I am a super fan of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Their book, show, and website The Post Punk Kitchen were huge supports for me when I first went vegan, and I have all but one of their cookbooks. When the folks at Da Capo Press asked if I wanted to review their new pie cookbook, I of course jumped at the chance!
The book reminds me a quite a bit of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World in its layout. It’s full of tasty recipes (75 pies!), but it also focuses on pie-making basics. The first chapter talks about ingredients, equipment, different sorts of pies, and how to make a homemade pie crust.
I love cookbooks that teach you how to cook, and this one definitely empowers you to get creative with pies. Chapter two is all about different sorts of crusts. Armed with crust recipes, you can really experiment with fillings on your own! From there, they dive into pies, pies, pies! From your basic Cherry Pie to fancy Pear Frangipane Tart, this book has dessert pies covered.
The awesome folks at Da Capo Books were also kind enough to let me share a pie recipe with you guys! Another section of the book that’s super fun is the toppings, so I thought I’d share this recipe for Rad Whip, a vegan Cool Whip that’s cashew based! Holy. YUM. Y’all!
- 1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews, soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours, or until very soft
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 teaspoon agar powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil plus 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place a large metal bowl in the freezer to chill; you’ll be using it to blend up the Rad Whip so make sure it’s big enough.
- Drain the cashews and blend in a food processor or strong blender with the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of the almond milk until completely smooth. Rub the mixture between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess left; reaching this state could take up to 5 minutes depending on your machine.
- In a small (2-quart) saucepan, heat the other 1/2 cup almond milk, agar powder, and sugar. Bring to a boil and let simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut oil and stir to melt. It’s important to make sure this doesn’t set while on the stovetop, so be sure to have the blender mixture ready.
- Stream the warm mixture into the blender or food processor with the machine turned on. Blend for about a minute on high to incorporate lots of bubbles, then add the vanilla extract and pulse to mix.
- Transfer the mixture to the chilled metal bowl. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes just to get it very very cold, but not frozen. When you remove it, it should be cold all the way through and feel firm and even a bit rubbery. Don’t worry! You did everything right…watch in amazement as it transforms.
- Now take a hand mixer and beat like mad. The cream should start to soften and peaks should start to form, but it might take a minute or so. Once it is smooth and fluffy, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it back in the fridge to set again for at least 3 hours (the longer you let it set, the fluffier it will get, so if you let it set at least 8 hours or overnight, that is optimal). Now use a hand mixer one last time to get it even more fluffy.
- Keep stored in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.