Monday, February 24, 2014

Vegan Cranberry Apple Mini Pies

The sweetness of apples mixes so well with tart cranberries in these vegan mini pies. They can be fried for a special treat or baked in the oven for a lighter version. Any filling can be used in these; peach, blueberry, cherry. Whatever you want!

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup diced apples
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine apples, cranberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes until soft. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, cubed. (very cold)
3 tablespoons ice cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, add flour and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add cubes of cold Earth Balance. Pulse 12-15 times to incorporate the butter into the flour, careful not to over-mix. Add the water while pulsing. The dough should still appear quite crumbly even after adding the water. Squeeze a handful of the mixture in the palm of your hand. If it holds together, you have added enough water. If it doesn't hold, add another tablespoon and then check again.

Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out as many circles as you can using a biscuit cutter. You need an even number, 2 for each pie. Any size will work. Place 1-2 teaspoons of apple cranberry filling onto the center of half the dough rounds. Brush the edges with water or soy milk. This will help the top and bottom rounds stick together. Place the other dough rounds on top of the filling. Gently press the dough rounds together, making sure no filling seeps out of the sides. Using your finger, a fork, or the back of a spoon, firmly press the 2 edges together. Using a toothpick or fork, poke a few holes in the top of each pie.

If frying, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry each pie for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

If baking, preheat oven to 350 degress. Brush each pie with soy milk. Bake pies for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.

For both, let cool slightly first. Right out of the heat, the filling is like lava!!! 

*These can easily be made gluten free. Just substitute the regular wheat lour with your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour, like Bob's Red Mill.

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