Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gluten Free, Vegan Tropical Raw Fruit Pie

Since I needed to make this today anyway to get some pictures, I thought I'd go ahead and post it for everyone.  I've made this pie several times for cooking demos and everyone always begs for the recipe. Its so easy that its almost a non-recipe.  The key to this pie's success is the combination of flavors and chilling the finished dish long enough to be able to get it out of the tart pan. 

The inspiration for this dish actually comes from an old church supper favorite.  My grandmother made it and I'm sure many of your grandmothers made it as well.  It was a jell-o salad with crushed pineapple, bananas, marachino cherries, pecans and that dried artificial whipped cream stuff that you mixed with milk and vanilla.  There is a laundry list of things that were unhealthy about that dish but it actually tasted good.  So I got to thinking about what elements of the dish actually WERE good and came up with this raw tropical fruit pie.  Oddly enough, it absolutely does taste like the old church supper dish.  Its hard to believe that the entire thing is made of fruit and nuts (in various forms).

Anyway, give it a try and see what you think. 

The grainless date, nut pie crust can be made ahead, wrapped and stored until you are ready to use it.  The wrapped crust dough will keep for a week in the fridge.  Once it has been made into a pie, it is best used within 1-2 days.

Note:  I have used raw almond meal that I had left over from making almond milk.  I place it on a sheet pan and turn my oven on the lowest setting and dry the meal for several hours.  You need to stir it so that it dries completely.  If you don't have your own raw almond meal, Bob's Red Mill has it in 16oz. bags available at healthfood stores and some grocery stores.  However, that almond meal is not raw.

For the crust: 

12 fresh (not dried), pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup unsweetened freeze dried organic coconut flakes
1 cup raw almond meal 
2 tablespoons organic coconut flour
1/4 cup melted organic extra virgin coconut oil
pinch of kosher salt

Place the pitted dates in food processor along with coconut.  Pulse until dates are processed and mixture has formed a gooy ball.  Add almond meal, coconut flour and kosher salt to mixture.  Pulse until mixture is well blended and crumbly.  Drizzle in melted coconut oil 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing for several seconds between addtions.  Mixture will still appear somewhat crumbly but will hold it's shape when pressed together.  Press crust mixture into bottom and up the sides of a removable bottom tart pan, chill.

Tropical Raw Fruit Pie

There are two items in this pie that are not raw and they are the coconut milk and the crushed pineapple.  I have tried several substitutions but find that even though its not raw, unsweetened full fat coconut milk produces the most satisfactory results.  As for the pineapple, you CAN use fresh pineapple that you have crushed in the food processor but it has to be squeezed as dry as possible and the pie needs to be eaten within a few hours of preparation.  The longer it sits, the fresh pineapple will begin to "weep" and make the pie soggy.

1 cup unsweetened freeze dried organic coconut flakes
1/2 cup full fat organic coconut milk, refrigerated
2 large bananas sliced 1/4" thick
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh organic strawberries, sliced
1 can organic crushed pineapple in natural juices, drained and squeezed dry
1/2 cup chopped organic pecans
additional unsweetened flaked coconut to sprinkle on top

Keep pie crust refrigerated until ready to assemble pie.   Using a spoon, remove only the creamy top layer of coconut milk until you have half a cupful.  Combine coconut milk and flaked coconut in a small bowl.  Let stand for 15 minutes until coconut is hydrated and coconut milk is completely absorbed.  Spread this mixture in the bottom of prepared crust.  Slice bananas and place in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss gently.  Lay banana slices out evenly on top of coconut layer.  Spread sliced straweberries evenly over banana layer.  Evenly distribute crushed pineapple over the top of pie.  Sprinkle pecans and additonal coconut on the top to garnish.  Chill for at least 4 hours.  To remove sides of tart pan, run a small knife around the sides to loosen and gently push up on the removable bottom until side ring comes free.  The pie will slice when it is cold. 

Make some whipped coconut cream to top the pie.  Spoon off the remaining "cream" in the can of coconut milk.  Save the watery layer at the bottom of the can for another use.  Place the cold coconut cream in a metal bowl and stash in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Coconut whipped cream will not beat to stiff peaks.  You may sweeten with a few drops of stevia extract if desired but I find the unsweetened cream to be a better compliment to the pie.


(c) copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. Thanks! It IS yummy and very much a "real" dessert. It doesn't taste like you just made a fruit salad. I hope you try it for yourself!


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Fort Myers, Florida, United States