I’ve owed a friend a pie ever since she did me an enormous favor several months ago … and so I finally went and made her the pie that I wanted to make her for her coming-out party. There were several mis-made pies before this, but yesterday’s Vegan Booze-Lover’s Rainbow Pride Pie, I suspect, is exactly what I wanted it to be. Be prepared to produce a lot of dirty dishes and take an awful lot of time to produce this. My most recent run for this recipe took two hours of prep, plus about an hour and a half of baking and during-baking work, plus overnight refrigeration of crust ingredients.
1½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup vegan shortening
⅜ cup water (¼ cup + 2 tablespoons)
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted
about 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ginger, mace, and/or nutmeg
aerosol Canola (or other vegetable) oil, as needed
2½ cups sliced strawberries
½ cup sugar
6 teaspoons cornstarch
splash vodka (don’t be cheap, use something good)
2½ cups chopped pears (about 2 full pears)
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
splash Midori (it occurs to me in retrospect that apple pucker might work instead)
10 drops green food coloring
2 cups pineapple, chopped into cubes about ½ inch on each side
½ cup sugar
6 teaspoons tapioca
2 teaspoons lemon juice
splash rum (don’t be cheap, use something good)
2 cups fresh blackberries
⅛ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
splash whiskey (don’t be cheap, use something good)
You will also need plenty of aluminum foil. No, really: A lot.
Oven at 375℉.
All ingredients for crust — including dry ingredients — should be refrigerated overnight. (Yes, really, you should put that flour, sugar, baking powder, vinegar, etc. in the fridge. You want the ingredients to be as cold as possible when you’re working with them; this will help the crust to hold together and to be light and flaky.)
Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Drop the shortening in, one tablespoon or so at a time, and use a fork to cut in each tablespoon’s worth thoroughly. Continue cutting the shortening into the flour mixture until the entire mixture is even, light, pebbly. Mix the water and the vinegar, adding the mixture into the dough in three or four separate batches, mixing each thoroughly with the fork before adding any more. Patience is key here — do it thoroughly and don’t hurry.
Take two pieces of aluminum foil and sprinkle a bit of flour on each, spreading it evenly to lightly cover the surface of the foil. Pull half of it out and knead it gently, just enough to form it into a ball. Deposit this ball on the floured tinfoil and wrap it. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Put both foil-wrapped dough balls into the refrigerator and allow them to sit for an hour or so. It will probably take you this long to prepare all four fillings, anyway.
Prepare each filling in a separate mixing bowl. For each, slice or chop the fruit as indicated, and mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour alcohol into fruit and mix gently, then pour in dry ingredients. Mix gently to coat fruit with dry ingredients.
Back to the crust …
After an hour, remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator. Place two generous sheets of aluminum foil on the counter, slightly overlapping, and spray generously with aerosol Canola oil. (This is your work surface, so try to get the foil to stick in place on the counter. Wiping the counter with a slightly damp sponge before putting down the foil can work wonders.) Deposit the ball of dough in the middle of the pair of aluminum foil sheets, rub your rolling pin with flour, and gently tease the ball into a disc approximately twelve inches in diameter, flouring the rolling pin repeatedly.
Once you’ve got the dough rolled out, place the pie pan upside-down over the dough, then flip the entire assemblage over and gently and patiently pull the foil off of the crust, making sure not to rip the crust and allowing crust to fall into the pie pan.
Pull out a decently sized piece of foil, approximately a square as wide as it comes out, by default, from the foil dispenser. Fold it over multiple times until you have a strip about eight times the thickness of a single sheet of foil, then cut the foil with a pair of scissors so that it fits into the crust in a curve — the sides should be cut to be diagonal at approximately forty-five degrees. Push these gently into the crust at the bottom and sides. Repeat this with two more strips, which will need to be different lengths — measure them by lining them up in the shapes and positions where you want them to sit. The idea here is to embed the foil strips in the crust in such a way that they prevent juices from leaking between compartments in the first half of the baking, but not to push them entirely through the crust. You want to create four separate compartments for the first half of the baking, like so:
Next, spoon each fruit topping into a separate compartment:
Put the pie into the (preheated) oven and allow it to bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. While it’s doing so, you’ll pull the other ball of dough out of the fridge, wipe down your counter with a slightly damp sponge, put down two slightly overlapping sheets of foil, spray them liberally with aerosol Canola oil, flour up your rolling pin, and push that dough into another twelve-inch circle. Then wait for the first part of the pie’s baking to be done. Once the pie has been in the oven for about 35 minutes, pull it out, and pull out the foil dividers. The individual fillings should be sufficiently cooked by this point that they will settle against each other without mixing much:
Slice the remaining crust into strips approximately ¾ of an inch wide, and gently tease them away from the foil with the aid of a butter knife. Lay them on top of the pie in a lattice form, then brush the upper crust with vegan margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon, mace, ginger, and/or nutmeg to taste. Put the pie back in the oven for another 35-40 minutes, then remove the pie and allow it to cool on a wire rack or stove burner.
You’ll have some fruit filling left over. Put it in a storage container of some kind, toss it in the fridge, and use it for waffles or some damn thing.
Serve with caramel-vanilla-pecan ice cream and strong black coffee.
Of course, other fruit fillings can be substituted for the ones indicated. I’d initially thought of making the green filling with kiwi, but kiwi is not easily available in my local grocery stores at this time of year.
If you’re not attached to rainbow-shaped filling stripes, then by all means, make them horizontal stripes instead. This makes life easier, actually.
Think about substituting a bit of the water in the crust with vanilla, clove, almond, cinnamon, or another tasty extract.
Non-vegan margarine and shortening can be used if you’re not cooking for a vegan. In fact, using non-vegan shortening makes the crust substantially easier to prepare.
If you’re not cooking for vegans, think about drizzling a generous amount of honey over all the fillings after pulling out the foil separators. Yum. If you are cooking for vegans, ask your vegan friends if you can use honey powder (if you can find honey powder — Trader Joe’s often carries it, if you live near a Trader Joe’s), which is harvested by humans instead of manufactured by bees.
Posted by 21 November 2012.on