So I have to confess my desire to make this pie originated out of a mixture of resourcefulness, curiosity and naturally wanting to eat pie. Resourcefulness: I had leftover Rhubarb and Chamomile Compote and strawberries that needed to be used ASAP. Curiosity: I really wanted to know how coconut oil would act in replacing butter in pie crust. It definitely makes cookies more crumbly (a lesson I learned the hard way) so I thought perhaps it would create an extra flaky crust, similar to using Crisco. Wanting to eat pie: Um yup. Don’t think I have to explain that one.
Have to say for someone who does not makes pies regularly, let alone vegan pies, these turned out quite nicely. The crust was flaky and golden and the filling was pleasantly tart and just sweet enough. Let it cool enough so that all the filling can set a bit but you must, must still eat it while its warm. And although it does not become super flaky like pies made with Crisco it is still a pretty good crust. I replaced half the flour with whole wheat flour as well. So yes to answer your question this is basically health food. Right.
So these make a single little mini pie. This is larger than a hand pie and smaller than a fat slice of normal pie, also known as the perfect serving for one person. Plus ice cream of course. Sadly I did not have any ice cream on hand (for once) so this pie was eaten ice cream-less, although I must say even not a la mode this was quite lovely. The vegan coconut oil pie dough recipe was adapted from this recipe for Perfect Vegan Pie Crust from Food52.com.
VEGAN STRAWBERRY RHUBARB MINI PIES
Makes one mini pie, 3-4 inches in diameter, 2.5 inches height
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons (more as necessary) coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cane or demerara sugar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons ice water
- Small 3-4 inch ramekin
- 1/2 cup Rhubarb and Chamomile Compote or ya know, other rhubarb compotes
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries, cut in halves for small ones and quarters for larger ones
- 1/2 tablespoon of flour
- 2 tablespoons agave or honey
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a food processor add flours, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine.
- Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture is crumbly and sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
- Pulse in 1/3 cup water, see if the dough holds together well when you make a handful of it; crumbs are ok but it needs to shape easily. If necessary, add a little more water until the texture is right (see pictures below).
- Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor you can work the coconut oil into the flour with bare, dry hands. Then add the water and knead the whole mixture together until it comes together but is still somewhat crumbly.
- Turn dough onto a clean, dry surface that has been dusted with flour. If you’re not ready to use the crust yet, shape it into a flat ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze (for long term) or in the fridge (for short term) until you are ready to bake.
- Now it’s filling making time: Toss the cut up strawberries with the flour and then gently mix with rhubarb compote and agave/honey. Set aside.
- When you are ready to use the crust, make sure it’s soft enough to roll, then split the 1/3 of the dough (this will be the top of the pie) from the rest (this will be the bottom of the pie).
- Use a rolling pin to roll 1/3 of the dough into a 3-4 inch circle (enough to cover your ramekin) and the remaining 2/3 of the dough into a larger circle sufficient to cover the bottom and sides of your ramekin’s interior. Use more flour if needed to keep dough from sticking.
- Oil inside of ramekin with coconut oil. Slowly lift larger circle onto your pie ramekin and carefully tuck it into the interior of the ramekin. Mend any tears by pressing them together with your fingers.
- Spoon in rhubarb and strawberry mixture, filling to the top of the ramekin and even letting it go a bit above the top as the mixture will reduce in volume when baked.
- Add the smaller crust circle to the top of the ramekin. Press together the top of the pie with the bottom with your fingers to seal them. If you are inclined to make some cute puckered pattern go for it. If you are not, high five I don’t know how to do it either. Optional: Dust top of pie with sugar.
- Cut three small slits on the top of the pie with a knife for ventilation.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes minutes at 350F. Check to make sure crust has begun to brown around edges before removing from oven. Note it will not get as golden as traditional pie crust because there is no egg wash.
Oh and for all the non-vegans out there you might miss the taste of butter. Although coconut oil is quite fragrant it doesn’t impart a strong coconut flavor at all, so the dough is more neutral tasting. I feel like with the nice flaky texture of the dough as well as the rhubarb compote (which had vanilla and chamomile in it) and the strawberries + honey there is still plenty of flavor and pie-ness to keep you happy. But if your favorite part of pie is a butter-y crust, you might have to go with a real butter crust. I went with the coconut oil crust because I a) did not have butter b) love cooking with coconut oil as it is a healthy fat that is good for your metabolism, making the eating of an entire mini pie in probably 37 seconds flat a fairly guilt-free affair. You might not believe me about the 37 seconds, but trust. As a kid I was constantly chastised for not chewing my food properly and now as an adult no one can chastise me (jk you should listen to my Mum and Dad when they come to visit…) so I chew as little as I please. You of course are free to eat it as slow as you please after all….this is America….and this is pie :)