I'm so excited to share this recipe. Properly giddy.
We've been away this past long holiday weekend. We were in Waipu, Northland with friends, staying at my in-laws beautful place. It was a really great weekend away. The weather was incredible, we ate lovely meals together, drank delicious wine and thoroughly enjoyed a change of scenery.
I took advantage of the lazy days to get into the kitchen and play. I've had this idea rattling around in my head for a while now. I watched an episode of David Chang's Mind Of A Chef in which the Momofuku Milk bar chef Christina Tosi makes a banana cream pie (the episode is called Rotten). I could'nt stop thinking it. Being away on on holiday was the perfect time to craft it with a wholefood touch and have an appreciative crowd to share it with.
This pie is so so good. It's indulgent, rich and ridiculously creamy. The walnut, date and sea salt crust alone is worth celebrating. The dates add a caramel sweetness, there's a hint of spice and the sea salt gives beautiful little bursts of salty in amongst the sweet and creamy. This pie crust is really easy to make. It would be a great base for other types of pies or tarts.
The filling is a creamy blend of soaked cashew nuts, coconut cream and really ripe bananas. Ninety percent of the sweetness in the filling comes from the bananas. There's just a wee bit maple syrup added.
You honestly won't believe it's dairy, gluten, grain, egg and refined sugar free. Vegan friendly! This dessert is so creamy and delicious that even the wholefood sceptics in your life will be won over. I promise.
Banana Coconut Cream Pie (dairy, egg, gluten & refined sugar free)
1 cup walnuts
2 cups almond meal
2/3 cup of dates (roughly chopped and soaked for 10mins in boiling water if not using medjool)
2 heaped Tbsp coconut oil - melted
generous pinch nutmeg
pinch mixed spice
2 pinches flaky sea salt
2 VERY ripe bananas mashed - for banana cream
1 cup cashew nuts - soaked overnight or for at least 6 hours
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
juice of 1 1/2 lemons - for banana cream
2 good eating bananas - one to line base and one for topping. Sliced and drizzled with lemon juice.
Thread coconut & cacao nibs for topping (optional)
Thick cream component of two cans of coconut cream left in fridge overnight or freezer for 2 - 3 hours
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius (320 fahrenheit)
Place the dates and walnuts into a food processor and blitz until the dates have the texture of a rough puree and the walnuts are a course crumb.
Add the remaining base ingredients. Process until well combined and coming together like a loose dough.
Press the dough into a greased tart pan. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible. Use a fork to press a few holes into the base of the pie crust before baking.
Bake pie crust for aprox 15 minutes until lightly golden. Watch very carefully as nut crusts can burn easily.
Leave to cool completely.
To make the banana coconut cream use a blender. Preferably a high powered one but totally fine if not. I used an ordinary blender.
Place the 2 very ripe bananas, lemon juice, cashews, vanilla and maple syrup into a blender. Blend until the cashew nuts have completely blended into a soft cream. If you're not using a high powered blender this may take a while - up to ten minutes. Give your blender lots of breaks so you don't burn the motor out.
Add the nutmeg and the solid cream component of the two cans of coconut cream (this should be roughly half of each can) Blend to combine. This will be very quick.
Line your cooled base with one banana slices.
Pour your banana coconut cream over the top and smooth surface with the back of a spoon.
Arrange remaining banana slices on top and sprinkle with coconut and cacao nibs (optional)
Place in fridge for at least 8 hours of overnight.
Store in fridge.