Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vegan apple peanut butter cheesecake pie with sautéed apples

Vegan apple peanut butter cheesecake pie with sautéed apples

If you’ve been reading this here blog for more than one post, you may have noticed I like to include gram measurements—yes, grams, the unholy beacon of the metric system—and I even put them before the imperial measurements for some closet-Communist reason. In good ol’ Murica, we like our old-fashioned, inconvenient units of measure even 15 years after they cost us a 125 million dollar NASA orbiter. It’s not unreasonable, it’s just the American way of doing things.

But being a kind and benevolent blogger, I’ve included the metric conversions as well. Not just for the benefit of any overseas readers who might lurk around here—don’t take that the wrong way, I love you guys!—but for those burdened with the imperial standard as well. Experienced bakers will know that the traditional “spoon and level” method of measuring flours and other fussy little ingredients is terribly inaccurate most of the time; and don’t let me get started about the inconsistencies inherent to “firmly packing” brown sugars into those little plastic cups.

Most of the time, weighing ingredients is far superior in the context of baking. And yes: that includes liquids. When baking out of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, my mother observed with horror as I weighed egg whites, water, and several other liquids, rationalizing that it was easier to weigh 184 grams than it was to measure out a ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoons and thus use a thousand different measuring cups for a single ingredient...eh?

She didn’t understand.

But surely you do. Surely you see that these grams are an expression of my desire to strive for perfection in my baking endeavors and not my adherence to a shadowy socialist cult?

vegan apple peanut butter cheesecake creamy pie with sauteed apples
More like I've teamed up with Obama to lure all the Tea Partiers into a single building with the promise of free guns, then served them cyanide-laced corn dogs and harvested their organs to sacrifice at the temple of the Might Marx Man! Mwahaha! The metric system shall prevail!

If you’ll excuse my sugar-addled rambling, I’ll try to explain this gram-ish recipe I have for you today.

You may have been misled into thinking that this recipe involves baking. It does not. It involves a bit of cooking, but that is it. As such, it is not absolutely crucial to weigh the ingredients, but I would say it is helpful in terms of minimizing the number of dishes you have to clean after the fact—and that is a number I’m pretty sure all of us want to minimize.

As for the pie itself? Dreamy. Literally. I’m not sure if I took those pictures up there, because hot damn they are pretty fucking great. Or so I believe. Who knows what Foodgawker will say? My photography tends to be hit-or-miss—either I have great lighting and a great angle and a great bit of food to shoot, or I have a pile of shit sitting under the glow of a painfully-artificial fluorescent light.

that is one big pile of shit gif
Yeah. This happens a lot. source

What I’m trying to say is that I can’t say for certain that this pie is real. It might be too good to be true. A pie as simple as this couldn’t possibly be so creamy and rich and delicious and filled with apple-y, peanut buttery flavor.

Or maybe it could. Maybe I should just go with it.

Here’s the recipe.

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Vegan apple peanut butter cheesecake pie with sautéed apples

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

Crust

126 grams • honey-free graham crackers, crushed • 1 ½ cups

72 grams • medjool dates, pitted • 3 medium

64 grams • peanut butter • ¼ cup

Filling (adapted from Sweetly Raw)

275 grams • apples, peeled and diced • 2 cups

106 grams • cashews, soaked for about four hours and drained • ¾ cup

60 grams • maple syrup • 3 tablespoons

5 grams • lemon juice • 1 teaspoon

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

32 grams • peanut butter • 2 tablespoons

54 grams • coconut oil, melted • ¼ cup

Pinch of salt

Sautéed apples (adapted from Cooking Light)

14 grams • coconut oil • 1 tablespoon

250 grams • apples, sliced (and peeled if desired) • 2 cups

30 grams • brown sugar • 2 tablespoons

Pinch of cinnamon

32 grams • peanut butter • 2 tablespoons

Instructions

To make crust, simply combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined; then transfer to a greased pie dish and press down into an even layer. Set aside.

To make cheesecake mousse, place apples and cashews in a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible. Add remaining ingredients under “filling” and combine until smooth. Pour filling into crust and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

To make sautéed apples, begin by melting coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté for six minutes, or until apples begin to turn tender. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook for one minute or until sugar minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.

Serve pie in slices. Top each slice with sautéed apples. Munch.
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vegan apple peanut butter cheesecake pie with sauteed apples
Dat natural lighting doe.

This pie is kind of like a half-summer, half-fall dessert. It’s perfect for that weird time of year when apples and all of those fall fruits and vegetables are in season, but it’s still kind of hot out and it’s still not too fun to turn on the oven. The only heat in here comes from the sautéed apples, which don’t take long at all. 

A hot skillet ain’t too much trouble, no?

9 comments:

  1. I love using cashews in recipes like this. I never knew how many different ways the could be used until I worked as prep chef at a vegan restaurant years ago. We made cheesecakes, tarts, alfredo sauce, etc. It's pretty amazing. This is a really solid looking recipe! I love that you used medjool dates as a binder for the crust. I'll have to give this a go soon.

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    1. Wow, you worked at a vegan restaurant? That's awesome. Cashews really are a vegan's godsend, you can't go wrong with them in desserts or savories or anything. Thanks for stopping by! :D

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  2. This DOES look too good to be true, and the crust sounds downright epic! :D I need some of this now, after all I've just had one breakfast and need a second one, right?!
    Also, being the Norwegian that I am, I was brought up in a world of grams, my grandmother - judging by the cookbook of hers that I got for christmas one year, sometimes speak in cups too, we're all friends! No matter what weighing system we use, right?! I appreciate all your wondrous ways of giving us the measure on here, much appreciated miss! Have a fantasmic day Missy! x

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    1. You too! And glad you like the recipe, the crust was nice and thick just the way June and la familia likes it. :) And it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to measurements, I think, because you never know what you'll have available! :D

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    2. This is allll true! I have yet to try cashew cream based filling, now I feel like I need it :P Hehe. Thumbs up for thicker crust, who doesn't approve of that?! Mmmm :) Thank Faramir it's Friday, I might celebrate with cake :P x

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  3. I am a huge fan of cashew cream - and am drooling at this pie - LOVE the apples and lemon combined - I bet i t was amazing!

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  4. I definitely appreciate it when a recipe lists grams because I always use my scale when I'm baking, (especially for flour, and often for the butter--too hard to cut it all perfectly in 1/4 cup or tbsp or whatever). Looks like a delicious cheesecake!

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    1. Thank you! I agree, those close volume measures are so hard to get.

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