Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Raw Vegan Coconut Cream Pie with Mango

Raw Vegan Coconut Cream Pie with Mango

I came back to D.C. in peak summer to find that our air conditioner is not working. This isn't the first time, and honestly it hasn't been that hot here. But the summer weather does make the prospect of rolling out all-butter pie dough seem like a daunting and altogether unpleasant task. In these situations of heat and humidity, I generally turn to an icebox pie (which I suppose this pie is a form of), but I've had this recipe for a raw, vegan, gluten-free, no-refined sugar Coconut Cream Pie in my back pocket for awhile now, so I thought it an opportune time to give it a go.

A few notes before you tackle this recipe--the ingredients are a little on the expensive side and you'll  need to be within striking distance of a Whole Foods or specialty grocery to get your hands on some of them. For the young coconut meat and coconut water, I recommend the Exotic Superfoods brand, which you should be able to find in the freezer section of most Whole Foods stores. You'll also want to eat the pie within a day of making it, as it does not keep especially well. That being said, this is a incredibly refreshing and exotically flavorful pie, especially considering that it is raw, involves no animal products, and contains no gluten or refined sugars! Because my blender is not the most powerful, the texture of my filling was akin to rice pudding, which I have no problem with, but a better blender could get it even smoother. Either way, this is a little tropical island kitchen treat, air conditioning or no.

Raw Vegan Coconut Cream Pie with Mango slice

Raw Vegan Coconut Cream Pie with Mango
From Carla Cabrera of The President Wears Prada

Ingredients
For the crust:
2 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 dates, pits removed
1 Tablespoon maple syrup or agave
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely diced mangos, to line the crust

For the filling:
2 cups young coconut meat
1/2 cup diced, peeled baby zucchini (the flavor is too strong with larger zucchini)
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 30 minutes then drained
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 1/4 cup fresh young coconut water
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1/2 cup mango, diced, for decorating the top and sides
Fresh mint sprigs, for decorating the top (optional)

Directions
For the crust:
1. Place all crust ingredients except mangos in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the coconut oil is evenly distributed and the mixture is beginning to bind together. Scoop crust mixture into a deep 10-inch pie plate. Using a spoon, push the mixture up the sides to form a pie crust, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Chill for 30-60 minutes. Spread diced mangos on bottom of crust just before pouring in the filling.

For the filling:
1. Place all ingredients except mango and mint in a blender (I initially used a food processor, as pictured, but the blender achieves much smoother results) and process until smooth, repeatedly scraping down the sides of the blender. Mixture should be smooth, silky, creamy and thick. Pour into mango-lined chilled crust.

2. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Shortly before serving, decorate the pie with additional diced mango and mint sprigs. Serve cold and eat immediately, as this only keeps well up to 1 day.

Related Recipe:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Pie

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