Yingst Ranch + Pear, Quince & Wild Blueberry Pie.

Back before I went to Hawaii I made one last farm trip. I wasn’t sure if we’d find the super secret persimmon farm (future post) I had heard about upon my return. So, what I’m saying is this could have my last CA farm trip of the year. I had been wanting to pick some pears, but unfortunately all of the farms I knew of that offered u-pick pears had lost most of their pears to frost. The leftover pears were snatched up right away. I thought I was out of luck when I called Yingst Ranch and they happily reported they had pears.

Awesome.

A couple of friends and I made the pilgrimage out to Yingst and delighted in pear picking. We also picked a few random apples and plums we found hanging around.

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Before running off to Maui, I decided on a vegan version of this pie from my favorite place, Eat the Love.

I love that quince turns pink when you cook it. I also thought the blueberries added a nice touch. DSC_1806

 

This was a really lovely day. We went thrifting near the farm and each of us found some rad treasure. But, this post is like this day and pie; quick. I’ll be back to tell the story of that secret persimmon farm real soon.

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Eggnog Pear Pie.

It’s a wonderful day for pie! In case anyone hasn’t seen this, you should probably watch right now:

http://www.shenzhenstuff.com/video/its-a-wonderful-day-for-pie

Any day is a wonderful day for pie! But really, pie is the best. The November issue of Vegetarian Times featured a whole section on pies. I haven’t gotten around to making any of them until now. There was an Eggnog Pear Pie featured as part of the pie spread and I thought that sounded deliciously interesting. Naturally I get to the recipe and it’s basically eggs and milk. Never fear, veganization to the rescue! I swapped out some things and added some other, better things and got myself an Eggnog Pear Pie. Unfortunately, the top of my pie cracked like an unruly cheesecake and so boo. Boo to cracks. But cheers to delicious tasting pie, which this is.

Eggnog Pear Pie

Eggnog Pear Pie

Adapted & Veganized from Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:

Crust:

About 20 gingersnaps (storebought or homemade) crushed or pulsed in the food processor, you want fine crumbs

1 tbsp Earth Balance

Filling:

4 medium pears, peeled, cored and sliced

1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 c sugar

heaping 1/2 c firm silken tofu (Mori-Nu Brand)

large pinch salt

1 c So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp agar agar powder (do not use flakes)

cinnamon for dusting

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse your snaps in a food processor to get them into fine crumbs if you haven’t done so already. Use a mini food processor if you have one, or if you have a smaller bowl attachment that fits into your big bowl, use that. Melt your Earthy B and combine it with your crumbs. Press the mixture into a pie plate and bake about 8 minutes.

Toss pears in a bowl with ginger and lemon juice. Once your crust has baked for the 8 min, remove it and arrange your pear slices in the crust, or just dump them in. You won’t really be able to see them, so do whatever you fancy.

Wipe out your food processor and add in the tofu, nog, salt, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and agar. Run until everything is completely smooth and there are no chunks of tofu. You may have to scrape down the sides of your food processor once or twice. Pour the nog and tofu mixture over the pears and bake for about 45 min. Let pie cool to room temp and then refrigerate if desired. It will continue to set a bit more in the fridge, but should still hold a slice at room temp. When you are ready to serve, or eat the pie by yourself (what? who me?!) give it a light dusting of cinnamon. I used ceylon cinnamon, but use whatever variety you like. 🙂

Eggnog Pear Pie

My Beautiful Cousin and the I-Hate-My-Downstairs-Neighbor-Tart

The other day, I got into an argument with my downstairs neighbor. I’m not big on arguments, so it was pretty uncomfortable. I live in an old house built circa 1920. It was converted into 4 apartments in the 1970’s. I have lived here almost 4 years, longer than any of the other tenants. It’s a quirky place to say the least, tucked above some old store fronts on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park. About 2 years ago, I decided to start a small compost heap. I live upstairs, so I picked a spot under my stairs (which are outside of course) for the heap. It has been living as a happy heap of decomposing fruits, veggies, dirt and some dog poop for the past couple of years.

Then, the other day, I suddenly found a giant plastic pot sitting directly on top of the compost. I moved the pot from atop the heap several times, only to find it right back on top of the heap every day. This was my neighbor’s passive-aggressive way of expressing her disapproval of the compost. SIGH. Oh and I forgot to mention that the plant inside the pot was a small dead palm. I have a lil bit of green thumb. I know a dead plant when I see one, and it’s going to take a miracle to bring that poor palm back to life. Anyhow, I looked inside of the pot and the palm was just sitting atop some soil. It wasn’t buried or really “planted”….just sitting in there. Anyhow, to make a long story short (because it’s too long already!) my neighbor came out and an argument ensued over these issues. My neighbor was very unwilling to hear anything I had to say, which is just frustrating when you’re trying to explain your point of view to someone. So, I told her that I was going to go back indoors if we couldn’t come to some kind of agreement regarding her continually placing her dead plant on top of my compost heap. It turned out that her issue was regarding the smell and attraction of flies. I told her she just needed to come upstairs to let me know it needed some dirt cover and I’d be happy to oblige. This was when she responded with “I never see you” in the snottiest way possible…..you know…..because it’s not like I live DIRECTLY ABOVE HER. Double SIGH. Basically, this is just an unhappy and unfriendly human being who feels like it’s too much to talk to a neighbor over something that was bothering her. I’m not even angry anymore, well, because if that’s the way you are, then I really just feel sorry for you. Good luck at having successful relationships in the future….bitch. –I know, I know, I had to!

Moving right along, I decided to bake this tart:

I hate my downstairs neighbor Pear Tart!

In the spirit of the film Waitress, I decided to pour my anger and hate for this awful neighbor into this pear tart, a recipe that I adapted from The Gluttonous Vegan. I also knew that I was going to visit my cousin, who is battling lung cancer. I decided that I would share the story and the tart and that we could have a nice visit and enjoy ourselves laughing about my idiot neighbor. And we did. And then we watched Rio. Awesome day. 🙂

My beautiful and amazing cousin!

I love, love, love my cousin!

*Also, for the record, all of my other neighbors are lovely and now I appreciate how great they are even more! Thank you other neighbors who are nice and not jerks!