Anniversary! And Pie!

So much has been going on lately and I have a hard time keeping up with things. But then I remembered that this month is my blog and vegan anniversary. Five years seitanismymotor and five years vegan me. Wow! So I guess I need to come out of hibernation and dust off my keyboard.

I have several projects going one right now and one of them is testing for Celine Steen’s and Tamasin Noyes new cookbook on wholegrain baking! Yes, ok, this is not my project, it is theirs. But I am very exited for them! (And I guess for me and my belly, too.) Celine has been whipping up tasty whole grain baked goods on her blog for quite some time now and Tami is a kick-ass baker, too. I already made my grain mill work overtime and produced quite an amount of delicious breads and sweet treats. Like these Speculoos Doughnuts (The recipe is on Celine’s blog. Just click on the link above.):

I also came up with a couple of new recipes myself and of course I wrote them all down. Well, if I write something down on a tiny piece of paper and leave it somewhere in the kitchen, it’s gone. Which is a shame because I have been constantly working on my cookie skills. And I think I am almost there. Here’s a picture of one of the cookies I used to come up with:

And here’s one of a version that is already much better. Not perfect yet and a little pale maybe, but much crispier than the ones I used to come up with.

I have not only been cooking, I have also been toying with the idea of expanding this blog a bit. I like cooking and baking but that is not the only thing I am interested in regarding to veganism. And lately there have been some things going on that I would like to write about. For example most of you probably have heard of the embarrassing and shameful ads that PCRM came up with. (If not, don’t worry. It’s probably better that way. If you still wanna know, Ginny Messina wrote an excellent article on the whole thing.) To be honest, it has been bugging me for quite some time how veganism is often equated with health and thinness. My main questions are: Why are people stigmatized, who do not fit into our frames of what we consider healthy and beautiful?  And why do so many people still think that being thin means being healthy? Why do we work so hard to match a often very biased and repressive ideal of beauty – when in so many other areas we try to fight oppression and be compassionate? For a long time my head was spinning but I think I finally found some answers. I wrote something about it here.

Okay, now let’s finally celebrate my anniversary with fat and sugar!

Hazelnut Pie in Chocolate Crust

This shortbread crust is ridiculously easy to prepare and so is the filling. For extra hazelnut flavour I suggest to roast the hazelnuts before grinding them. Usually, when one of my recipes calls for coconut oil I mean refined coconut oil. For this crust I used unrefined oil and was quite pleased with the results.

For the crust:

120 g (1/2 cup) coconut oil, softened
60 g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
170 g (1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
20 g (3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon) cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy milk

Cream together coconut oil, sugar, and starch. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt. Add to coconut oil mixture. Beat with a handheld mixer until the mixture turns into crumbs. This should only take one or two minutes. Add the soy milk. Use your hands to form a smooth dough.

Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round pan with oil. (I used one with a removable bottom, 4 cm [1.5 inch] deep, similar to this one. If you want to use a springform pan instead that’s fine. When pressing the dough into the sides remember not to go all the way up as a springform pan is usually deeper than a sandwich cake pan.)

Press 2/3 of the dough into the pan. Cover with plasic and freeze for 1 hour. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic as well and place in the fridge.

To make the filling:

350 g (12.3 oz) hazelnuts, preferably roasted
250 g (8.8 oz) quince jelly
seeds from half a vanilla bean or two teaspoons pure extract
1 tablespoon whiskey or orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Grind 3/4 of the hazelnuts into a fine meal. Combine meal and remaining ingredients. Use a fork or a spoon to blend everything well. Mix in remaining whole hazelnuts.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Transfer the filling into the pan and distribute evenly. For the topping, chop the remaining dough into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle on top. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Let cool before removing the pan.

29 thoughts on “Anniversary! And Pie!

  1. Hi Mihl,
    i tried the hazelnut-pie. I must say i didn’t really like it, the only thing i changed about the recipe is replacing the quince with apricot. But it came out really dry and the flavor of the fruity apricot in combinaton with the strong hazelnut flavor ànd the chocolate was a bit to many differant flavors in one bite for me. It also had a very differant colour than on your pictures, the filling came out pretty pale (what you would expect from ground hazelnut and apricots). I don’t understand why the filling in your pictures is so much darker?

    1. Apricot jam might have less liquid than quince jelly. Jelly is made from juice and not from fruits. That might explain why it was too dry. Did you use the same sized pan? Did you use an oven theromometer? It sounds like you underbaked it. I also think that quince jelly adds a very subtle flavour that goes will with the hazelnuts. Apricot jam is probably more suitable for other recipes:)

  2. Happy Vegan Anniversary! I think Celine has a love affair with Speculoos and that’s okay because she keeps writing up all of these delicious recipes.

    Being vegan doesn’t automatically mean you will lose weight if you are eating alot of processed foods. As vegans we get enough fingers pointed at us by what we believe in and what we don’t eat that putting up billboards like PCRM doesn’t help us at all. We should be putting up billboards that show vegans as being compassionate and loving life such as Chris Karr or Colleen Patrick Goudreau. Why can’t they show a family with some animals and beautiful food on a table or something? I do have to say though PCRM has done and is doing so many good things and is soooo much better than PETA

  3. Happy Veganniversary! There was a fair amount of discussion here of the PCRM ads. The ad was awful, but not nearly as horrible as the recent PETA ad which was too gross for me to describe here. While I don’t think being overweight is healthy, I am bothered by those who push people to go vegan for health reasons or to be thin. It is certainly healthier, but it leaves out the more compelling reasons of social justice and animal abuse. I think there is evidence that people who are “vegan” for health are not vegan at all. You can eat a plant based diet and wear a fur coat, but you are not a vegan.
    Anyway! I can’t wait to make the pie. I don’t know about quince jam, can you suggest a substitute? Is the flavor prominent in the pie?

    1. I owe you an email. I promise, I didn’t forget about you! To answer your question: the quince flavour is not prominent at all. You could use any kind of jam or jelly, for example peach or apricot.

  4. Happy blogiversary! I’ve loved getting to know you over close to five years–watching your recipes change and refine has been amazing and for the many I’ve tried, they’re spot-on delicious! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you & the blog! (p.s. that hazelnut tart looks to die for. Definitely bookmarking it.)

    1. Hi Jes! Thank you so much for your nice comment. It’s really great to have you as a reader and I do appreciate all your wonderful comments!

  5. Happy vegan anniversary! I’ve been visiting your blog from the beginning!
    I have a question about the crust: could I make cookies from it? And is it really necessary to place it in the freezer for two hours (most crusts have to rest in the fridge for such a long time and in the freezer for just a short period)?

    1. Nice to meet you, Nicole! To answer your first question: yes, you can absolutely make cookies from this dough. And to answer your second question: it’s only one hour in the freezer. I have had really good results with this methods. But if you want to make cookies, it’s not even necessary to put the dough in the fridge. Because of the coconut oil it will harden so much that it’s almost impossible to form cookies from the dough after it has been in the freezer or fridge. Room temperature dough should work as well.

  6. Happy 5 years, lovely lady! Your cookie skills sure are growing up to be awfully handsome. That bottom batch of cookies looks damn near perfect to me… just perfect.

    Can’t wait to read more from you, too!

  7. Happy anniversary! I would love to read your thoughts on a variety of vegan topics, including size-ism and veganism! I, too, have been outraged with the whole “Go Vegan, get skinny!” or “Vegan = thin” bull! Its so opposite of what I understand veganism to be – you know compassion for ALL beings! Can’t wait to see what you have to say!

    1. Nice to hear from you JL. Yes, it’s really ridiculous. But thanks to blogs like yours which help to set the picture straight.

  8. Happy anniversary and thanks for sharing recipes and thoughts with the rest of the world. I really enjoy reading your blog both in german and english! Best wishes** Mariela

  9. Happy vegan/blog anniversary! From Heikki as well. This recipe looks and sounds delicious, as always! I’ll have to check out the post about the ad campaign you mention. All this about being vegan, being healthy, being thin – it’s all very confusing sometimes, and often boils down to body image issues and impossible capitalistic beauty ideals. I wish I knew German so I could read more about your thoughts on this!

    1. Anni! So great to hear from you and Heikki! I really miss your blog.
      I totally agree with you. It is confusing and it does indeed boil down to capitalism. In the end people just wanna sell you something.

  10. Happy Anniversaries! I miss your beautiful blog when you go on hiatus, but know how hard it can be to get to the keyboard when life is pressing. Great idea to expand your reach through essays on food issues. I’m very disappointed in PCRMs ad, and I wish they’d retract it and apologize. I also realize there are a lot of ideas about what constitutes healthy food choices (eat no grains vs. mostly grains, eat mostly fruit vs. little fruit, eat no fat vs. lots of fat), and we must all honor our own decisions, as well as show respect for others.

    1. Thank you! I agree we all have different views on health. But I often wonder where people get those ideas? Why would it be healthy not to eat fruit, by the way? The grain thing I do get, at least if people have a gluten intolerance. If not – gimme all your grains, I’ll eat them ;)

  11. Happy blog and vegan anniversary! The pie looks stellar, as do the cookies – what a way to celebrate such a great milestone. I look forward to the blog expansion. Veganism is certainly more than just what we eat, so it’s wonderful to see people be passionate about and willing to share discourse on the broader scope of what the lifestyle entails. The topics you mentioned are ones I’ve thought about a good deal lately, too, so I’m particularly eager to hear what you have to say about them. :)

  12. Happy five years, C.! It’s been a blast to meet you through this blog, and to drool over all the wonderful recipes you’ve come up with throughout the years.

    Also, please do translate that piece you wrote. I think many of us are craving such posts these days, I personally have had it up to here with the craziness of no-fat, no-sugar, vegan = automatic weight loss, stupid PCRM ads, and so on.

    Finally: QUINCE JELLY! You know of my love for this stuff. <3

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