Terry Hope Romero & Isa Chandra Moskowitz,Vegan Pie in the Sky


Terry Romero and Isa Moskowitz, Vegan Pie in the Sky

Holidays? Check. Birthdays? Check. Tuesdays? Check! Our research says life is 100% better any day pie is involved. There’s nothing like a rich, gooey slice of apple pie straight from the oven, baked in a perfectly flaky crust and topped with cinnamon-sugar. And now it can be yours, along with dozens more mouthwatering varieties, vegan at last and better than ever. Vegan Pie in the Sky is the latest force in Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s baking revolution. You’ll find delicious and adorable pies, tarts, cobblers, cheesecakes and more—all made without dairy, eggs, or animal products. From fruity to chocolaty, nutty to creamy, Vegan Pie in the Sky has the classic flavors you crave. And the recipes are as easy as, well, you know.

Listen to other programs on IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD:
June 23, 2010 with Terry Hope Romero
March 23, 2011 with Isa Chandra Moskowitz


Caryn Hartglass: Hello, I am Caryn Hartglass and your listening to Its All About Food and the party today continues. We’re going to talk next about pie. Why not? I’m feeling a little light headed after talking to the tipsy vegan. But, I think I can manage. We’re going to be talking to Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero on Vegan Pie In The Sky. Holidays check, Birthdays check, Tuesdays check, our research shows life is a 100% better any day pie is involved. There’s nothing like a rich gooey slice of apple pie straight from the oven, baked in a perfectly flaky crust and topped with cinnamon sugar. And that can be yours along with dozen more mouth watering varies vegan at last and better than ever, Vegan Pie In The Sky is the latest force in Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero baking revolution. You will find delicious and adorable pies, tarts, cobblers, cheesecakes and more all made without dairy, eggs, or animal products from fruity to chocolatey to nutty to creamy Vegan Pie In The Sky has the classic flavors you create and the recipes are as easy as well you know. (Laugh). Welcome to Its All About Food.

Isa : Hi, Thanks for having us.

Caryn: Hi, that’s Terry.

Isa: No, this is Isa.

Caryn: That’s Isa, that’s Terry.

Terry: This is Terry.

Isa: We’re kinda a hive mind so it’s okay.

Caryn: Thanks for joining me on It’s All About Food. You both are really changing the world and it’s a great thing. And it’s always great to see one of your new books come out.

Isa: Thank you.

Caryn: Your welcome, so everyone loves pie.

Isa: I hope so.

Caryn: Yeah. I don’t know. Do you know the history behind pie?

Isa: I don’t really know what the history is.

Caryn : It’s really bleak and (laugh) and so I’m so glad that pie has evolved to the delightful cozy, comforting, loving, delicious place that it is today especially when it’s vegan. But reading about it like in the 14th, 16th century or so, somewhere around there, people used to make these horrible crusts and they called them coffins.

Isa: Okay.

Caryn: And they would use them instead of dishes or packaging to hold their meat and sauces and things like that.

Isa: They used to use a lot of things for packaging like stomachs of animals and things like that.

Caryn: There you go.

Terry: You weren’t supposed to eat those they were actually thrown out.

Caryn: Right, they weren’t eating them. Yeah and so that’s what I’m joyful about today because when you think about all the things that are wrong with the world you kinda think about all the things that are right. We have come along way just in the pie department.

Isa : So if all else fails we got pie.

Caryn: It’s what?

Ida: Oh, I just said so if all else fails we have pie, I kinda have an echo so I’m sorry if I am hard to understand.

Caryn: Well, if you want we can get you back on without an echo.

Isa: That would be great.

Caryn : Okay, So this is Terry or Isa?

Isa: Isa.

Caryn : Okay, so I’m going to have you hang up and my engineer will take care of you. Okay, well Terry lets just continue until we have Isa back on.

Terry : All right.

Caryn: Okay, so why pie? In your series of food books that you have been making.

Terry: Well, we thought it was time, I think we have been thinking of a pie book for awhile in our sort of dessert quest, our list – our plan of vegan dessert conquests. We have done cupcakes and after that we did cookies, and it just seemed like now is the time for pie. You now see vegan cupcakes everywhere.

Caryn: That’s right.

Terry: You can go into even your typical vegan bakery and or not even vegan bakery just any regular bakery you might even find a vegan cupcake, that’s exciting.

Caryn: Do you think that Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World was responsible for this incredible movement behind cupcakes.

Terry: Their pretty much responsible for everything (laugh), every good thing that is going on in the world since 2006.

Caryn : (laugh)

Terry: I think so.

Isa: Money and flowers and everything.

Terry: Yeah, happiness in general thru vegan cupcakes

Caryn: Okay, some people are nervous about making pie because they think it’s hard. And I know it’s not, I make all different kinds of pie. You talk in the book to kind of get over the fear of pie making.

Isa: Yeah, I think it is hard, once you start doing it though it becomes easier and easier and we talk a lot about how to make it easier in the book and kinda walk you thru it step by step. And it’s worth while, it’s a worth while skill to have. So I mean most things in life that are worth while might be a little challenging at first.

Caryn: I like that. You know we live in a society where people want it now, they want it quick gratification and as a result I think a lot of us are depressed and it takes time, it takes investment to get a skill and to appreciate it.

Terry: Yeah, definitely. Yeah we talk about how the pie or making pie crust is definitely the opposite of fast food. Everyone talks about slow food this and that. There’s really something to be said about making your own pie crust and not even a lot of crazy ingredients, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s something that gets better the second or third time or fourth time you make it. You see a big difference, your applied effort really pays off.

Caryn: The ideal pie crust of course, is the one that you make the dough it gets all nice and smooth and pliable and you can roll it out and it rolls nicely and doesn’t stick to anything and you pick it up and goes into pan and you can trim the edges and all beautiful and easy. But often when people aren’t familiar with how to do that, their dough may be too moist, too dry, and it sticks to everything and it crumbles and they get upset.

Isa: There are so many variables when working on pie so even the temperature of your kitchen, the temperature of your hands, the temperature of your ingredients. So the more you get a feel for it the more you know what you might have to adjust.

Caryn: But, I think the thing with dough that I want to share with everyone is even if you can’t roll you can always press it into a crust and no one will ever know.

Isa: Yeah, definitely in the book there are crusts that aren’t pastry crust that are more crumb crusts that you press in. I think we have a roll out crust that you press in as well.

Caryn: I like in the beginning of the book, you talk about a number of things. And I want to talk about them. One is each of you have different preferences for rolling pins. I was amused by that because I have used a wine bottle so many times when I have been in a kitchen, and want to make a pie and who doesn’t have a rolling pin? So many people.

Isa: It’s true, we did give DIY options for almost anything you need so we did include (a) wine bottle.

Caryn: No. Yeah, I did love, I wasn’t really grading myself but, (I am) more of the do it yourself kind for most of your categories. I don’t know if that is by choice or it’s just my nature but I always just wing it a lot of times. One thing I was surprised about was what alcohol will do to a pie crust.

Terry: Yeah, everyone asks me about that, it’s pretty funny about the vodka. About the vodka pie crust.

Caryn: I was just talking to John Schlimm, The Tipsy Vegan and he (was) adding alcohol in everything and (I) read there is more alcohol in here. It makes the crust flakier.

Terry: Yeah, it’s pretty cool, what it does. And it doesn’t leave the pie crust tasting like vodka or anything.

Caryn: Well, vodka doesn’t have much of a flavor.

Terry: Yeah, I think so people read that and think am I going to get drunk, no (laugh) it just adds a little extra flakiness.

Caryn: There’s this vegan gelatin called agar or agar agar.

Isa: So nice they had to name it twice (laugh)

Caryn: (laugh) and I love this stuff you mention in the book and I find it very frustrating that the stuff they sell in the health food stores is the wrong kind.

Isa: Flakes.

Caryn: Flakes not powder, and powder is easier to use. Why is this?

Isa: I have no idea why. That is a good question, we just kinda went with it and never thought to ask why but that brand, the flakes, Eden Foods, I guess it is harder for other companies to get distribution or something. But we order agar powder either online at www.veganessentials.com or Asian grocery stores (this) is really the best route to go because you get a lot for a lot less and it’s basically a seaweed that acts like gelatin, it’s awesome.

Caryn: What was the second place you mentioned after vegan essentials?

Isa: Asian groceries.

Caryn: Okay.

Isa: There a brand called telephone brand and Terry how much does that cost because I stole yours?

Caryn: I have noticed a wide range of price for agar per pound it can go from like $25 -$70 a pound and I am not sure what the difference is.

Isa: Yeah, as far as the actual ingredient I don’t think there is a quality difference, you use them interchangeably.

Caryn: Yeah, right it is magical, agar is magical and you use it in a number of difference recipes, for a number of different things.

Isa: Yes, we use it for custards and for like jelly toppings like on the lemon, lemon pies to make it -it’s a upside down lemon meringue. The inside of the pie is creamy and meringuie. And the top is jelly. Yeah, we basically use it as a stabilizer for creams and mousses things like that.

Caryn: Of course, the conventional thing to use is gelatin which is not vegan and made from all sorts of delectible things (laugh) like horse cartilage.

Isa: Yes.

Caryn: It’s really lovely.

Terry: I’m back.

Isa: Oh good, you were gone, I was talking to you about agar agar.

Caryn: We were talking about agar powder.

Terry: Magic.

Caryn: Yes, it’s magic and why the health food stores sell flakes and not powder which isn’t as magical.

Isa: I was just going to ask you Terry how much that Telephone brand agar powder is?

Terry: Oh, it’s like, a packet it’s the cheapest thing ever.

Isa: And it lasts 20 million years.

Caryn: I was just saying the range of prices per pound at some of these places, and it went from like $25-$70 dollars a pound.

Terry: What!

Caryn: Yeah, and I didn’t know the what the difference was.

Terry: But, that’s a pound, who can use a pound of agar ever.

Isa: Each recipe calls for like a half teaspoon of agar.

Caryn: But, I like it.

Terry: But, well that Telephone brand is a Thai brand so if you are looking for it go to a Thai grocery store or a large pan-Asian grocery store and you should be able to find it.

Caryn: I will definitely do that the other ingredient that I think is magical in my life is tapioca, and again like agar the texture is important, so most people are familiar with pearls but the tapioca powder is the one that is really magical.

Isa: Right that is more widely available though I mean any health food store and even normal groceries sell it. It is always called something different, tapioca starch, tapioca flour, tapioca powder, it’s all the same thing.

Caryn: It’s all the same.

Terry: You should be able to find it now because it is used in a lot of gluten-free baking.
So it’s gotten sort of an increased popularity due to that.

Caryn: I have been using it a lot in gluten-free baking it’s magical, it’s just crazy what it does.

Isa: Yeah, we tried to have our, we weren’t sticking so much with “oh we’re using ingredients that’s everyone has.” This book honestly is more about experimenting with flavors and texture, I mean experimenting a lot with texture, and you just can’t if you are going to use all purpose flour and everything. These ingredients that were using, they are not expensive there pretty affordable and once you get them it’s not like you have to buy them often. Really honestly one thing of agar powder would probably last you your whole life. It’s just a fun way to explore different textures.

Caryn: Well, I think we’re in a time where were evolving in the culinary world in so many different ways. Unfortunately, some people have Celiac’s Disease so the gluten free world is expanding because of that, but also because of the vegan world there’s a lot of products getting a lot more exposure and it’s important, it’s good and you should have these things in the book and people need to learn about them and try them and get them.

Isa: Yeah, it’s not going to be for everyone of course but yeah, totally if you love food and love cooking why not broaden your horizons a bit. It’s not just – there’s also a Molecular Gastronomy (cookbook) is getting, not saying everyone has the Molecular Gastronomy cookbook in their house but it’s getting pretty popular, so they use a lot of these ingredients, to different kinds of gels. A lot of the ingredients are vegan so that’s been kinda fun to watch.

Caryn: Right now I wanted to talk next about these silicon baking things, sil-pads and things. Do you use them? Do you like them?

Terry: Not really (laugh) definitely not for pies. I don’t even know if they make a silicon pie plate. I would say run away from it.

Isa: Although (laugh) their crust protector is the one silicon thing that I actually love. The silicone crust protector was pretty much a lifesaver. Yes, those work great and actually when I make like any kind of candy nut or caramel thing that needs to be cooled. I might have a small sil-pad that I spread it out on but in general I am not a fan of a baked thing silicon container.

Caryn: Why?

Isa: The texture for me, they don’t bake correctly,

Terry: Yeah, I don’t think they brown very well and they tend to be on the damp side at least for vegan things so maybe the work wonders for others.

Isa: It’s true maybe they do work better for other things but especially when we were doing cupcakes, we tried a million times to have cupcakes come out decent in silicon and it just didn’t.

Terry: We really tried we did.

Caryn: (laugh) You really tried.

Isa: We did our due diligence.

Caryn : I kinda like the concept of it. I bought one little mini cupcake silicon thing and I always found it had a funny flavor that it put into my cupcakes.

Isa: Yeah, not a fan.

Caryn: Yeah and environmentally.

Terry: Or the molds.

Caryn: Seems like a great concept. But something’s that work for me is parchment paper. Yes, this is a brilliant thing.

Terry: Yes indispensable, but for pies you don’t really need much really the only two baking things that are really indispensable are like a nice big ceramic dish, like a 10 inch one and people told me that they have one they got from their grandmother that has been passed down thru the family. Those are fantastic for big bubbly fruit pies, they are just the best.

Caryn: Definitely the best.

Terry: Finding the right pie dish is pretty important.

Isa: I definitely went with thrift store for most of my pie dishes I don’t think they make them like that anymore.

Caryn: Yeah, well my rolling pin is several generations, when not using a wine bottle I am using a very old wooden rolling pin and I love it.

Isa: For equipment it’s actually one of the least fussy kinds of pastries you can make in terms of equipment you really don’t need much.

Caryn: Now all of your pies in this book are sweet.

Isa/Terry: Yes.

Caryn: You didn’t make any savory pies.

Isa: No.

Caryn: Was there a reason for that or there was just to many sweet pies to make.

Terry: It’s a dessert book! It’s dessert.

Isa: It’s fits in with the cookie and cupcake books sort of our big epic trilogy of desserts.

Caryn: Right so one of the really great things, the great ending of this book are the toppers. The whips, the creams because a lot of people when they go vegan, there are a handful of things that have not been perfected. But were getting there, like with cheeses is a big complaint and moving better in the cheese department, then whipped cream.

Isa: Right there are actually a few yummy ones on the market that we used to top our pies with. We came up with is rad whip which is like cool whip but is vegan, some of our magical ingredients like the agar, cashews, coconut oil is another ingredient that we utilize a lot.

Terry: Yeah, definitely coconut oil.

Caryn: Yeah, it’s great because it is somewhat solid at room temperature so it gives you that good texture for whipping. Okay, so you guys have some plans for what your doing next, restaurants and all kinds of things happening?

Isa: Terry, what are you doing?

Terry: As we were, right before you called me. I am working on my international cookbook. It’s got everything. Lots of different kinds from Asia to Africa to Mediterranean. It’s sort of like my next big solo book project and I’m really in the thick of it right now practically covered in beer batter it’s that crazy.

Caryn: (laugh) Do you get to do any traveling for this book or is it all virtual traveling?

Terry: I have done a lot of traveling in the past already, right now I am sort of in lock down mode but also living in New York City it’s sort of like you have the world right here within mile or two away.

Caryn: Absolutely, I love going into different neighborhoods I really feel like I am in another country.

Terry: Especially living in queens it is sort of like its own little planet. Pretty wild here.

Caryn: I agree, I live here too. And Isa?

Isa: I’m not really working on a book right now. So I am just trying to figure out another outlet for food. I’m doing a lot of benefit dinners, bake sales, and things like that. I’m looking into opening a place here in Omaha so we will see how that goes.

Caryn: Yeah, I have never been to Nebraska, have no idea what it’s like but I would imagine they could use a few good veg places.

Isa: Yeah, there’s some stuff happening here. I think it’s getting more and more vegan friendly all the time. Actually, there was a vegan restaurant and it closed but it was pretty yummy and it was well received. So but yeah, everyone could always use more vegan restaurants more places to eat, just more restaurants that are supporting the local agriculture when possible.

Caryn: Amen.

Isa: Yeah.

Caryn: I just read something that you are going to be in an interview with Mark Bittman later this week.

Isa: I think that is Terry.

Caryn: Yes, Terry.

Terry: Yes, this is sort of a crash the prize that I’m going to be part of a vegan panel on Pacific Radio.

Caryn: Huge.

Terry: Yes, I’m still getting the details but I believe it’s going 4pm our time in New York this coming Friday.

Isa: When is that?

Terry: This coming Friday.

Isa: Okay.

Caryn: Do you know who else is going to be on it?

Terry: I believe Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Mark Bittman.

Caryn: I’m excited about this. Mark Bittman is such an enigma to me, as is Michael Pollan where they know too much about factory farming and sustainable agriculture and yet they are not vegan.

Terry: Yeah.

Caryn: And I just don’t get it.

Isa: Hey, did you film that already, did you record it already?

Terry: No, that’s coming this Friday.

Isa: But, you didn’t record it yet.

Terry: Nope.

Caryn: Do you know the format yet, is someone going to be interviewing each you or discussion back and forth or you don’t know?

Terry: I don’t know, all will be revealed to me very soon.

Caryn: Okay, that’s very very very exciting. If you have the chance ask Mark for me why he isn’t vegan.

Terry: Okay.

Isa; I’m sure he doesn’t like talking about it, I thinks it’s just not what he wants to do.

Caryn: Yeah, it’s just sometimes he comes out with this really phenomenal articles and then these really crazy recipes with lobster or something (laugh).

Isa: Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know, a mystery.

Caryn: Okay, that all sounds really really good.Thanks for joining me on It’s All About Food. Thanks for all that you do and all of these sweet delicious recipes that you come up with that make the planet just a better delicious place to be.

Isa/Terry: Thank you, thank you so much.

Caryn: Any websites you can share with us before we go?

Isa: www.ppk.com

Caryn: ppk as in post punk kitchen?

Isa: Yes.

Caryn: Great and there are recipes and all kinds of fun things up there. Okay, Thank you both so much for joining me and have a very happy holiday.

Isa: Thanks, you too.

Terry: Thanks.

Caryn: Thank you, okay so we just have a few minutes left I’m Caryn Hartglass and you been listening to It’s All About Food.

(Phone tone)

Caryn: Am I still here? I want to end with a little song when I was little my mom would sing to me. And I’m going to sing it for you now. Can we turn my ending music off? So I can sing it. Great.

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
Makes your eyes light up
Your tummy say “Howdy.”
Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
Makes the sun come out
When Heavens are cloudy
Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff

Mama! When you bake
Mama! I don’t want cake
Mama! For my sake
Go to the oven and make some ever lovin’

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
Makes your eyes light up
Your tummy say “Howdy.”
Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff

Thanks for listening I am Caryn Hartglass on Its All About Food have a delicious week and eat some pie. Good bye!

Transcribed 12/21/2013 by Donielle Zufelt

  1 comment for “Terry Hope Romero & Isa Chandra Moskowitz,Vegan Pie in the Sky

  1. Don’t fear the pie crust: 2 C Flour+ 1 1/2 Tsp Sugar+ 1 tsp Salt. Stir to blend, set aside.
    Pour 1/3 C COLD WATER into 2/3 C of Olive Oil.
    Pour that into Flour mixture and form a dough ball.
    Chill 15 min in refrigerator prior to rolling out.

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