OK, I think I’ve really done it this time you guys.
I’m serious – this is THE best pie I’ve ever made. Thanking my lucky stars that I actually took note of my measurements instead of just throwing things into the blender as per usual.
I must give thanks to the illustrious blueberry: sweet, succulent, sour and worthy of every pie that it has ever touched.
My pie would not have been this amazing had I used a different fruit…why? Because blueberries are full of natural pectin, which makes them perfect for jam and pie filling. The natural pectin from the blueberries allowed my pie to firm up, instead of being an overly soft, mushy mess. I remember making a blueberry smoothie of sorts a few years ago, must have been blueberries, cashews, some kind of milk and some other add-ins. I set it down for a few minutes, trying to find my phone to take a picture of it, and when I came back to pick it up…it was completely solid! Like that grape jelly that came in the tiny packets when you ate a diner. Almost jello like. Different sources claim that blueberries either have low pectin or high pectin; some claim that the less ripe they are the more they contain. I can’t make any scientific claims on this subject, but I do know that whenever I use my locally picked blueberries, the pectin level is noticeably high – high enough to make a jam that sets up firmly with adding anything.
This created a texture very similar to a cheesecake, though not as grainy; very smooth and thick but fluffy at the same time. Sounds kind of impossible, believe me – I was floored when I took the first bite. I know people often call these types of plant based desserts cheesecakes or “cheeze cakes”…I’m honestly past the point of trying to make replicas of traditional pastries and dairy desserts. I’d rather make something and not have to compare it to any other previously judged entity.
I haven’t posted any *new* recipes lately, not because of my lack of eating delicious fare, but because I’ve been using the same ingredients over and over in different ways. Rice, legumes, potatoes, greens, pasta, root veggies, they are all on my plate every day. Sounds mundane but I assure you it’s not. (yes I will post the mac & cheese recipe next.)
I’ve also been internalizing my frustration with the lack of empathy that the “vegan” community has for each other. Not to toss all people who call themselves vegans into one box – I do have a handful of real life vegan friends that I admire and respect completely. But sprinkled over the glittery facade of social media are these judgmental, elitist and label hungry people who seem to forget that having compassion for living beings INCLUDES humans as well as animals. I do not think I am better than anyone else, and certainly not because of the way I am able to live. The fact that I can go to the grocery store and buy whatever suits my mindset is a very privileged thing. I understand that there are people that do not have the ability and/or understanding to eat the way I eat and I never intend to put myself on a pedestal. Maybe more people would be open to incorporating and learning about plant based eating if we collectively took a more accepting approach. /end rant.
I also splurged on 2 passion fruits ( !!! ). Obviously not locally grown, which is something that I aim for on a daily basis when it comes to my food, but I do make exceptions every once in a while. I don’t make cashew based pies very often anymore since they too happen to fall under the non-local grown produce…it’s been months since I purchased dates, bananas, coconut and even mangoes – I have been making a huge effort to eat as local as possible. (The passion fruit is 100% optional.)
– And – I feel it necessary to mention that this pie has been approved by all types of eaters – an omnivore adult, a baby, a picky child and a vegan.
please read through ahead of time; there are a few things that need prep prior to making! *using a high powered blender is a must for the filling to process properly!
For the crust –
my basic raw vegan pie/tart crust recipe
- 1 1/2 c raw walnuts
- 3/4 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 5 soft medjool dates
- 2 T coconut oil, softened
- pinch of salt
Run all ingredients in your food processor until finely ground and able to hold shape when squeezed in your hand.
Press firmly into a 6 inch springform pan, (or any 6 inch diameter pan but make sure to lay a piece of parchment paper inside if not using a springform so that you can easily remove the pie when finished). Press up the sides about an inch.
Place the crust in the fridge while you make the filling.
For the filling –
- 1 c raw cashew pieces, soaked for 6-12 hours, drained and rinsed well
- 1 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 t lemon zest
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 3 T maple syrup
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
Open your can of coconut milk and scoop out the coconut cream that has solidified on the top, set it aside.
Pour 1/2 c of the remaining coconut milk (the thin, clear-ish liquid) from the can into your blender. Then add 1/2 c of the coconut cream to the blender (the thick cream that you have scooped out sitting on the side). Save the rest of the cream and milk for a smoothie or a Thai coconut soup…or a luxurious soak in the bathtub!
Add all remaining ingredients to the blender.
Blend on high speed. If needed, add a tablespoon more of coconut milk at a time to get the mixture blending.
I have made this sooo many times – and sometimes the texture gets wEiRd. You have to be careful not to over blend it! Especially if you have it on the highest setting in the vitamix, and it starts to get warm…it can get a little gritty if that happens, because of over blending the blueberries. Also, don’t skimp on the coconut milk. Using low fat coconut milk causes it not to set and be as thick as it should be. You could try using cocowhip instead of coconut milk if you want! That could be a great/easy substitute since I know sometimes as my regular grocery store I’m not able to find full fat coconut milk in the can.
Blend, blend, blend until completely smooth.
Pour filling over your chilled crust and tap down on the counter to release any trapped air.
Refrigerate for a few hours (I only refrigerated mine for 2 hours before slicing) and if wanted, spread a bit of passion fruit pulp over the top. Really, any fruit could be used for garnish/ topping. I would love to serve this with some chocolate shavings…
keep stored, covered in the refrigerator for 1 week.