At the ripe age of 33, I have realized how much passion I have for cooking. This passion ignited while living in Germany between 29 to 30, kickstarting my "hausfrau" domestic qualities. My life in Germany is an experience I will never forget, just like I'll never forget working at the vegan cafe in college.
Over Labor Day weekend, I catered the You Are Enough Yoga Retreat with my yoga friend Colleen on Bowen Island, Canada. Cooking is hard work, but to me it didn't feel like work. Passions rarely feel an ordinary day job. The long days of cooking and cleaning from 6am to 9pm was rewarding yet fulfilling to my soul.
To me, cooking is therapeutic. It's a union between the head, the heart and the soul. What you think about in your head, flows through your heart and created through your hands. It is a form of giving and love. And I loved every moment of creating and concocting new and old recipes at the retreat.
This peach pie is one of the easiest desserts to make. It's quick. It's easy. It's sweet and semi spicy with the ginger snap crust. At the retreat, I used a muffin pan to make tiny pies and retested the recipe in a 9-inch pie pan. Both methods work. The nine-inch pie pan requires a longer baking time to solidify the center of the pie. Upon cooling and refrigerating the center thickens.
I experimented with various levels of sugar. I think we use too much sugar in modern day desserts. I have used anywhere between 1/4 - 1/2 cup, but remember there is sugar in the ginger snap crust. I use sugar moderately, but adjust as you'd like.
Vegan & Gluten Free Peach Pie with a Ginger Snap Crust
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: Varies (see below)
Makes: One 9-inch Pie or approx. 15 muffin sized pies
1 8-oz bag of Ginger Snaps (gluten free)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
5 ripe peaches
1/3 cup cane sugar (1/4 cup for less | 1/2 cup for sweeter)
4 tbsp. corn starch
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (optional or use 1/2 tsp for more peach flavor)
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Blend the ginger snaps in a food processor until a "flour-like" texture. Mix the ginger snap flour with the melted coconut oil in a bowl. Spray or grease a pie or muffin pan. For the muffin pan, I used parchment paper. Press and pack the crust into the pan.
Next, puree the pie ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour the pie mixture on top of the ginger snap crust. Bake for 32-45 minutes. For the muffins, the baking time is about half.
The longer the pie backs, the more firm the center gets. However, if you want a softer texture bake until firm but not gelatinous in the center.
Stone fruits are a thing of the past. Our ancient ancestors had this fascination and deep romance with stone fruits.
Reading about the history and the origins of our food ignites this sense of appreciation of what the land gives us every day. "Back in the day," cultivating a farm and community was essential for survival. Someone baked bread and others farmed cabbage. Our peasant ancestors worked hard and found this connection to food, which has led to various festivals and ceremonies in various cultures.
While living in Germany, it was common to celebrate the harvest of kale with a grunkohlfahrt or a town to hold a cabbage festival.
Today, the more connected we are online, the more disconnected we get to the energy of the land and the understanding of where our food comes from. And now with online grocery services, we will further disconnect ourselves from the cultivation and experience of food. In my life, I can't imagine not going into a store and picking my favorite produce. There is something about the head-hand-heart connection that is very powerful with food. Sometimes that plum you pick, just feels right.
Stone fruits, soft on the outside, hard on the inside. This is quit symbolic of some people and their character. I do believe the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. And the seed we must plant and blossom begins in our mind.
If you change your mindset, you change yourself. If you change yourself, you change the world. Our ancestors knew this secret, but somehow on the collective, we are losing our way. Let this stone fruit dessert be an inspiration to planting a new seed in your life, although fall is approaching.
"When the old plum tree blooms, the entire world blooms."
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com