Makes one 9 inch pie
“Another pie recipe? To what do I owe the pleasure?!” – you
Well, I’m really occupied working on stuff for the release of Isa Does It, but I still want to give you a little somethin somethin! And since pie season is here, I figure why not put up some of Vegan Pie In The Sky’s greatest hits? This time, I won’t ask you to roll out a crust, so hopefully you will still like me.
This pie was a serious tester favorite. A creamy cloud of coconut heaven! It’s one of those pies that is even better the next day, and even better the day after that, once the flavors have had a chance to “marry.” So make it on a Wednesday and serve it on a Saturday, if you manage to keep yourself from sneaking into the fridge in the middle of the night and smush your entire face into the deliciousness. (Actually, use the tip below so that you can have a secret chef’s taste without destroying the pie!)
Happy piemaking, everyone!
~So this recipe calls for agar powder, which is basically vegan gelatin that comes from seaweed (instead of all that gross stuff.) You can’t replace it or leave it out because it’s what makes the filling set. You can order it, or find it at your local Asian market (Telephone brand is awesome.) And it’s really worth having, I promise!
~To answer your next question: I don’t suggest replacing the powder with flakes unless you have experience with it already. And, no, you can not crush the flakes up into a powder and get the same results. Why not? I dunno! But it didn’t work for either Terry or I, nor did it work for the testers. So if you want to do any replacing, it’s not impossible, but I can’t guarantee it will work for you.
~There may be a little leftover filling, so just pour it into a cup and let it set. Now you’ll have a creamy taste for yourself without having to destroy the pie.
~For a variation, try Coconut Lime Cream Pie. In place of 1/4 cup almond milk, use 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. Along with the shredded coconut, add 2 teaspoons lime zest and mix.
For the crust:
10 oz vegan vanilla cookies (should equal 1 3/4 cups once processed. Use gluten free varieties for a gluten free pie.)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (refined or virgin)
1 tablespoon plain non-dairy milk (I prefer almond)
For the filling:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours and up to overnight
1 13 oz can coconut milk at room temperature
3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
2/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil (refined or virgin)
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional, another teaspoon vanilla will work, too)
For garnish: Blackberries and coconut flakes
Prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F and have ready a 9 inch pie dish.
In a blender, pulse the cookies into fine crumbs. They should measure out to be 1 3/4 cups. (You don’t have to clean the blender after this, you can just get out as many of the crumbs as you can, and then proceed with the filling recipe which follows.)
In a mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs and sugar, then drizzle in melted coconut oil. Mix to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the milk and mix again to form a crumbly dough. Use another tablespoon of milk if it seems very dry. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and press crumbs on the sides then work your way down to the bottom.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
Make the filling:
Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor or blender. Blend with the coconut milk until totally smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. This can take up to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine, but give your blender a break every minute or so, and check frequently that the mixture feels smooth and not grainy.
In the meantime, stir together the the milk, agar agar, and sugar in a small (2 quart) sauce pot.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring pretty consistently. Once boiling, lower the heat so that you’re just getting small bubbles. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then add the coconut oil and mix until melted.
With the blender running, stream the hot mixture in until thoroughly blended, then add the extracts and pulse a few times to combine. Stir in the shredded coconut, but don’t blend it again, just mix it with a spatula – you want the coconut to remain intact. (It’s important that the mixture goes in hot, and is poured into the crust immediately, to prevent it from setting up before it’s in the pie. )
Transfer mixture to the prepared pie crust (being careful not to overfill) and refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours. The filling is very thin at first, but that is how it’s supposed to be, so don’t worry, it will thicken as it sets. Once set, slice and serve! Top with coconut flakes and a berry, if you like. If not using immediately, wrap tightly in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.