I make a lot of pies. I mean, a lot of pies. Making pies is kinda one of my things. But never have I ever made:
-A vegan pie
-A raw pie
-A gluten free pie
Until yesterday, when I made these *all of the above* pies. Not gonna lie, I was hesitant --this was to be my first swing at crafting a dessert without my typical arsenal: eggs, butter, and cream. I'm typically hyper-enthusiastic when a pie recipe assignment comes my way, but as a dairy-loving fool, this concept was completely out of my wheelhouse. I poured over a number of vegan "cream" pie recipes from an array of beautiful blogs and as I was going over my recipe plan and pulling together ingredients before heading into the kitchen, I realized that essentially none of the pastry rules and conventions I know to be true much applied here. But I did my research, followed my gut, and you know what?
It all worked out. It actually worked out great.
The blend of fats released from the ground nuts and a bit of added coconut oil combined with the sugary moisture of the dates created not only a cohesive crust, but one that is deep in flavor and wonderfully crisp once chilled. It was far from the homemade Larabar experience I was expecting. And the filling... seriously, I could not stop stealing spoonfuls while assembling pies. This "custard" has an insanely rich and silky mouthfeel born from a partnership between avocado (which also provides the natural green coloring) and tofu. For skilled vegan cooks, this may not seem like anything revolutionary, but to me... I was genuinely blown away by how delicious these turned out. In fact, I had a handful of food editors--none of whom follow any sort of special diet--likewise shocked and delighted with these single serving icebox treats. Sure, it makes sense that a mixture filled with healthy fats would be satisfying, after all fat= satiation. But what got me was the clean, refreshing flavor. It was sweet-tart, but not at all cloying. Just throwing this out there, even if you don't go all-out pie, this filling would make for a killer treat to keep on hand in the freezer.
All of that is to say--don't knock it until you've tried it. For real.
Individual Vegan Key Lime Icebox Pies
- 11/2 cups pecan halves
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
- 91/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted and divided
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup raw agave nectar
- 2 tsp. grated lime rind
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 oz. silken tofu
- 1 ripe peeled avocado
1. ) Line each of 12 muffin cups with a (5-inch) parchment paper square.
2.) Combine pecans, coconut, dates, 11/2 tablespoons coconut oil, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; process until all ingredients are finely ground. The pecan mixture should easily stick together when squeezed. Divide pecan mixture evenly among the prepare muffin cups (about 1 ounce pecan mixture per cup); press evenly along bottom and slightly up sides of muffin cups to form each pie's crust. Place in freezer while you prepare the filling.
3.) Combine remaining 1/2 cup coconut oil and all remaining ingredients in a high-power blender; process 2 minutes or until completely smooth. Pour lime mixture evenly into prepared crusts (about 21/2 tablespoons filling per crust). Return to freezer; chill 2 hours or until set. Lift each pie out of the muffin cup by the corners of parchment paper; garnish as desired
SERVES 12 (serving size: 1 pie)
To continue our love for petite pies, even though this next recipe isn't vegan, it's still absolutely delicious, requires only six ingredients, and is made in little mason jars! Check out the magic below: