January 23rd is National Pie Day! This “holiday” was created in 1986 by the National Pie Council, an organization committed to “preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with the food”.
Pies have a long and illustrious past, but sweet dessert pies are a relatively new development in this dish’s history. Vegan pies are an even newer development! The Greeks are believed to have made the first pies by filling pastry shells with different kinds of meat and flavoring them with a variety of spices. The Romans followed suit with meat and seafood pies that they would often serve as part of the dessert course of the meal. When the Pilgrims made their voyage to the New World in the late 1600s they brought with them traditional English pie recipes that were filled with beef, lamb, duck, and pigeon. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first sweet pies were baked, featuring the ingredients we know and love today. By the 1940s, pie had become an iconic American dessert.
Celebrate National Pie Day with these vegan pies and tarts, both savory and sweet from our cookbooks:
Italian Easter Pie from Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson. No need to wait until Easter for this delicious savory pie. Traditionally, this dish features hot sausage, ricotta cheese, and eggs, but, thanks to vegan sausage and tofu, we can make a plant-based version that’s rich and satisfying.
Italian Rustic Squash and Kale Tart from World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan. It’s hard to believe that this vegetable filling can taste so “meaty,” but it does in this absolute winner of a dish!
Deep-Dish Caramel Apple Pie from Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. Picture it: a tender, nutty crust and crumble topping, surrounding caramel-coated apple slices kissed with cinnamon, all gently warmed in the dehydrator or oven. In other words, heaven.
Macadamia Shortbread Tart with Lemon Mousse and Fresh Berries from The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio. The vegetarian version of this refreshing dessert won one of two top monthly prizes for “Lemon Desserts” in the January 2003 Better Homes & Gardens. This vegan iteration is even better with the addition of glistening red summer raspberries nestled into a citrus cream.
Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Freezer Pie from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. This richly decadent Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Freezer Pie is quick and easy to make, but looks and tastes like it took all day to prepare.