I am taking all the sunshine I can get at the moment, before we start to hibernate again in front of our fireplace all winter long. Summer means tropical fruit, even if you are not in tropical paradise. Mango and pineapple are naturally so sweet and delicious, they can stop most sweet cravings right away. When I hear people going on diets that are low in fruit, I just don't understand it. Yes, we should not be eating so much sugar. Processed sugar that is. But fruit?!? Fruit are found in nature, and are amazing for glowing skin, vibrant energy, and a natural source of energy for us to get through our day. Eat fruit! Grabbing a processed protein bar can never be better for you than a banana. It's as simple as that :-)
Now, let's talk about this AMAZING tropical cream pie. It is simply divine, and makes me dream of being back in Bali at the beach underneath the palm trees. This pie has minimal sweetness, because other than pineapple and mango there is nothing else sweet added to the filling. Make sure to do a taste test after your filling is done. In case your pineapple and mango are not sweet enough, you can always add a spoon or two of maple syrup or raw honey.
And a word on a spring form pan. It's perfect for all raw cakes, because you can easily get your cake out without smudging the fillings. If you have a smaller size than the one I mention, that's fine. You probably won't need all the crust - set some to the side and sprinkle on top of your oatmeal for breakfast. And then use all the filling, it just may be a bigger pie. And if you don't have a spring form pan at all, use any other baking pan, line it with cling wrap, and proceed with the crust and filling. Then you will have pie slices in the end. It's all delicious! :-)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Nut soaking time: 4 hours
Setting time in fridge: 6 hours
Makes 12 good sized slices or 16 thinner ones:
For the crust:
5 Medjool dates
2 cups raw almonds
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (make it a home for a fraction of the cost!)
For the filling:
2 cups cashew nuts (soaked for at least 4 hours)
2 cups chopped pineapple (the sweeter and riper, the better!)
1 cup chopped mango
⅓ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp melted cacao butter (or coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Start with a 26cm/10.5inch spring form baking pan. Place the base of the pan into the sides with the raised side up. On all baked recipes (especially cheesecakes) you want the base with the raised side down to make sure it is waterproof. We don't need that here, and it makes getting the cake out so much easier if the base is with the raised side up.
Dab a little bit of coconut oil on a kitchen towel and rub it into the pan. Then put to the side.
In a food processor, pulse the crust ingredients until it resembles fine bread crumbs. When you press the mixture between your fingers, it should stick together. If not, add another spoon of coconut oil.
Pour the crust ingredients into your pan, and using your hands press down firmly to create a crust, working around the edges, so the crust lifts up out to the sides of the pan as well. Place in fridge until the filling is ready to go in.
For the filling, discard the soaking water of the cashew nuts, and rinse thoroughly. Place all ingredients except the cacao butter in the food processor, and process on high speed until creamy - about 3 minutes.
Drizzle in the cacao butter with the blades still moving, and mix well. Do a little taste test, and see if you would like to add more lemon juice, more vanilla or perhaps you need a little extra sweetness with maple syrup or honey.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust, and place in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to take the pie out of the pan, run a knife around the edge to loosen it. Then open the springform on the side for the pie to come out. Using a sharp knife, run it along the base of the pan to loosen the entire pie, then slide it out onto a plate. Voila!
Enjoy the last days of summer!