There are certain dishes that were such a fixture of my childhood that it simply wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. For me, the best things about Thanksgiving dinner, aside from all my cousins coming over, were the made-from-scratch stuffing and my mom’s apple pie. After repeated efforts, I’ve veganized both recipes to my satisfaction.
Cookie Sheet Apple Pie
In March, I reminisced about my mother’s cookie-sheet-apple-pie when I posted an apple tart recipe. Click on that to read why pie is best in a cookie sheet, but come back here for the recipe, because those mini tarts weren’t nearly as good as the real thing!
You’ll need two large glass bowls.
Slice about 8 large apples into the bowl, or up to a dozen smaller apples. It never hurts to have leftover apples. I used gigantic galas, and I left the skins on.
1 and 1/4 cup raw/organic sugar
3 Tbsp unbleached flour
1/4 cup vegan butter (I like to melt it in the oven first)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp mace (if you don’t have mace, you can use 1/4 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg instead.)
Stir the apples a little and set them aside. Turn your oven to 350.
In the other bowl, combine:
1 cup vegan shortening (I never promised this would be healthy)
1/2 cup original almond milk (or soy milk, if you prefer)
the replacement for an egg yolk: 2 tsp ground flax seeds and 2 Tbsp warm water, whisked together before added to the other ingredients.
3 cups unbleached flour (added gradually)
1 tsp salt
At first, you can whisk this together, but as you add the flour, it will become thick enough that eventually you can mix it with your hands. It will become one large lump of dough. (If it’s sticky at this point, add a touch more flour.) Take two-thirds of the dough and roll it out on the counter, which you should sprinkle lightly with flour first.
When the dough is evenly rolled and large enough to cover your cookie sheet, lift it gently from one edge and fold it over onto itself so you can pick it up more easily, then lift it onto the cookie sheet and unfold it so the sheet is covered. Smooth the dough across the bottom of the pan so there are no creases or folds, and make sure it is nestled into the corners. Take a knife and gently cut off the loose dough that hangs over the edges of the cookie sheet. Add it back to the remaining lump of dough.
Roll the remaining dough out in one large piece, and then cut it into long strips with a knife. You will form your lattice top from these.
Now, spoon the apple filling into the pie crust. The apples should come a bit higher than the edge of the pie, but be spread evenly, not mounded. You can drizzle the extra juice over the apples.
Start your lattice with the longest pieces of dough. Place them diagonally across the cookie sheet, and remember not to attach them to the edges until you have interwoven the lattice. You can dip your fingers in a bit of warm water to make the lattice stick to the pie edge.
Now, bake your pie for one hour. After baking, it will also need to cool for one hour. (Or more. You can make this pie a day in advance if you like.) While it bakes, or while it cools, combine 1/3 cup organic powdered sugar, a splash of almond milk (or soy, or rice) and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to make a glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the pie once it’s cooled. Or, if you like, you can brush the glaze over the top with a pastry brush.
Stuffing / Dressing
First, take about 4 slices of hearty bread (I like Ezekiel bread) and set them out to dry. (Or place them in the oven while it warms the butter, if you’re making the apple pie at the same time.)
8 stalks of celery
Drizzle with oil (generously) and turn on high heat. You actually want the vegetables to blacken somewhat on the bottom of the pot, but be sure to stir them, scraping up the slightly charred bits frequently. Add as much of the following spices as you like, but start out with 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp sage, and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. While the vegetables cook, chop up:
8 ounces of mushrooms
one entire bulb of garlic (about a dozen cloves)
and tear the slices of bread into pieces.
Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables have reduced in size somewhat, then add the mushrooms and garlic to the pot. When the mushrooms have cooked through, stir in the bread pieces and let them absorb the extra juices.
This dressing / stuffing can be served as is, or you can put it into a pan and bake it for a crispier top. It also makes a fantastic acorn squash stuffing!
I hope you have a happy, cruelty-free Thanksgiving!!