Pie It Forward

by BUST Magazine

This Thanksgiving, be an all-star dinner guest by bringing the dish that everyone most looks forward to: pie. We’ve got five eye-popping options—sweet, savory, traditional, vegan, and even raw—that will ensure you’ll be invited back.


Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Pecan Crust

This pie is sweet, buttery, lightly spiced with cinnamon, and enhanced with a bit of salt to bring out the flavors. The crust is very sensitive to change, so don’t tinker with the recipe too much.

Serves: 8 to 10

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hr

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 cup gluten-free certified rolled oats, processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk), softened
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg pinch of ground cloves


  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch pie dish well. In a food processor, mix oat flour and pecans, and process until it starts to clump (about 35 seconds) but not longer. You should be able to make a ball with the mixture.
  2. Melt Earth Balance with brown rice syrup for about 30 seconds in microwave, and stir. Transfer pecan mixture into a large bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Using your hands, squeeze the dough to combine very well. You should be able to form a ball with it. If it’s too dry, add a bit more Earth Balance.
  3. Spoon the dough into the pie dish  and press down very firmly to form the crust, bringing it up along the sides. Prick base with fork 12–13 times. Prebake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
  4. For the filling, in a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and arrowroot powder. Now add all ingredients and whisk together, adjusting spices and sweetener to taste. 
  5. Scoop the filling into crust and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and cover crust edges with tinfoil or crust shield, then bake for another 25 minutes, checking it after 15 minutes or so. Place on cooling rack for 1 hour. Transfer to fridge for a minimum of 3 hours before slicing. This step is important! Slice with a very sharp knife, slowly and carefully, for best results.

By Angela Liddon

From the blog ohsheglows.com


Cookie Dough Cream Pie

A miraculous mash-up of chocolate wafer crust, chocolate-chip cookie dough, brown-sugar cream filling, and whipped cream, this pie is immaculate. 

Serves: 8 to 10

Prep time: 45 minutes 

Total time: 4 hrs

Ingredients for the crust

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. almond meal (optional, for added flavor)
  • 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 7 oz. of cookies,  finely ground in a food processor)

Ingredients for the cookie dough

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp. milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the cream filling

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the whipped topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, mix together melted butter, almond meal (if using), and cookie crumbs with a fork until uniformly moistened. Press mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, using a lightly buttered flat-bottom measuring cup, if necessary. Bake 8 minutes, or until set. Cool completely. 
  2. To prepare cookie dough, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed 2–3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Press cookie dough into cooled crust; you want an even layer approximately 1/2-inch thick. (You’ll have some left over, which you can use to make mini cookies, for garnish) Refrigerate pan while you prepare the cream filling. 
  4. Whisk together brown sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until mixture is smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  5. In a heatproof bowl, beat egg yolks with the remaining cup of milk. Temper the yolks by adding the warm milk mixture to the eggs, a bit at a time, stirring after each addition. Repeat until about half of the milk mixture has been added and egg mixture is warm to the touch. Then pour all of both mixtures into saucepan and stir to combine. 
  6. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has the consistency of thick pudding, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool about 5 minutes or until warm—not hot—to the touch. 
  7. Pour filling over chilled cookie dough, leveling the top with an offset spatula. Filling should reach about 1/2 inch from the top of the crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. 
  8. To make the topping, whip heavy cream with an electric mixer until it begins to form soft folds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until cream holds stiff peaks. With an offset spatula, gently spread all but 1/3 cup of the whipped topping over chilled filling. Pipe or dollop remaining topping evenly around the pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

By Lindsay Landis

From The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, Quirk Books © 2012


Roasted Butternut Squash, Cheddar, and Sage Galette

Butternut squash truly shines in this galette, whose lovely sweetness cozies up to a sharp cheddar and aromatic sage, resulting in a dish that’s just as exquisite to behold as it is to munch on. 

Serves: 8 to 10

Prep time: 20 mins for assembly, and at least 1 hour for chilling dough

Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Rounded 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3 oz. (3/8 cup) ice water

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • (1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the egg wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water


  1. For the crust, using either a whisk or a fork, mix the flour and salt together in a medium-size bowl. With a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You should still have some large hunks of butter when you’re done. Slowly drizzle in ice water, and stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump. 
  2. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until all of the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and pat it into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. To assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to a large unrimmed baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. 
  4. Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Toss until well-mixed and the squash cubes and onion are well coated with olive oil and sage. Mound this mixture in the middle of the chilled pastry circle and gently spread it out toward the edge of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border all around. 
  5. Fold the pastry border up over the filling, overlapping the edges and pressing the folds together every few inches. Whisk the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the crust’s folded edges. 
  6. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the squash cubes are tender when pierced with a fork. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

By Ashley English

From A Year of Pies © 2012, Lark Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Plum Chocolate Meringue Crumble Pie

There’s no pastry to deal with or filling to mix and heat here. There is meringue, but since it’s covered with crumble, you don’t have to put too much investment into how good it looks. The result is stunningly delicious.

Serves: 8 

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients for the crust

  • 9 oz. graham crackers 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Ingredients for the filling

  • Approx. 7 plums, sliced into wedges about 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 1/2 oz. good milk chocolate (like Dove or Trader Joe’s), roughly chopped 

Ingredients for the meringue crumble

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds


  1. For the crust, smash up the graham crackers, either in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix in the melted butter and cinnamon, then press 3/4 of the mixture into the base of a paper-lined pie tin, enough to cover the base and about 1/2 inch of the sides. Set aside the other 1/4. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  2. Remove the crust from the oven, turn it down to 270 degrees, and throw in the almonds for a few minutes to roast. 
  3. Sprinkle the flour and the sugar on the crust.  Layer the chocolate and plums on top in alternating layers, trying to keep the filling fairly flat.
  4. In a clean metal bowl, whisk the egg whites till they’re thick and frothy, then slowly add the sugar while whisking continuously—until the mixture’s shiny and bright white. Carefully spread this across the top of the plums in the pie tin. Roughly chop the almonds and mix them into the remaining crumble, scatter this on top of the meringue. 
  5. Bake the pie for 35 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before eating.

By Laura Vincent

From the blog hungryandfrozen.com

Raw Cranberry Pie—To Go!

The layers of this delicious portable pie-in-a-jar come together in every bite, and the tart-yet-sweet raw cranberries offer a fresh, unexpected flavor.

Serves: 6 (in 6 Ball jars)

Prep time: 30 mins

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 cup raw untoasted buckwheat, soaked (see directions) 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • juice of  1/4 orange
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Ingredients for the filling

  • 2 cups raw, organic cranberries (save a few for garnish) 
  • 1 not-too-soft pear, cored
  • 1/4 wedge of organic orange, with skin
  • 6 dates 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice 
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Ingredients for the topping

  • 1/2 cup raw organic almonds 
  • 1/2 cup raw organic pecans 
  • 2 dates
  •  1/4 tsp. cinnamon


  1. For the crust, soak buckwheat in filtered water for 20–30 minutes. Rinse and drain well, patting with paper towel.
  2. In a bowl, combine buckwheat with  cinnamon, orange juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside. 
  3. To make the filling, place cranberries, pear, orange wedge, dates, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and vanilla into the food processor. Combine until well chopped and blended—almost a puree, but with some texture. Set aside, and rinse food processor. 
  4. For the topping, combine almonds, pecans, dates, and cinnamon in food processor, until a crumbly meal forms. 
  5. To assemble, fill Ball jars with buckwheat mixture. Then layer with 2 scoops of cranberry mixture, top with nut crumble, and garnish with a fresh cranberry. Place lids on top and serve. 

By Julie Cove

From Pieography ©, Quarry Books, an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group, Beverly, MA

Photographed by Vanessa Rees

Food styled by Lauren LaPenna

AubreyPlaza-smallThis review appears in the Oct/Nov 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Aubrey PlazaSubscribe now.


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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