Traditional vs Vegan: disappearing pie

It’s 2018 and vegan friendly culinary blogs and restaurants are on top of popularity both in Europe and Northern America. Only in London alone there are 250 purely vegan places with at least 1 new opening monthly! These places are usually crowdy. You have to stay quite a queue even to grab your takeaway.


If you think that this hype is due to increased amount of plant based diet followers, you’ll be very wrong. According to my personal observations, at least 55% of those who are choosing vegan food stall over traditional one are omnivores. Why? Because people want to try something absolutely new.


Same thing happens in the blogosphere. Mouthwatering pictures of plant based treats, lists of unusual ingredients and videos with thoroughly described procedures of how to mix them together make at least 30% of all the online food content. But if in a restaurant you can try food yourself, here you should relay only on your own imagination and trust on author’s word.


While scrolling through endless vegan recipes, I keep asking the same question - how would it taste like? Don’t get me wrong, I have this question when I look at any recipe. But usually I kind of can imagine the taste from the list of ingredients. Not in case of vegan foods though. I am completely baffled when I see “ mix olive oil and tofu to create sour cream” or “ grind nuts and nutritional yeast with a tone of spices to form parmesan”.


That’s when I got idea to make my own research and compare the taste of dishes which we are used to or remember from our childhood with the closest vegan alternative I can possibly find.


Let’s get started with a simple though very dear to my heart recipe of the apple and rhubarb bake. It makes a perfect breakfast or a light dessert. And as most of my recipes, it’s only 15 min of preparation.


Make sure you have eggs for the traditional variation and tofu for the plant based one. precise list of ingredients and step by step method is listed below as always.



I chose 4 categories to compare these two recipes:


Time: It took me the same amount of time to make both batters. plant based version took 5min less to cook in the oven. However it might due to the fact, that I was using smaller baking moulds for the vegan pie.


Appearance: Both bakes looked the same. Even my hubby didn’t see any difference.


Consistency: traditional batter was more viscous comparing to it’s vegan alternative. Make sure that you blend tofu thoroughly specially in case of using a firm one. I usually loosen batter with a bit of water. In case of plant based one I would recommend to use milk instead.

Taste: both pies tasted nearly the same. Vegan version was slightly more moist and tender. Probably due to that couple of spoons of water I used to blend the tofu with. Texture was the same too - porous, fluffy and light.

Taste tofu before cooking. If you find the taste of soy beans too strong for you, add a bit more of vanilla extract and /or cinnamon than usually.


That’s probably all for now. Treat yourself and your loved with this “all about spring” pie. And let me know what traditional recipe would you like to see vegan next.


Ingredients


Filling:

  • 3-4 apples

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1 rhubarb stem

  • 2 tbs brown sugar

  • Cinnamon, mixed spices etc.

Traditional recipe:

  • 2/3 cup spelt or plain wheat flour

  • 50 ml Double cream .

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar or any other sweetener

  • 1 tsp Baking powder

  • Generous pinch of salt

Vegan recipe:

  • 1/2 cup spelt or plain wheat flour

  • 55 gr Silken tofu

  • 1 tbs any tasteless oil. I used plain olive oil.

  • 1 tsp of ground flaxseed +3 tsp of water

  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar or any other sweetener

  • 1 tsp Baking powder

  • Generous pinch of salt



Method:

  1. De- core, peel (optional) and slice apples. Mix with lemon juice. Add cinnamon if you like it. Ginger, pumpkin spice, vanilla will work beautifully too. Set aside.

  2. Chop rhubarb. Roll each piece in brown sugar.

  3. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder.

  4. Whisk together all wet ingredients with the sweetener.

  5. Add flour, give it a fast mix. You should end up with loose batter very similar to the one we use for American style pancakes .

  6. Ad batter to the apples. It may look like you have very little of batter. Don’t freak out. Once mixed with apples you will see how nicely it covered every slice.

  7. Place in the baking tray. Decorate with sugared rhubarb.

  8. Bake at 180C for 30-40 min. Check with a wooden stick - placed in the palest part of the pie, it should come out clean.

  9. Goes awesomely with milk tea😃.