My second Alternative Thanksgiving talk and demo is tonight at 6 pm at the Roanoke Main Library. I know most of you can’t make it, but in order to feel like you’re there in spirit, I’ll be discussing vegan baking, bread making, and I’ll be making Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread and Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie.

As wonderful of an experience as these two talks and demonstrations have been, and as much as I love educatating folks about vegan and gluten-free lifestyles, I’m oh so ready to be back in the kitchen making the dishes that I want to make. For example, in my office I’ve got a copy of Carole Walter’s Great Cookies which I’m dying to dive into. The first three recipes all feature liquor–liquour in cookies, hello, what’s not to love?!

I have been making a few things here and there that aren’t completely Thanksgiving oriented. One was this delicious, seasonal Autumn Apple Buckle. According to this lovely site, a buckle is “a type of cake made in a single layer with berries added to the batter. It is usually made with blueberries. The topping is similar to a streusel, which gives it a buckled or crumpled appearance.” (As opposed to a crumble which lacks the cake layer.) Although my buckle features apples instead of blueberries, it’s still super moist, cakey, sweet, and delicious like any summertime treat.

Autumn Apple Buckle

adapted from Food & Wine

for the crumb topping:
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 tsp because I like everything super cinnamony)
pinch of salt
5 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 c pecans

for the batter:
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt
6 tbsp vegan margarine, softened
1/4 c sugar
1/8 c agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c soy yogurt
1/4 c soy milk (or any nondairy milk)
1 lb apples–peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (preferably Granny Smith, although I used Rome)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Oil an 8 inch cast iron skillet or an 8 inch cake pan.

For the crumb topping: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the vegan margarine and process until the mixture resembles moist sand. Add the pecans and pulse until just chopped.

For the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, ginger and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer (or using a stand mixer), beat the vegan margarine until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the agave. Add the vanilla and soy yogurt and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the soy milk and beat at low speed until smooth. Fold in the apples.

To assemble: Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet or pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake the buckle in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

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