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/

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes (No Modern Wheat!)

When you’re not too good at something, the only way to get better is to practice.

I’m not too good at flipping pancakes. So…

BRING OUT THE SPATULAS, IT’S PANCAKE TIME!

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes Cornmeal

And not just any pancake time either. We’re talking made-with-corn-flour/modern-wheat-free/stuffed-with-blueberries-and-peaches pancake time. Oh, yes.

You see, most recipes call for part corn flour or cornmeal and part all-purpose flour. However, after learning the truth about gluten intolerance and modern wheat, I’m giving some substitutions a try. This recipe uses spelt flour, and I give it an A++.

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes cornmeal

If you’re unfamiliar with spelt—also known as farro—you’re not alone. It’s mostly cultivated in Europe and very rarely in the US, especially after the introduction of modern wheat to the US food system.

It’s exactly what I’m looking for in a grain these days. Get this: it’s an ancient variety of wheat that hasn’t changed since biblical times. No cross-breeding. No genetic alterations. It’s exactly the same. Were you aware that could still happen these days? ‘Cuz I wasn’t so sure.

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes Cornmeal

And you can substitute it for regular flour without making any adjustments!

As if you needed another reason to make these pancakes, I’ll give you six more. These pancakes have:

A subtly sweet flavor
Bursts of juicy blueberries and peaches
A satisfying texture
The “fluff” factor
A gorgeous, pale, yellow hue
My heart <3

Am I serious? You’ll never know until you make them!

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes Cornmeal

I’m pleased to say that besides for the first couple of flips, pancake-making went quite smoothly. You can’t hesitate; that’s what gets me. Any hesitation and your perfect, little pancake might tear in half!

Is there anything you still struggle with in the kitchen? Let’s commiserate and then become awesome at it. 🙂

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes Cornmeal

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Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes Cornmeal

Blueberry Peach Corn Flour Pancakes

Serves 4
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Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups whole spelt flour (can sub all-purpose)
2/3 cup cornmeal or corn flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Blueberries
Peach, skinned and sliced into thin wedges
Earth Balance or vegan margarine to grease skillet

Method:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Wash the blueberries and peel and cut the peach.
3. In a large bowl, combine spelt flour, corn flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing briefly to distribute everything evenly.
4. In a second smaller bowl, whisk eggs, almond milk, oil, and vanilla together.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until no large lumps of flour remain. If batter is too runny, add more corn flour.
6. Use a large spoon or small ladle to pour pancakes onto lightly-greased skillet. Immediately drop blueberries and peach slices onto the pancakes on the skillet. Cook until bubbles start to appear, then flip and cook a minute or two on the other side.