This pie is irrational because it is raw (no oven required). It also doesn't contain ANY of the traditional ingredients like flour, butter, eggs, cream, cane sugar, and shortening.
It's decadently rich, creamy, delicious and GOOD FOR YOU, too! It's all organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and low glycemic (cane sugar-free), but the best part: Full, rich, velvety, creamy chocolately goodness. YUM!
Step 1: Soak Your Cashews (optional)
First, start soaking the cashews. Use filtered water, if you have it, as the nuts will be drinking in this liquid. This step is optional, but it makes for a creamier texture. The soaking softens the nuts and removes any tannins (bitter taste). Cashews don't require a lot of soaking - no more than 10-20 minutes, as they are already soft and creamy.
NOTE: Always use raw, unsalted nuts in raw recipes. Any roasted or salted nuts are devoid of all the good nutrients and the texture will be grainy, rather than creamy!
Step 2: Melt the Coconut Oil
Next, start melting the coconut oil. Coconut oil is 'solid' when you buy it; but not to worry - it has a very low melting point.
To melt the oil, I use a metal measuring cup as it's a good heat conductor. If you don't have metal, use glass or silicon (avoid plastic). Boil a cup or so of water, pour it in a bowl and set the metal cup into the hot water as shown above. Make sure to melt the oil needed for the chocolate topping at the same time (3/4 cup is enough for the filling and the topping).
NOTE: Be sure to use Extra Virgin coconut oil - unrefined. This means it's pure and the good stuff (nutrients) is intact. The texture will also be more creamy. Creamy is the operative word in this pie :) Also - move away from using plastic for melting, cooking, or storing anything you eat or drink, as it gives off PBA (don't recall the long chemical name) which is toxic.
Step 3: Create the Chocolate Pecan Crust
This crust is perfect! Just five ingredients for this gluten-free, delicious raw crust.
The recipe calls for 3 dates, but I use 6 so it 'sticks' together more and doesn't fall apart when serving. It also makes it easier to form the crust.
INGREDIENTS: (all organic, of course!)
- 1 cup pecan meal (ground up pecans, or any nut to your liking. Macadamia nuts make a 'crunchier' crust)
- 6 medjool dates (or 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder (cocoa powder)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
Place all ingredients into a food processor (you can also do this in a blender) and pulse until all the cacao has been fully combined. It may 'look' dry, but it should slightly stick together.
NOTE: Be sure to use whole dates, as they are softer and more moist. If you only have pitted dates, soak in filtered water for 10-15 minutes to soften and hydrate.
Step 4: Form the Crust
Pour the crust mixture into the middle of your pie plate.
Gently move the mixture towards the outer edge of the dish and begin to apply pressure and 'flatten' against the edge of the plate. Use your thumb to form the top of the crust so it's flush with the top of the pie plate while pressing the mixture towards your thumb with your other hand (see first pic).
As you press the crust down and against the sides, begin to turn the plate and work the mixture toward the middle of the plate. Do the bottom of the crust last.
If you need to fill a hole, find a thicker area and gently press the excess mixture towards the hole to fill it in. You're finished when the entire crust has been pressed firmly into the pie plate.
Step 5: Make the Chocolate Filling
If you have soaked the cashews, they should be ready to rinse. Pour the cashews into a colander or strainer and rinse really well with water. Set aside and assemble the other ingredients.
INGREDIENTS: (all organic, of course!)
- 2 cups cashews (soaked)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup water (add 1/4 at a time, sometimes the cashews absorb extra water)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder (cocoa powder)
Get out your blender and add cashews, agave, vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until creamy.
Next, add the cacao powder and coconut oil. Blend until creamy. Get out a spatula to scrape down the sides to get everything blended and smooth as silk. If too thick or stiff, add the second 1/4 cup of water and blend.
Step 6: Pour Filling Into Crust
Once the filling is blended, pour it into the crust. Use a spatula to scoop the remaining mixture out of the blender and into the pie crust. (Be sure you're alone in the kitchen, so you can lick the spatula clean ;)
Use the spatula to smooth the mixture to the edge of the crust.
Place the pie into the freezer while you make the chocolate topping.
Step 7: Make the Chocolate Topping
This is the third layer of chocolate and really makes this pie rich and beautiful.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp agave nectar
- 6 Tbsp cacao powder (cocoa powder)
Grab a glass mixing bowl and a whisk (if you have a mini one, it works really well).
Whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla and agave nectar until they are totally mixed together (see pic 1). Add all the cacao powder and begin whisking in the center, and the cacao powder will slowly be absorbed into the liquid (see pic 2). If it's too runny, add another Tbsp of cacao powder.
Take the pie out of the freezer and pour the chocolate topping on top of the pie. Use the spatula to smooth the topping like glass.
Place the pie back in the freezer for just a minute or two - SET THE TIMER!
NOTE: Coconut oil is easy to melt, and it's also easy to freeze and harden. So, if you leave it in the freezer for too long, you will 'break' the topping if you want to decorate it with pecans (I also like to use whole walnut halves).
Step 8: Decorate!
This step adds elegance to your creation.
Create your design with pecans on your counter before putting them on the pie. You want to be sure about your placement, so you don't have to move anything around too much.
Place your finished pie in the freezer. Remove and thaw for 15-20 minutes before serving.