Mini Blueberry Cornmeal Pies (Vegan) & Making Pie Crust EASY!

OK SO I COULDN’T WAIT.

I couldn’t wait 4 hours for a slice of pie like I was supposed to, cuz of the whole *letting the filling set* and all that.

But that’s just what happens when you take the pies out of the oven at like 8 PM and they’re so mini and corny and blue that there’s no way you’re waiting till midnight for a bite. I mean, I waited like an hour so that should count for something. Long story short, my filling ran allll over the place. The plate, the table, my face. But it sure does thicken up nice if you give it a chance. (No regrets)

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

I know a lot of people worry about making pie crust from scratch, but I learned a new technique that makes it SUPER EASY.

Use a food processor.

So easy. And you get flaky results EVERY TIME, no matter what fat you use.

A chef named J. Kenji López-Alt created this method, and you can read all about his food-sciencey reasons why it works here if you feel so inclined. Then if you’re like me, you’ll swoon & decide this is the man you are going to marry. (But don’t actually do that very last part k thanks)

Also, it turns out bae has a cookbook coming out on September 21st! It’s called, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. How serendipitous. Not that this was news to me, or anything. We are engaged after all.

As a final ode to summer, I used one of her greatest berry triumphs for these pies, along with a sprinkle of cornmeal in the crust ’cause why not? That texture. Give ’em a try 🙂

Blueberry Cornmeal Pie
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For the crust
  1. 1/2 c. cornmeal
  2. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tbsp. sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 10 tbsp. vegan butter or shortening (can use regular butter if desired), cut into small pats
  6. 3-4 tbsp. ice water
For the filling
  1. 2 pints blueberries (about 4 cups), fresh or frozen
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  5. vegan buttermilk, for brushing (optional, can be made mixing 1/4 c. vegan milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. Make the crust: In the body of a food processor, or in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1.5 cups of the flour, all of the sugar, and the salt and pulse/whisk briefly to incorporate. Scatter the butter pats evenly over the surface and pulse/cut until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp. of the water and fold and press the dough using the spatula until the dough comes together to form a ball. Add another tablespoon of water if necessary. The dough won't be crumbly, like normal pie dough. Don't worry!! Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C. Let the dough stand at room temperature for ten minutes before rolling it out to 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer the dough from one of the balls to your pie pan of choice and trim edges.* The other ball will be used for the top.
  4. Make the filling: In a bowl, stir the blueberries with the sugar, flour and lemon juice, lightly mashing a few berries; scrape into the prepared pie crust. Brush the overhanging pastry with water and carefully set the top crust over the berry filling. Press the edges of the dough together and crimp decoratively. Cut 4-5 slits in the top crust. Brush with buttermilk if desired.
  5. Bake until crust is dry and lightly browned all over and fruit is bubbling. This will vary depending on the size of your pie pan. My 5 inch pans took about 40 minutes, a regular pie will likely take at least 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 4 hours before serving so the filling can thicken up.
Notes
  1. *Leftover dough can be rolled out, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, cut into squares, and baked in an oven until crispy to make pie crust chips. Don't waste that dough!!
Adapted from Serious Eats
Adapted from Serious Eats
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

memo2brunch: GF Baked Oatmeals & GF Banana Choco Chip Bars!

So having a kitchen at college has helped me realize something. I love–like, LOVE–feeding people.

Ok well, duh. BUT I want to make a distinction. What I’m talking about is not the same as cooking for the sake of cooking and then deciding to share it with others. It’s cooking with the intention of providing something for people I care about. Cuz food and happiness go together, and everybody needs both.

During those moments when I get to watch my friends sitting in our living room, laughing and talking with each other, a plate of my food in hand, my heart just swells right up. I think to myself, “Hey, I got to provide people with this small bit of joy.” And that feels really, really good. I get allll the fuzzies. Every fluffy puppy known to man.

(Cleaning the apartment = worth it)

Shout out to Grandma and Poppy, who have brought our family together for delicious food more times than I can count. Your house is the hub! Thanks for showing me how it’s done. 😉

This school year we’ve had a few brunches at the apartment where I get to lure people over to our “hub” with the promise of lots of carbs. Here are some pics from our most recent one, along with the recipes! We had blueberry pecan baked oatmeal, maple bourbon baked oatmeal, and banana chocolate chip bars. Mmmmmm <3

memo2munch | baked oatmeal

memo2munch | baked oatmeal

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Recipes: (There are 3)

GF Baked Oatmeal with Maple Bourbon Sauce
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For the oatmeal
  1. 3 cups certified GF rolled oats
  2. 1/2 c. brown sugar
  3. 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1 c. unsweetened almond milk
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  9. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Sauce
  1. 1 c. pure maple syrup
  2. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/4 tsp. allspice
  4. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  6. 1/4 c. bourbon
Instructions
  1. Make the oatmeal: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Spread evenly in greased baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Make the sauce: Heat all on high until incorporated. Then lower heat and keep warm until oatmeal is done.
  5. When the oatmeal comes out of the oven, pour about half of the sauce on top of the oatmeal. It will soak in and be delicious! Save the rest for people to add as they want it.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/
GF Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. certified gluten free rolled oats
  2. 1/2 c. pecan pieces, toasted and roughly chopped
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. scant 1 tsp. salt
  6. 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/3 c. maple syrup or honey
  9. 3 tbsp. melted coconut oil or Earth Balance or butter
  10. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  11. 1.5 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen because berries are not in season)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet or other baking dish.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the berries and mix well.
  4. Pour some of the oat mixture into the pan. Top with some berries. Repeat with remaining oats and berries.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve with more syrup, if desired.
Adapted from Epicurious
Adapted from Epicurious
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/
GF Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed, ripe banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
  2. 8 tbsp. brown sugar
  3. 4 tbsp. honey
  4. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/3 cup brown rice flour*
  8. 1/3 cup finely ground corn flour*
  9. 1 tsp. salt
  10. 3 cups GF instant oatmeal (uncooked)
  11. A whole lotta chocolate chips (Add until it looks like enough)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/174 degrees C. Coat a foil-lined 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Beat bananas and next five ingredients until blended.
  3. Combine flours and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Stir in the oatmeal, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars.
Notes
  1. *You can sub any flour you want, as long as it equals 2/3 cup
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Today marks the end of so called “dead week” here at school. On Monday we start the treacherous journey through finals week to get to WINTER BREAAAAAAK!

I have multiple explanations as to why this week was called dead week. They are as follows. Ahem.

  1. Class basically consists of review and squished-in exams and essays, thus all excitement about going to class is “dead.”
  2. It’s the week before finals, so everyone is super stressed out and feels like he or she is going to, well, kick the bucket. Or kick someone else’s bucket.
  3. We’ve all been turned into zombies. Just for this week.
  4. The letter ‘r’ was accidentally left out of the word dread.

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My personal view is that all of the sleep deprivation has finally caught up with us, so yeah, we basically are zombies. Except your brains are safe from me. I want to eat warm, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, blueberry sweet rolls. That only have to rise once. Ohhhh, yeah.

Don’t look too closely at the swirls or you’ll be hypnotized. Really, though.

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These rolls are comfort foods TO THE MAX, my friends. You take one bite of these babies and all stress and thoughts about zombies just fade away.

One thing stood in the way of me making sweet rolls, just as five finals stand between me and winter break. And that would be a slight fear of using yeast.

“WHY do they have to be so picky about EVERYTHING?” I thought to myself. “If things aren’t perfect they just die on the spot. So dramatic.”

However, the more I researched using yeast, and the more I thought about the first bite of fluffy roll surrounding juicy blueberries and dripping with vanilla glaze, I realized I was going to learn to use yeast.

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The first step in successfully using yeast is to be confident. Yeast can sense fear, and it will just die because that’s what it does. I’m totally kidding. Well, about the sensing fear part.

It’s important to note that there are two types of yeast you can buy. One is active dry yeast, and the other is instant yeast. They are NOT directly interchangeable. This recipe uses active dry yeast.

Active dry yeast must be proofed, or activated, before being used in a recipe. This means pouring the yeast into lukewarm liquid and letting it sit for about 10 minutes. At that point in time, the liquid should look
bubbly on top; this is how you know the yeast is alive. In this recipe, our liquid is a mixture of almond milk, water, and melted margarine.

Instant yeast requires no proofing and can be tossed right in with the flour. It is harder to find and more expensive, so I stick it out with the active dry yeast.

Yeast is finicky about the temperature of the water it is proofed in. If the water is too hot, guess what it does? Yeah, just dies. (Maybe that’s why this week is called dead week…)

The temperature should be between 104 and 110 degrees F, a general guide is to aim for the temperature of bath water. If you like really hot baths, this tip is not for you. Think of the temperature water you would use for a baby’s bath and do that. You want to be able to keep your finger comfortably in the water.

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Another thing that usually frightens people about yeast recipes is kneading. Kneading develops the gluten in dough, which gives it that nice, chewy, texture. It’s very important, and not as hard as you think!

You want the dough to be a little sticky when you start, so don’t add too much flour or the rolls will be tough. Flour a surface and place the ball of dough down, flipping it so the outside is coated in flour. Hold the bottom edge of the dough in place with your left hand. Grab the front of the dough in your right hand and use the heal of your right hand to gently stretch the dough away from you, then fold it back on top of itself. Turn the whole dough ball a quarter to the right. Repeat this process for 5-6 minutes, and THAT’S IT! Pull, fold, turn. It’s actually pretty relaxing.

Keep the surface coated in flour, adding more as needed. When the dough is smooth and not sticky, you’re DONE! YAY!

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Next comes the rising. Yeast needs a suitably warm environment in order to rise (but are we surprised?). Our house is cold, so what we do is preheat the oven to 200 degrees and then TURN IT OFF when the rolls are ready to start rising. Cover the rolls loosely in aluminum foil and allow to rise in the oven for 1 hour. Works like a charm!

Finally, remember that using yeast comes with a learning curve. When I made this recipe the first time, I didn’t know how to knead, and the pan I used wasn’t big enough, yadda yadda. This is what happened.

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Not pretty, but they tasted fine!

So don’t be hard on yourself! You’ll master the yeast with time, I promise.

If you liked this post, please click the gray follow button on the left side of the screen or at the bottom of the page to receive email updates about new posts! Thanks for reading!

Blueberry Sweet Rolls
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (cow’s milk is fine)
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted margarine (unsalted butter is fine)
  • 1 large egg 

Filling

  • 1 and 1/3 cup frozen blueberries, not thawed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Vanilla Glaze  

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or more)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Make the filling first: Combine the frozen blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Gently toss around and let sit while you prepare the dough.
  2. Make the dough: Heat the water, almond milk, and margarine together in the microwave until the margarine is melted. When mixture is bathwater temperature, sprinkle yeast on top and let proof for 10 minutes.
  3.  Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the remaining flour, sugar, and salt together until evenly dispersed. Stir the margarine mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used vegetable oil) and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Pour the sugared blueberries on top and gently spread them to cover the dough surface. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan or square pan.  Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200F degrees. Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise. Do not refrigerate the rolls at any point during or after rising.
  6. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes      to avoid heavy browning.
  7. Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your blueberry rolls with glaze. Mix all of the glaze ingredients together. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more      powdered sugar. If you’d like it thinner, add more milk. Pour over sweet rolls.