Monday, April 28, 2008

Coconut Cream Pie

Today's kitchen adventure, which still requires fine-tuning but is entirely yummy (as evidenced by the fact that I had to eat a slice before I could even take a photo):

After a stretch of beautifully mild autumn weather in Adelaide, a brutal drop in temperature accompanied by buckets of much appreciated rain have kept me indoors and shivering. In turn, my body and soul have been craving warm, creamy, comforting foods. Last night I gave in and made a cooked dinner, my own version of Thai green curry with homemade curry paste, lots of gorgeous fresh veggies, some lovely salmon and organic coconut milk. It was delicious, but today I'm determined to meet my cravings in a raw way because raw food makes me feel better.

Hence, the coconut cream pie. I make spectacular salads, but after this puritanical lunch I needed a bit of creamy richness in my life. Did I say a bit? I meant a lot. I just love sweets after a meal, and I don't like having a modest serving. This used to be a problem in my pre-raw days - either I'd go for the big helping and my waistline would suffer, or I'd eat a tiny slice while enduring pangs of mental anguish as I eyed the remaining goodies. But raw desserts are a whole different story. They are actually good for you. How amazing is that! I can eat desserts three times a day and be healthy, glowing, and fit comfortably into my jeans. Just check out the ingredients in this baby.

Coconut Cream Pie (serves 4; double recipe for full-sized pie)

1 ripe avocado
3 large gooey sweet Cali dates
1 Tbsp mild local honey
1/4 juiced lemon
1/4 vanilla bean, snipped into little pieces
1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
pinch himalayan salt
water as needed (I think I used about 1/2 cup)

1 cup brazil nuts
2 large gooey sweet Cali dates
1 Tbsp sweet sticky raisins

1. Combine crust ingredients in food processor. Pulse to achieve a grainy texture. Press onto a small plate or bowl, or double recipe and press onto pie plate.

2. Blend cream ingredients in blender until smooth. Slowly add water until you achieve a light, creamy texture. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with some more dried coconut. Eat and enjoy!

Of course I didn't mention my favorite step, which is to scrape every last bit of cream out of the blender and lick it clean. Surely I'm not the only raw hedonist who does this?

The results were positive, as tested on my non-raw food-loving housemate. If I happened to have a young Thai coconut on hand, I think the whole thing would be enhanced by substituting the fresh meat for dried and coconut water for normal water. But how often do I have young Thai coconuts on hand? They are about $3 at my Asian market, definitely not organic, and imported from who knows where. If you live somewhere with abundant fresh coconuts, please try this method and let me know if the results are better. And also, I think organic coconut milk would possibly be a nice addition.
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