Sorry about the lag in posts these past few days, Jen and I went off to Savannah, GA for an epic girls weekend. (Not only was it amazing to spend time together after 7 months apart, but exploring Savannah was unbelievably fun and exciting. We’ll have to post some pictures and share with you our gluten-free adventures there!)
So to make up for it, I’m sharing with you a recipe for the most decadent of pies. :)
This recipe popped up on my news feed one day, and I immediately made a new grocery list. It had to happen. Only one problem: dairy. My tummy cringed, particularly at the amount of cream cheese. The squirrels got to work upstairs. I’ve made vegan cream cheese before with tofu, and sometimes nuts, but this time I felt like using a banana. Just because. I mean, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and banana. How can you go wrong? And I also didn’t have any gf pretzels on hand (I find them a little too pricey for my budget), so I made my own version of that, too, using cereal, which is a great alternative to any graham cracker or crushed cookie-like pie crust. And super cheap, which is how I roll.
All in all, this is a really simple recipe. I decided to go dairy-free all the way, but this can be easily amended with all kinds of substitutes based on your diet/preferences/allergies (unless you have nut allergies, theeeeen…well, try Jen’s Wicked Easy Pumpkin Pie?)
Ok, so this involves a few separate steps, but assembly is super easy! Here are all the ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of rice cereal (like Chex), crushed
4 tablespoons of margarine, melted
2-3 teaspoons of sea salt
3 ounces of dark chocolate
1/4 cup of milk (I used almond)
2 tablespoons of sweetener (I used light corn syrup)
Vegan Cream Cheese (to make roughly 8 ounces):
1 banana (mine was 3.5 ounces)
3 ounces of firm tofu (my 12 ounce box was conveniently split into 4 squares)
1/4 cup of cashews
2 tablespoons of dairy-free milk (I used almond)
1 tablespoon of sweetener (I used light corn syrup)
2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
2 cups of whipped topping OR whipped coconut cream
8 ounces of Vegan Cream Cheese (above)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350. I put the cereal and salt in my blender to make combining and crushing easier, but you could do it by hand (you will, however, be needing a blender/food processor to make the Vegan Cream Cheese). Melt the margarine in a microwave safe bowl, add the crushed cereal, and then press into a glass pie plate. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, then take out to cool. If yours turns into practically liquid like mine did, don’t fret. Just let it cool slightly and then use a rubber spatula to press it back up the sides of the plate. Refrigerate when cooled. (I can’t decide what the difference is between cooking it and not cooking it…I also have a hard time getting crusts like this to not stick to the bottom of my pie plate. I discovered that you can dip the bottom of the finished pie in some hot water and it will loosen the crust, works like a charm.)
For the cream cheese: Throw it all in a blender or food processor and go. If you have a decent one, this shouldn’t take too long. My Ninja turned that into a lovely creamy spread in no time at all. It’s surprisingly delicious (surprising because it actually worked). Can’t do soy? No problem, add a little more than a fourth cup of more cashews instead! (Why cashews, you ask? Because they have subtle flavor and are quite blendable. For this pie, though, you could actually use peanuts instead, if you wanted to load up on that peanutty taste.)
For the pie filling: Combine the peanut butter, vegan cream cheese, whipped topping or coconut cream, sugar and vanilla. (Whipped Topping is dairy free, because it’s like all chemicals. But Whole Foods makes a vegan one that seems a but more natural. I will say that I think this pie structurally would be better with the whipped coconut cream, but the flavor was spot on with the whipped topping. It’s just a bit soft.)
For the chocolate: Melt the chocolate with the milk, then add a little sweetener (preferably something syrupy to make it a little thick). I used a high quality dark chocolate that Marco got for me on one of his trips home, and it was pretty awesome. :) We’ll be using this as a chocolate layer on the crust and a little drizzle on the top.
Assembly: Spoon about 3/4 of your chocolate onto the pie crust and smooth out as well as you can. Stick it in the freezer for a minute to harden.
Scoop in the pie filling and smooth out the top. Drizzle with remaining chocolate and you can top with more whipped topping/coconut cream if you’re so inclined. If you use coconut cream, keep in mind that it will harden when you put it back in the fridge. (Not harden like can’t eat it harden, it’ll just set up, as in won’t be light and creamy anymore.)
Mine isn’t as pretty as the Baking Beauties version, but it’s…artistic. And who cares when you’re eating a pie that tastes this good??? The dark chocolate and hint of sea salt to play off the sweetness of the filling. Heavenly. Thanks SO much to the Baking Beauties for this fantastic recipe. You must go check out their desserts, you won’t be disappointed.
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