Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Forest (Mini) Pie

Guess what? Today we have another mini-pie : )
I needed to: 1) use up some fresh cherries which are in season and abundant and nearly falling out of my refrigerator and I was out of ideas for using them 2) find a good use for the leftover vanilla creme from the Key Lime Pie. Those are good reasons for more pie, right???

Since last week was so much fun, I'm also going to submit this recipe to Vegan Culinary Crusade's Raw Vegan Mini-Pie Challenge, Cybele Pascal's Allergy-Friendly Friday, and Diet, Dessert, and Dogs' Wellness Weekends (Hi Ricki!) Be sure to check out each of those pages for even more allergy-friendly and healthy recipes. I had a lot of fun browsing recipes on those sites last week.

Note: This is a very rich pie! In my opinion, 1/4 of the 4" pie is enough for a serving.

Raw Vegan Black Forest (Mini) Pies
Makes three, 4" pies

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups walnuts
Dash himalayan salt
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
Approximately 10 pitted dates (unsoaked)

For the filling:
1 cup soaked cashews
3 tablespoons light agave nectar
1 vanilla bean- scraped or ground whole in coffee grinder (see this post)
Approximately 1/4 cup filtered water- enough to blend to a creamy texture

For the topping: 
Pitted fresh cherries


Place walnuts and salt in food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until finely ground.
Add the raw cacao and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the dates and process until well combined and you have a consistency that sticks together when you press it between your fingers. Try not to overprocess, or your mixture will become oily. Mine is a little oily, you can tell in the pics- this happens when the nuts release their natural oils while processing. It still tastes great, but the texture is better if you can manage to stop processing before they start to release their oils.
Using your fingers, gently press pie crust into mini pie pans or tart pans. A tart pan with a removable bottom makes removal much easier, if you want to display your crust. But mini pie pans are cute, too, and you can serve right out of the dish. Your choice!

Place cashews, agave nectar, vanilla bean, and water in VitaMix or blender and blend until creamy. Adjust ingredients to taste, if necessary.

Pour filling into pie shells:
Top with fresh pitted cherries, cut in half:
Enjoy a teeny tiny slice of a teeny tiny pie: 

More on the health benefits of: walnuts, cashews, cherries, dates, raw cacao