chocolate. This recipe, inspired by my son Michael’s college year in Paris, seemed just right to share now, since I’m doing the shopping list for the Thanksgiving desserts I’ll make at Michael and Linda’s home in California later this week.
Michael and Linda met in Paris that college year and became good friends. They have been married for 10 years now and are the parents of my granddaughters, the Costigals. If you’ve seen my Vegan Chocolate book trailer (click on image here), you know I’ll be baking in a great kitchen. It’s theirs.
As a long time vegan, meat has not been on my plate for a very long time, and while there are plenty of good tasting vegan mains, the sides and desserts have always been the best part of the holiday meal, are still what I crave. Among my favorites dishes are mashed root veggies, cranberries in some form, grains and greens, simply grilled tempeh or a pot of beans, and to start the meal, a cup of squash soup served with mini Good Cornbread or Spiced Pumpkin Muffins from my previous book, More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally.
My son and daughter and their partners and children sent their list of have-to-have Thanksgiving desserts. I added mine. What follows is our collaborative roundup of old and new favorites. The challenge now is to decide which to make in addition to the standards, Chocolate Pecan Pie and Perfect Pumpkin Pie.
Holiday Desserts From Vegan Chocolate
- Chocolate Pecan Pie [ recipe in Newsletter – November 24 ]
- Raw Chocolate Fudge and Mandarin Orange Tart
- Lemon Tartlets
- Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Coffeecake
- Intensely Chocolate Trifle
- Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles
- Ginger Truffles
- Almond Anise Biscotti
- Chocolate Ginger Ice Cream (My mother-in-law Wini served ice cream for Thanksgiving)
Holiday Desserts From More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally
- Perfect Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans
- Cranapple Maple Pie
- Sweet Apple Streusel Pie
- Applesauce Galette
- Pear Cranberry Slump (stovetop)
Do you get or make requests for particular dishes? What are they?
Do you play with tradition or leave it as is?
I believe that Chocolate makes Thanksgiving Desserts better. Do you?
I’ve got a favor to ask. If you’ve been making and enjoying recipes from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, would you write a review on Amazon and / or post on social media? It really helps sooo much. And, if you don’t have a copy of this book yet, I hope you’ll consider buying one for yourself and more as holiday gifts. And if you like this blog, please share with a friend.
Here’s the recipe for my go-to pie crust. You will find the Chocolate Pecan Pie Filling and directions for baking the pie in my Newsletter. I’m wild for this update to a classic pie: sweet but not cloying, gooey yet fudgey, make-ahead, magically yummy warm, at room temp or frozen.
Use a prepared crust if time is tight, but make the recipe if you can. You’ll get a tender, flaky crust every time, and it’s easy. You do need to plan your time, as you would when making any pie dough. Proper handling and careful attention to the directions are essential to its success.
Tender Olive Oil Pastry Dough
– A tender pie crust requires oil that is icy-cold but still liquid.
– Measure the amount of oil you need at room temperature and pour it into a small freezer-proof container.
– Cover and freeze for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the oil has become slightly thicker.
– Check the oil as it chills; you do not want it to get so cold that it solidifies. Don’t be fooled by the consistency: frozen, solidified oil will not mix into the flour mixture properly.
– If the oil has chilled too long and is solid, allow it to liquefy at room temperature (this will take 20 minutes, more or less) and chill it again. Remember to set a timer!
Note: After the ingredients are mixed, the dough rests for 45 minutes to 4 hours—but after 4 hours the dough will be too greasy to use and will have to be discarded.
Makes one (9 to 9 1⁄2 -Inch / 23 to 24-Cm) Pie Crust, Tart Crust, Or Freeform Tart
Olive Oil Pastry Dough
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 108 grams organic all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup / 103 grams organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 75 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil ice-cold, plus more at room temperature to grease the pie pan
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons 30 to 38 ml ice water
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Whisk the flours in their containers to aerate, and measure the all-purpose flour and pastry flour into the strainer using the “whisk, dip, and sweep” method (page 63). Add the salt to the strainer and stir with a wire whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
- Drizzle the cold oil over the flour mixture. Using a silicone spatula, toss until the oil is coated with flour. Do not break up the irregular fat pieces that form. These lumps are equivalent to the solid shortening used in conventional recipes and help to create a flaky crust.
- In a small dish, stir the vinegar into 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Drizzle the liquid over the mass of dough and shake the bowl; this will get the water into the dough without extra handling. Handling as little as possible is one of the important rules of making pie dough. Toss gently, using the spatula, until all the flour is moistened and a rough mass of dough holds together. Do not over mix. It is unlikely that more water will be needed, but if it is, use only as much as needed so that the dough holds together. Do not squeeze or press the dough into a round at this point.
- It’s easier to roll half the dough at a time (and easier to find refrigerator space for 2 smaller pieces.) Turn half the dough at a time onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Enclose the dough lightly, al- lowing enough space for it to move freely. Pass a rolling pin over the dough until it is about 1 inch / 2.5 cm thick. Repeat with the other half. If you have extra-wide plastic wrap, you may wrap the dough in one piece. Rest the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Shape the crust: Unwrap the dough but do not dis- card the plastic wrap. Cut off small pieces of dough with a sharp knife. (The pieces do not have to be uniform in size.) Scatter the pieces over the bottom of the pan and on the sides.
- Cover the pan with a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the pieces of dough with your fingertips by spreading them out until they form an even layer that covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Patch with extra dough as needed. Even out the dough by pressing on it with a flat-bottomed 1⁄2-measuring cup.
- If using a pie pan, flute the edges. If using a tart pan, press the dough straight up the sides. Press lightly on the top edges of the pan with the cup to smooth the top ridge. Clean the outside of the pan of any dough. Wrap the dough in the pan lightly in plastic and refrigerate for 40 minutes or up to 4 hours be- fore baking. Set a timer, and don’t let it go longer than 4 hours.
- Blind bake the crust: Preheat your oven to 425 ̊F / 220 ̊C while the pie dough rests in the refrigerator. Position one rack in the lower third of the oven and another in the center.
- Put the pie or tart pan on a baking sheet and remove the plastic wrap. Do not prick the dough. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the pie pan. Crumple the paper to make it more flexible, and place it on the pie dough. Put a piece of heavy duty foil on top of the parchment paper, shiny side down, and fill with pie weights or dried beans used for this purpose.
- Bake on the lower rack for 17 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and very carefully remove the beans in the foil and the parchment. Unless the dough is completely dry, without any shine of oil, return the dough to the oven for 5 minutes. Do not bake longer or the crust will crack. (Should this happen, brush a little melted chocolate over the cracks to seal when the pie crust is cooled.) Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
Keeping: The baked crust can be kept loosely wrapped overnight at room temperature.
Blessings for a healthy, happy holiday season from my home to yours.
“Are you swooning yet? You will be when you dig in to the luscious recipes in this book: they’re downright delectable and simply the best chocolate treats you’ll ever experience. . . They’re not only crazy-delicious, but they’re good for the soul!”
-Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean and Veganist