Pies and Tarts with Heart: A Giveaway!

by JL Fields on October 9, 2013

When my friend Dynise Balcavage asked me to share her latest cookbook creation with you, I couldn’t resist.  She is enormously talented and has a terrific sense of humor – both traits shine in Pies and Tarts with Heart: Expert Pie-Building Techniques for 60+ Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies. From the book press release:


Presented in an easy to follow, step-by-step format, first readers will learn to master their crusts, be it flaky, nutty, cookie-based, vegetable-based, or gluten-free. Then they’ll craft their fillings before moving on to assembling the pieces, decorating it, and even making their homemade topping. (Vegan whipped cream, anyone?)

With more than 70 phenomenal recipes, there’s
something inside for every would-be pie maker and the recipes could be easier. Inside readers will find:

Classics like Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Key Lime Pie

Fluffernutter Pie

Rustic Freeform Plum Tart

Quiche, 10 Ways

Booze-Infused Mushroom-Polenta Pie

North-African Inspired Kale Pie

They’ll even find vegan “Imposters” like Boston Creme Pie, Whoopie Pies, and Macaroni Pie.

How about a recipe from the book?

Raw Baklava-Crusted Apple Tart

Pies and Tarts with Heart | Raw Baklava Crusted Apple Tart

Make this one for your sweeties with sweet tooths … er … sweet teeth? The base of this tart is inspired by the flavors of Baklava, the famously sinful Greek/Middle Eastern pastry. It’s topped with a gorgeous concentric circle of sweet-tart apples, which complement all the flavorings used in baklava, and drenched with lemon-cinnamon flavored Agave syrup.

Makes three 4-inch (10 cm) tarts or 6 mini tarts 

For Syrup:

  • ½ cup (120 ml) agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice 

For Crust:

  • ½ cup (70 g) raw pistachios, walnuts, and/or almonds
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) raw agave nectar
  • ½ to 2 tablespoons (8 to 30 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 organic apples (Granny Smith,
  • McIntosh, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn)
  • Lemon juice, to prevent browning
  • Cinnamon, for dusting

(For a 9-inch (23 cm) pie, double the recipe)

To make the syrup: Mix everything together in a large bowl or Mason jar. Ideally you should make this the night before, but let it sit for at least 4 hours before serving so the flavors have time to get to know each other.

To make the crust: Whiz together the nuts, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and agave in a food processor. (If you have one, a mini food processor is ideal for this task.) Chunks of nuts should be visible—don’t overprocess. Add the lemon juice, ½ tablespoon at a time, and whiz until the nut mixture sticks together. Press evenly into tart pans.

Slice the apples as thinly as possible, just before preparing the tarts (a mandoline is ideal for this job) and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the slices in concentric circles atop the raw crusts.

Pile about 1 teaspoon of the fruit garnish in the center. Drizzle with the prepared syrup and dust with extra cinnamon. Serve immediately.


Substitute a ripe pear or an Asian pear for the apple.

About the Author

Dynise Balcavage is the author of The Urban Vegan, Celebrate Vegan, and 11 books for young readers. She has published recipes in VegNews, Vegetarian Times, Philadelphia Daily News, and Végéteriens (France’s first vegetarian magazine). She’s been interviewed in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune, and has done cooking demos everywhere from New York to Paris. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her three cats. Visit her online at http://www.urbanvegan.net.

Would you like to win a copy of Pies and Tarts with Heart? Enter now! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • jennifer

    right now my favorite pie is an apply berry pie.

  • Johanna

    Love, Love, Love Peach Pie.

  • The raw recipe looks fine, but I’ve heard tell there is an ice cream pie within those pages!

  • Lizzie

    I love a classic strawberry rhubarb!

  • Julia Rodney

    This tart looks great! I love that there are plenty of GF options in the book too

  • Elizabeth Brion

    I’ve really been looking forward to this book – I’m on team “everything’s better when you put it in pie crust.” Favorites… probably savory pot pie and pecan pie.

  • You had me @ “Booze-Infused Mushroom-Polenta Pie”, but I am very, very intrigued by the quiche recipes! I love the idea of savory and sweet pies and tarts!

    My favorite pie is coconut creme and my favorite tarts are blueberry!

  • vegyogini

    Thank you for the giveaway, I’d love to win a copy! Dynise is a fantastic cookbook author. My favorite pie is vegan chicken pot pie.

  • kim ledford

    so many great ideas within my reach! would love to win a copy

  • Ilana125

    This looks amazing. I think ice cream mud pie will always be my favorite, though I haven’t had the chance to veganize one yet.

  • Terri Cole

    I never met a pie I didn’t like! 🙂 One favorite that I haven’t veganized yet is Kentucky Derby Pie.
    Thanks for the chance to win this great book!

  • Jenna Marie Kirkum

    Cherry and apple are my fave pies…love tarts, so I cannot choose just one or two!

  • Guest


  • Chelsea

    The chocolate pudding pie from Post Punk Kitchen 🙂

  • so many to choose from! hmm, i like a good vegan lemon merigue pie. it’s so rare to find.

  • Kristina

    I love pecan pies.

  • stacey

    Peanut butter and banana pie is my fave!

  • Tanya Phillips

    Mine is apple pie, I’m easy to please 🙂

  • Ree

    Pumpkin Pie

  • Becca Ferguson

    I’m pretty boring. I really enjoy pumpkin pie

  • charj

    My favorite pie is key lime pie

  • Jess McGee

    Pumpkin cheezecake

  • ammauceri

    Chocolate chip cookie pie! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Bobbie {the vegan crew}

    One of my favorites is lemon icebox pie — love it!

  • The Peace Patch

    My favorite pie is a muerbeteig…shortbread crust with a lush lemony blueberry filling…so yumful!

  • owsla

    I love pumpkin pie!

  • I love custard based pies, whether it’s banana cream, coconut cream, pumpkin.. delicious! 🙂

  • When it comes to vegan pie, the answer is always yes. Right this second, though, apple sounds best!

  • Gina Sengupta

    Shepherd’s pie!

  • Sherry

    This cookbook sounds delish! My favorite vegan pie right now is chocolate mousse pie with coconut whipped cream.

  • Laura J

    Right now my favorite is apple…My husband went out to pick up 8 apples for the week and came back with 8 lbs! Already made one apple pie this week.

  • Sondi

    PPK’s Coconut Cream Pie

  • Simona Cat

    I love it with asparagus!

  • Melissa Dion

    My fave is vegan apple pie!

  • Francine

    I love any kind of berry pie!

  • Shannon

    I recently made a vegan banana cream pie (was my favorite non-vegan dessert back in the day…) not quite up to snuff but still tasty!

  • jacquie

    anything with sour cherries is a favorite

  • Jennifer K

    I love all flavors and types of pie, but have yet to find a good vegan recipe for my favorite – key lime 🙂

  • Gaby

    I love a dense blueberry pie, and anything with a crumbly topping!

Previous post:

Next post: