Posts Tagged ‘earth balance’



Picked these Empire apples myself in Hood River.


Melted earth balance, evenly distributed.IMG_8804First layer-pack it tight.


 Second layer- just pile it on.

This is from the original French Tarte Tatin recipe,  only with vegan butter.  Don’t be daunted.  This is just an apple pie without seasonings or a top crust, and the only scary part is flipping it over.  But take my word for it, it is not that scary. You peel and cut some apples,  melt the soy butter, dissolve the sugar, pack the apple slices in, add another layer of apples, then cover the skillet with your dough, bake it in the oven and flip.  Easy.  It’s so delicious and simple. You might think that just apples, butter and sugar would be bland, but its rich and delicious.

IMPORTANT: You need a small cast iron pan for this. It’s possible that another type of oven proof skillet would work, but I’ve never tried that myself.

Makes 6 servings


  • 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet or ovenproof pan
  • baking sheet
  • 1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry OR 2 rolled up pie crusts
  • 8 Tbs earth balance
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar is fine to use if you don’t have white, or a combo of white and brown.)
  • About 8 sweet firm apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • If you like, you can add a few squeezes of lemon juice at the end before putting the dough on top.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees – have your skillet and baking sheet ready

2. Thaw your dough, then roll it out and refrigerate it.

3. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts, sprinkle the sugar over the butter until it dissolves. Remove from heat.

4. Fit a layer of apples into the skillet, putting the apples into the pan in tight circles. What’s important here is to pack in the apples — because they will shrink as they cook, you want to make sure they are snug in the pan.

5. When you’ve got a tight single layer, cut the remaining apple quarters in half and strew them over the first layer. This layer can be somewhat mounded, which will give the tart some height.

6. Put the pan over medium heat and cook — staying close by — until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. You’ll see it bubbling up the sides of the pan, but if you need a clearer view, you can gently push an apple aside. To get the color you want without burning the sugar, you may have to lower the heat after a while. Count on 15 minutes, more or less, to get the color. Transfer the skillet to the baking sheet.

7. Remove pie crusts or pastry from the fridge and place it over the top of the pan, covering the fruit, loosely tucking in any overhang.

If using two pie crusts, just put one on top of the other.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and, if you used puff pastry, puffed.

9.  Now it’s time to flip it over! Cover the skillet with the large, rimmed serving plate (or pie plate) and, acting quickly and confidently in one smooth flip motion, flip the tart out onto the platter and remove the pan. If any of the apples have stuck to the pan — it happens to the best of us — gently lift them off the pan with an icing spatula and press them gently back onto the tart.

10.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The caramelized sugar is hot enough to be dangerous. Let the tart sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, preferably on a windowsill with a chilly breeze wafting in.



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I was given a big bag of arborio rice with the suggestion to try pudding.  I was all for it since it furthered my search for more rice-versatility.  This delicious creation can serve as a snack, full breakfast or a small dessert.  A little rice goes a long way…

Arborio rice is pricey.  I think the bag we were given was 8 dollars.  I used it here because it is short-grained.  There’s no reason you can’t use long-grained, cheaper rice for this. The only difference would be the final pudding texture.  Shorter grains make for a smoother, more pebbly mouth-feel.

UPDATE: I am eating my words.  I saw a small, off-brand package of arborio at the store for 2 bucks.  The bag we had was a high-end producer, and it was organic.  So this is a cheap dish, after all!

Note: this is not a yellow, custardy “Cozy Shack”-type rice pudding.  That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious, just not what I expected.

Second note: I am going to do this again with raisins!


  • 1 cup arborio rice, (you can use brown if you avoid white rice)
  • 1 Tbs earth balance
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup soymilk (you can use coconut milk for a creamier taste, but you will taste the coconut.)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Cook the rice in water first according to package directions with the butter and salt
  2. Once rice is cooked, add the soymilk, stir well.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat
  4. Once boiled, turn heat down to medium and stir constantly, uncovered, until milk is absorbed.
  5. Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup and brown sugar, stir well.
  6. Cover with lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or chill in fridge for cold version.

Rice pudding is forgiving, so you can always add more milk and cook it longer if you’d like it to be chewier.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that I was excited to see a link for Annie’s recipe from AnUnrefinedVegan for slow-cooker rice pudding on the first page of a google search.  Though I didn’t have the ingredients or slow-cooker to make her recipe, I am dying to try it.

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Estimated Cost: $1-2.00 per person.  In our case, zip!  No trip to the store necessary.
When Nic and I got married, we ended up with a Crate and Barrel gift card.  After browsing all the shiny appliances, we decided to get a little Villaware belgian waffle iron.  We love its compact size, the cord wrapper on the back and how it can be stored on its side.  It is still going strong, the only problem I ever had with it is when I decided to shine the metal on the top with oven cleaner, which corroded it. (Oops.)  So it’s not shiny anymore, but still makes picture-perfect waffles. (See exhibit A.)
The recipe below is what I scrounged up this morning. I was determined to make a lovely breakfast without buying anything from the store.  I used 1/3 cup brown rice flour to help stretch our regular flour for this month.  Coincidentally, the rice flour adds some flavor and lightness to the waffles, so it all worked out.
Serves: 2, Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  •  1/3 cup brown rice flour
  •   1 tablespoon  brown sugar
  •   1/4-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •   1/8 tsp salt
  •   1 cup warmed nondairy milk (warm enough to dissolve the brown sugar)
  •   1/4 cup vegan margarine, softened (you can substitute oil)
  •   generous splash vanilla extract


  1. Fire up your waffle maker. Apply some nonstick oil or spray.
  2. For batter, Mix all ingredients in one bowl.  Lumps are fine. The batter should be quite thick.
  3. Ladle batter in middle of waffle iron, about 3 big spoonfuls.  My waffle maker has a buzzer that tells me when they are done; if yours does not, go for about 5-7 minutes, depending on how brown you like them.

That rice flour is an item in the pantry that I’m trying to find uses for instead of going out and buying more ingredients.  My goal for the rest of the summer is to use EVERYTHING in the pantry until it is absolutely bare before buying anything else.  What I have left: a silly amount of vital wheat gluten, amaranth, more brown rice flour, lots of regular flour, a big can of pumpkin, a can of creamed corn, a bag of broth powder, potato flour, lots of pasta shapes, a bag of soup mix and various oil/vinegar.  I already have a few ideas, but if anyone can think of uses for amaranth, I’d appreciate some tips.  I am stumped with that one.

Since we’ve pared down our food budget to about $80 per week, I’ve been creative.  I bought a lot of dry beans and lentils, and we’re planning each meal around what already exists in the house.  Our produce mainly consists of onions, garlic and potatoes, with the occasional on-sale fruit, (watermelon is uber cheap right now).  Thank goodness for in-season delights, like avocados, ($1 each!)  I’m looking forward to cheap zucchini and other reasonably-priced summer veg.  Soon we will both be feeling a little healthier, I’m sure.

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