I have had requests to blog gluten-free recipes for a while now and, in true Hannah style, I procrastinated for many months. Nature really spurs you into action, however, when you’re told that you need a 6-week break from gluten, yeast, sugar, dairy, caffeine and alcohol.
I hear some of you say, “So what are you eating then?” and I can assure you there is so much out there to enjoy. My new diet has rekindled memories of my past life as a vegan, and the direction of my eating, cooking, creativity and life has completely changed over the last 5 weeks.
Today I want to share a sweet recipe with you that was inspired by the pomegranate pie at Club Zing. Although this has a cheesecake-ish texture, I urge you not compare it to dessert as you know it or you may be disappointed. As my friend Sarah commented on Sunday night, “It’s like my tastebuds have gone on an adventure.”
I have made this recipe with four variations now and blueberries work best for me. Red berries give a tarter finish and, hence, require more sweetener. I have also modified this recipe to make it suitable for raw foodists, as per the pink text in the recipe, although I prefer my peanuts roasted for reasons of health and taste.
Recipe #91: Blueberry pie. This recipe really requires you to have either a food processor or Thermomix, but you might be able to get away with using a decent blender. Makes one pie, with 10-12 servings.
You will need – for the base:
► 190g almond meal OR 190g raw blanched almonds processed into meal
► a good pinch of salt
► 50g raw peanuts, without shells
► 40g raw coconut, shredded or dessicated
► the leaves from 1 small sprig of rosemary
► vegetable/nut oil [I use macadamia oil] OR flax seed oil [raw option]
– for the filling:
► 3 cups raw cashews, whole or pieces, soaked in cold water for at least for an hour and preferably overnight; strain and discard the soaking water before use
► 250g blueberries, fresh or frozen [if frozen, thaw before use]
► 12-15 small dates, hydrated with cold water (so it’s just covering the dates) for at least for an hour and preferably overnight — use the dates and the water they are soaking in
► the juice of 1 lemon
► the seeds of 1 vanilla pod [to do this, split the pod lengthways, then scrape out the seeds from inside with a sharp knife]
► a good pinch of salt
► agave syrup to taste [I add 3-4 tbsp of dark agave syrup; if you haven’t used agave syrup before, you will find it in health food and organic shops]
► 100g coconut oil/butter [for the raw option only]
How to line the cake tin. I use a 20cm round springform cake tin to make my pie. Take the round from the bottom of the tin, place it onto a piece of baking paper, and trace around it with a pen/pencil. Cut this out and place it at the bottom of the formed tin. Lightly grease the sides of the tin with oil.
To make the base, start by roasting the peanuts by placing them on a clean oven tray then into a 180°C oven for 10-15 minutes, just until the skins start to crack. Remove the peanuts from the oven and turn the heat to 150°C. The skins should easily rub off the peanuts now, but you may want to wait for them to cool first.
Pulverise the almonds (or almond meal) and salt with the rosemary in a food processor, then add the peanuts and pulse once or twice. Add the coconut and pulse to combine. Finally, add just enough oil for the mix to come together into large crumbs; do this slowly so that you don’t end up with a mixture that’s too soft/sticky.
Press the crumbly mixture into the bottom of the tin with the back of a spoon/spatula; this is essentially the biscuit base. Those following the raw option would stop here and set the tin to one side.
For the cooked version, place the base in the 150°C oven for around 15 minutes — until the base just starts to brown. Remove from the oven and place to one side, and leave the oven on.
For the filling, process all of the filling ingredients together until really finely pureed. For the raw option, you may need to start by gently warming the coconut oil (over the stove or at 37°C in the Thermomix) to coax it into its liquid form; then blend with the other ingredients, making sure they are at room temperature.
Taste the mixture. If it’s not sweet enough, add some more agave. If the flavour doesn’t “pop” enough, add a little more salt. Remember to blend any additions in very well, then pour the mixture onto the base, giving the cake tin a good tap to remove any air bubbles.
For a raw pie, place the pie directly into the fridge for at least an hour.
If you are making the cooked pie, place this into your 150°C oven for around 30 minutes. Once you remove the pie from the oven, allow it to cool then refrigerate for at least a further hour prior to removing the cake ring and serving.
Serve with a swirl of agave syrup, some thawed/fresh blueberries and a sprinkling of bee pollen. Eat. Enjoy.
I am so excited about the new world of food that is opening up to me and I hope this stirs at least a mild interest from you too. Please let me know if you recreate my recipe — and tell me how it turns out for you!
Addendum of 21 July 2010: Recipe amended to include less coconut oil. I included 150g in my original recipe and have found it works just as well with less. Note that all of the ingredients I use for this recipe are raw and organic.