Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gimme all the Pies 'n' Tarts with Heart: Book Tour 'n' Giveaway.

Our Dia de los Muertos preparations are underway, and according to our manual, Sweet Potato Pie is a good match for blue skeletons.
I made pie today, which is sorta exciting around here, since I never make pie. I barely  have patience for pie crust at my best, and xgfx pie crust is super seriously annoying. The exciting factor is two-fold, because not only did I pie up this place, I made sweet potato pie, which I've never made before. I'm not sure I've ever even tasted it before today, even with living in NOLA for so long. Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie (which for the record it tastes nothing like--hooray!), but more likely because Dazee loves the pie, and especially he loves fruit pie, so if'n I'm dealing with pie crust, you can be sure some strawberries, apples, cherries or something similar is going in.

I felt like sweet potato pie, and since I was gifted a beautiful new copy of Dynise Balcavage's Pies and Tarts with Heart, and since there was a xgfx nut crust recipe in there that I didn't have to change a single thing to, and since it didn't involve dough. Done deal. OK, OK I added candied ginger and cinnamon to the crust, but I add them to all my desserts, so it wasn't any extra work.

The pie is setting up in the fridge just now as I write this post, but we ate some anyway. Actually, the batter was so good, I was tempted to just turn it into a no-bake cream pie and call it a day, but I baked it anyway. I'm trying to follow directions and all that.

Besides the nut crust, PTH offers two other xgfx crusts. One is a cookie crumb recipe (you need to find your own xgfx cookie recipe or purchase some) and the other uses a xgfx flour blend. I chose the nut crust for its simplicity, and I'm glad I did. It's my new favorite pie crust, and I'll be going back to it from now on. The only other nut crusts I know about are full of dates and aren't meant to be baked. This one held up great in the oven without burning, for over an hour of baking. It works and it's easy.

Post a comment to win if you live in the US.!
Quarry Books has offered one of my US readers a chance to win their own free copy, so if you're interested in getting all pied and tarted up, please leave a comment on this post by midnight PST a week from today (Wed. October 23rd). Please leave an easy way for me to contact you, and I'll pick a random comment to win.

One of my favorite things about this pie book are the giant full-color photos throughout. Most, if not all, of the recipes are represented in really vibrant and well modeled pictures. It's a good book to take to bed, especially if dessert makes you sleepy.

I'm reluctant to call this post a review, since I've only made one recipe, but I'm sorta OK with leaving it as a mini-review (especially since the pie and crust I made today were winners). You can see more pictures from PTH from my friends Amey and Joni, who also participated in this book tour. Did I mention this post is a stop on the official book tour? Fancy time, folks.

  • Title:  Pies and Tarts with Heart
  • Author Dynise Balcavage
  • Blog Urban Vegan
  • Publisher:  Quarry Books
  • Photos: Lots and lots of georgeous color photos
  • Focus:  Vegan Pies and Tarts
  • 5 Recipes to Intrigue: Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie, Maple-Laced Caramel-Walnut Pie, "Yo, Rocky!" Road Tart, Aloo-Palak Pie (with a mashed potato crust!) and the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
  • XGFXness:  Most of the pie fillings are xgfx with 3 xgfx crust options, so lots of options.

Disclaimer:  Dynise Balcavage is my friend (in real life even!), and I received a free review copy of Pies and Tarts with Heart from Quarry Books. However, no compensation or gift was exchanged for this review, and the fierce opinion posted here is my own.


  1. Blue skeletons! I want them as much as I want that pie. Nina's going through a skull and crossbones phase and we've been talking a lot about death and I think we're going to finally have our first DDLM this year, even if it's just a small shrine and some sugared skulls and lots and lots of storytelling.

  2. That chocolate bourbon pecan pie sounds delish! Savory pies too? I'm sold!

  3. I am looking forward to this book, especially since in includes sweet pies and savory pies.

  4. i love pie! and could totally use new xgfx pie recipes! starfivesother at gmail dot com

  5. I am pie's biggest fan, so this book is on my wish list!

  6. This book sounds awesome, it's already on my Amazon wishlist :)

  7. I love your pics! And I'm looking forward to this book.

    rebeccastar at gmail dot com

  8. As a southern girl, and a new vegan (6 mo. anniversary 11/1), I feel like it is my duty to spread holiday cheer this season with compassionate, tasty pies. Not sure it that's how they will actually turn out- but I am hoping the magic of Christmas and this book will help me make something edible.

  9. Pie!!! I used to hate making pies, but a couple years ago I decided it was Summer of Pie. I made a pie weekly, and now I don't hate making them (and they are actually pretty).

    beckysekeres at gmail dot com

  10. I love pie or used to I confess since going vegan I've not made any yet! ( KNYQUOL@GMAIL.COM )

  11. I'm not sure I've ever had sweet potato pie either but it sounds delightful!

  12. I love pies and tarts, and ive exhauted all the pies from vegan pie in the sky, so im in need of more pie material!

  13. Sounds like a great book!! I'm hosting family Thanksgiving this year, so goodness knows some tradition and some new experimentation are in order, and sounds like this book has both!

  14. Phish. This looks super amazing and awesome. Yes please. Down the pie hole. Im kristacushie on Instagram, hope that you let me in on some good news over there:)

  15. I'd love to win a copy, thank you for the giveaway! I'm especially interested in the savory pies.

  16. Vegan baking is always the best! It is great finding perfect recipes that work every time especially when I also need to make them gluten-free.

  17. Mmm...pie! You can never have too many pie recipes, now can you?

  18. What!? You never partook in sweet potato pie. Not a pumpkin pie fan myself but sweet tater pie is the shizzle.
    'specially xgfx
    PS I was once a tart so I would like to win.

  19. Good for you for following directions...there's many a slip twixt recipe and lip around here so yumful batters often don't make it to the oven. :)
    The candied ginger and cinnamon in the crust does sound just right though so I bet your pie is pure heaven. Cheers!

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