By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole food plant based, oil free, sugar free, gluten free, soy free
This vegan cherry pie filling is sweet as a summer day and goes perfectly in a pie or over ice cream, yogurt, or oatmeal.
4th of July Cherry Pie
What’s the perfect dessert for the fourth? Well, I love anything from coconut milk ice cream with berries to strawberry shortcake, but you just can’t beat pie for the fourth of July! This summer is shaping up to be a HOT one, but we are getting out and enjoying ourselves as much as we can. We just got back from a really fun trip to Disneyland and California Adventure with a detour to Universal Studios to check out Harry Potter land. The kids had a blast and we were able to visit my brother and sister in law and my adorable niece. On a side note, Disneyland has so many great vegan options now! I had a delicious cauliflower sandwich, cauliflower tacos, potato tacos, Dole Whip, and an Impossible Burger. It was all very yummy, but of course contained plenty of oil, which left me feeling a bit yucky. I’m so glad to be home and back to my normal whole food plant based diet. And, luckily, I still get to have delicious desserts, such as this vegan cherry pie filling that will be a perfect summertime treat. Along with my healthy whole wheat pie crust (made with a combo of whole wheat and almond flour), this is a great dessert to bring to picnics or potlucks.
Dark, Sweet Cherries: I just use frozen cherries for this recipe, because I am way too lazy to remove the pits from fresh cherries, but by all means go for it if you have more patience than I do. Just be sure the cherries are nice and ripe and sweet.
Arrowroot Powder: This will thicken your whole food plant based cherry pie filling. Cornstarch works too, but arrowroot powder is a healthier choice. Here is some more info on Arrowroot Powder if you are curious about it.
Fresh Lemon Juice: The tartness of the lemon juice really brings out the sweetness of the cherries. Don’t skip it!
Liquid Stevia or Maple Syrup: Personally, I use liquid stevia since it is a totally sugar free option, but maple syrup is still unrefined sugar and will give you a great flavor. The recipe as written is not super sweet, so feel free to add more sweetener to your liking. Depending on how sweet your cherries are, you may need to add more than the recipe calls for.
Almond Extract: This is optional and you could use vanilla instead if you prefer, but I love the way the almond extract brings out the flavor of the cherries. So good!
Whole Wheat Oil Free Pie Crust: You will also need my recipe for whole wheat oil free pie crust if you are using this whole food plant based cherry pie filling to make a pie.
Ingredients for Crumb Topping
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Make sure to use this or white whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour will be too grainy.
Oats: Just use regular oatmeal for this.
Light Coconut Milk: This helps bind the mixture together. Regular coconut milk is fine too but will add more fat.
Almond Butter: Be sure to use unsweetened almond butter. The almond butter provides a healthy fat and some protein.
Liquid Stevia or Coconut Sugar: Liquid stevia will give you a calorie and sugar free option, but coconut sugar is still unrefined and will work great.
How To Make This Vegan Cherry Pie Filling
This recipe is so quick and easy to make! If you are making a pie, start by making my whole wheat oil free pie crust. Then, all you need to do is combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then continue to cook it down for about 8-10 minutes, until it is nice and thick. At this point, give it a little taste and see if you need to add more sweetener. (You may want to let it cool just a bit so you don’t burn your tongue!) Once it tastes exactly as sweet as you like, you can either serve over vegan ice cream, yogurt, or oatmeal or pour it into an unbaked pie shell.
Next, you’ll want to make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, mix together the oats, flour, almond butter, cinnamon, light coconut milk, and liquid stevia or coconut sugar. Use your fingers to really mix it together into a crumbly texture and then sprinkle it evenly over the whole surface of the pie. Optionally, spray the top of the pie with some non stick spray. This will give it a more golden color as it bakes. Finally, bake in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. If the crust starts to turn too dark, simply cover the pie with a sheet of aluminum foil. This vegan cherry pie filling is so versatile and delicious! It brings me right back to my childhood, eating cherry pie at my grandma’s house. At the same time, this version is so healthy you can easily enjoy it for breakfast! I highly recommend topping the pie with coconut milk whipped cream or vegan vanilla ice cream. And you might want to double the recipe because it won’t be around long! Yum!
Vegan Cherry Pie Filling
- sauce pan
- 5 cups dark, sweet cherries (frozen) or fresh and pits removed
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 11/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or 2 tablespoons maple syrup or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 recipe whole wheat oil free pie crust
For Crumb Topping (If Making Pie)
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoons light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia or 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- If making a pie, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly to keep mixture simmering. Cook, stirring, for about 8-10 minutes until the filling is hot and thickened.
- If using for a pie, pour into an unbaked pie shell.
- In a small bowl, mix the oats, flour, stevia or coconut sugar, almond butter, and light coconut milk. Use your fingers to really mix it all together into a crumbly texture. Cover the top of the pie with the crumb mixture.
- Optionally, if desired, spray the top of the pie with a few sprays of nonstick spray to make it turn a golden color. It's good for all of the crumb topping to be moistened so you don't end up with any dry flour on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pie is lightly golden and the berry mixture is bubbling. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
- This pie tastes great served warm with non dairy ice cream or coconut whipped cream on top.