I am a strawberry baby.
Being born at the end of June, my birthday usually coincides with the local strawberry season. My Mom went into labour while picking strawberries. I tell no lies.
This year, local strawberries are already finished as they had an early start. (Local cherries, though, are already here!). Rob and I still managed to sneak in some strawberry action, though, before he took off for the week.
No stranger to raw desserts, I know they can be pretty heavy. Nuts, coconut, avocado, you name it. They make for delicious desserts, but they can be truly decadent.
I had been pining a recipe for a nearly nut-free Strawberry Pie, so when we had a huge clamshell of strawberries, I couldn’t resist not making this. It was now or never. Next week, the strawberries may not be as good!
I couldn’t go nut-free with a crust, so I picked an interesting almond-vanilla-maple crust. However, since it was date-free, I didn’t find it kept its integrity as well as my go-to crust from the Raw Cashew Dreamcake. The recipe below has my standard crust which I think would work better.
In any case, the filling is really simple. A puree of strawberries and bananas with lemon juice is the base for holding more strawberries. Then it is topped with even more strawberries! Strawberry heaven, for sure.
This pie needs to be chilled so that the base firms up. In any case, I think it will be a messy cake no matter what you do.. unless you add a thickener like agar agar. My pie firmed up nicely after a few hours in the fridge but our initial foray after an hour left us with a goopy (yet still delicious) mess. Another less messy option would be to make and serve it in ramekins, like we did with our Tropical Mango Pie (oh so good!).
Since the highlight of the pie are the fresh strawberries, the pie cannot be stored in the freezer (hello, Raw Key Lime Pie!). Instead, the leftovers were my breakfast for the rest of the week.
Raw Strawberry Pudding Pie
Adapted from Hallelujah Acres
1 cup raw almonds (pecans or walnuts will also work)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup dates, pits removed
1 tsp vanilla
2 lb strawberries, divided
2 fairly ripe bananas (1 cup)
5 soft pitted dates
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
1. Place nuts in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Add the dates and vanilla and process until well combined. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is ready to go. Scoop out crust mixture in a 9” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly (fingers work well), making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. In a blender, place 7-8 large strawberries, bananas, dates and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Remove and place in a large bowl.
3. Roughly chop all remaining strawberries, reserving 1 cup for garnish. Fold in majority of strawberries into the blended berries. Fill the pie crust with the strawberry mixture. Scatter remaining strawberries overtop. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.