Thursday, May 20, 2010

Those Rapturous & Mysterious Green Pies

I've realized that if I am ever going to post all of the NSHP contest pies during this trip, I need to speed things up just bit. I'm going to start posting two pies a morning, and possibly a second post in the evening as my trip allows.

This mornings I have paired up two of the healthier pie submissions, unique for their use of avocados.

The first of our avocado spiked desserts is a cheesecake submitted by Laura, proprietress of the blog Loverly. The second pie, submitted by Rachel (a fellow Washington State blogger) of My Munchable Musings, is a unique addition to Not So Humble Pie, for being both raw and vegan.

Avocados are one of those foods that people can be absolutely fanatical about. I've met several folks who've told me if they had to survive off one food for the rest of their life while castaway on a remote island, it would be an avocado.

What sort of food would I wish to subsist solely off as a cast away? Well, it probably wouldn't be an avocado (sorry, buddy). Channa batura though... oh yes, I could spend the rest of my days eating fried bread and spicy chick peas. Though, on a diet of just that, I probably wouldn't be long for this world. Maybe I should reconsider not choosing the avocados...

So I'm off to Canary Wharf this afternoon. Going to meet Mother Humble and then head to her office in central London to be exhibited before her co-workers and employees. Luckily for me, smocked dresses, rag curls and a mommy-spit polished face are no longer a prerequisite for such meetings. I get a free lunch out of the deal, so naturally I'm game.

Since I'm going to be in the area of a Paul Patisserie shop, I hope to pop in there some macarons and other yummy eats.

Let's get to the pies!

Loverly: The Case Of The Mysterious Green Pie

The avocado lends this pie a gorgeous color

I called this recipe, "The case of the mysterious green pie." Why? Well, here is the full story:

It all started when I saw this recipe on the Food Network website for Avocado Pie. The recipe looked interesting and I love avocados, so I decided to give it a try. So, I gathered all of my ingredients and began my adventure into the realm of the mysterious-looking green pie.

I started by making the crust. So far, the beginning of a perfectly normal cheesecake. But then, things got weirder.

I made the filling and the green goo reminded me of some kind of Dr. Suess creation or some green slime out of a horror movie.

Also, to my horror, I didn't have a hand mixer, so mixing everything by hand was tough and I couldn't quite make the filling smooth and bump-free.

Then, I let the pie chill in the fridge. I decided to bring the pie over to a friend's house that weekend. We were helping them move into a new apartment, so I thought I would bring a housewarming treat. But then, after a day in the fridge, the avocado started to brown and my green pie turned into a green/brown pie.

After a few hours of moving furniture, we decided to dig into the pie. I tasted a slice and I was actually really surprised. The pie tasted like a regular cheesecake, but with a hint of avocado, which really added an interesting taste. For such an unappetizing looking pie, I quite enjoyed the taste.

So, I didn't really know what to expect when I saw the recipe and when I made it, I never expected the weird, green goo to taste good. Overall, an interesting and experimental cooking experience. Here's what my friend had to say about the pie:

"Oh man Laura, while I have to thank you for the cake because I have enjoyed it, there really only is so much avocado cake one person can eat in a week. I`ve never consumed this much avocado before in a whole year, let alone 7 days."

I am now probably known as the girl who makes weird, green pies.

The Case Of The Mysterious Green Pie
adapted from The Food Network

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups digestive biscuit crumbs (or graham crackers)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

2 medium hass avocados
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Whipped cream or confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush an 8-inch springform pan with some of the melted butter. Mix the remaining butter with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.

Make the filling: Halve and pit the avocados, then scoop out the flesh and chop. Transfer to a bowl, add the cream cheese and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the condensed milk, lime and lemon juices, and the salt and beat until fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. Pour the filling into the crust, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill at least 4 hours.

Remove the springform ring and slice the pie. Garnish with whipped cream or confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve immediately (the top will start to brown as the pie sits).

My Munchable Musings: I Am Rapture...

While I often prepare vegan and vegetarian meals for the family, I've always been intimidated by vegan dessert baking. This dessert however, looks simple and fantastic.

Oh, it is rapturous scooping out the innards of a ripe avocado. But, why are you talking about avocados, Ms. “Eat Local and Seasonal”? Well, when Ms. Humble posted a pie contest on her blog I couldn’t resist the temptation to make a Not-So-Humble-Pie. It presented an opportunity to try my hand at a raw goodie. While I had toyed with the idea taking on the raw diet wholeheartedly, I just love cooked foods too much (I also don’t like how eating raw often requires tropical ingredients like coconut). But, I am going to take a quick break and step down off of my high vegan sustainable pedestal, and embrace the luscious coconut, Brazil nuts, and dates in the following recipe.

Strawberry Lemonade Pie
Also Known As: I Am Awakening in Lovely Rapture
from My Munchable Musings

1 1/4 cups Brazil nuts
1 1/4 cups almonds, soaked for 30 minutes and skinned
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Juice and zest of one lemon
1 large avocado
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw unscented coconut butter

Strawberry Layer
3 cups finely sliced strawberries
1 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoons lemon juice

Food process crust ingredients except dates until crumbly. Add dates in bits until the crust sticks together. Press into oiled pie pan.

Layer half of the strawberries in the crust.

Blend all filling ingredients except coconut butter until smooth. Add omitted ingredients until everything comes together. Pour into the pie shell.

Use the rest of the strawberries on the top of the pie.

So, what do you think? Rough life those raw dieters have ... eating all that coconut and avocado?


  1. I've to say that both pies are unique to me. This is the first time I see pies made with Avocado and I'm really curious because I can't imagine the taste. I'm used to Avocado as a savory taste. I like the reach crust of the second pie and the filling made with coconut butter? I'll never be able to find it over here), the bottom layer of strawberries is delicious.

  2. well...this is interesting & unique...i usually enjoy my avocados in salad...

    i *heart* cheesecakes & this recipe is interesting...
    i do like coconut butter & am curious about the mixture of avo w/strawberries....

    & ms. h...your contest is giving me an opportunity to"visit" new bloggers...thank you!

  3. Avocados--like bacon--seem to be making their way into everything these days. Even sweet desserts.

  4. I've tried a sweet avocado shake before, and it was fantastic. I can totally imagine a sweet avocado pie being pretty good. YUM!

  5. Absolutely! The sweet Vietnamese avocado milkshake sinh to bo comes to mind. The 'Mysterious Green pie' is actually pretty similar ingredient-wise, as both use avocados and sweetened condensed milk.

    I think Indonesia does a spin on the milkshake too with the addition of chocolate or coffee.

  6. Thanks so much for posting my pie!

    I was skeptical at first as well about the idea of avocado in pie, but I highly recommend the recipe now! An interesting sweet and savoury mix indeed.

    The strawberry one looks delicious as well.

  7. I not only *could* live on avocados; I have. My freshman year in college, I ate mostly homemade whole wheat bread topped with avocados. I was happy, and thin. If I were living alone, I would consider doing it again.

    The raw pie doesn't tempt me, but the cheesecake is mine, as soon as I can get to a farmers' market for avocados. I ate up all the ones I bought last week.

  8. The avocado pie is intriguing - it's kind of like a cheesecake, isn't it? Funnily enough, I had been thinking of making some sort of cheesecake with avocado before I saw this! Now I want to make one even more. As soon as I've figured out how to make a dairy-free/vegan cream cheese out of coconut milk, I'm going to make this!

    Using avocado in sweet things, unlike bacon, is versatile (it gives a smooth, silky texture to chocolate) and also unusual in an interesting way. I like bacon, but bacon-flavoured desserts isn't my thing.

    Do you think that lemon or lime juice would help offset or prevent the browning? Avocado pits also work but I'm not sure if that would be practical inside a pie filling.

    - Zoe @ Z's Cup of Tea

  9. P.S. Barbara, unless this is a different product altogether, coconut butter usually refers to solidified coconut oil at a spreadable consistency.

    - Zoe @ Z's Cup of Tea

  10. Alright, I have to be honest, I have made an avocado pie before and I was not happy with it at all, the taste was very strange! I think I need to be adventurous and give this one a try... I mean, with condensed milk it has to be good right! ;)

  11. This is tragic and delicious.

    The delicious part is that I love avocados, and both pies seem awesome! The tragic part is that for the last 3 years, my stomach has been unable to handle the fat content in avocado. I get very, very nauseated everytime I eat so much as a tablespoon of that beloved green goodness. Trust me, that hurts.

  12. Oh, another avocado pie! How wonderful :) Thank you so much for posting by pie.

    FYI, I used Premier Artisana Raw Coconut Butter in the pie, which is absolutely amazing (and extraordinarily rich). Chocolate avocado pie is also delicious (melt chocolate, combine with mashed avocado, and refrigerate. As long as the avocado isn't overly ripe, you can't even taste it!)

    And, Ms. Humble, my sister is abroad in London this quarter, so I sent her your last post. She is going to that bakery next time she goes to the Greenwich market, so thank you for that, as well!

  13. Oh how I love Paul. The one here in Dubai makes quite a mess of its Macarons but their soup served in hollow bread is quite still as magnificent! :)

  14. DM,

    Your pointless, crazed raving made my day! Thanks, and do please go back on your medication asap.

    Miss Stovetop,

    I wonder what they're like in Dubai, the Paul macs here were quite different from what I expected. They were so huge, dense and cookie like. Not bad, just different. The chocolate one was almost like eating a flour less brownie!

  15. I don't like the Paul macarons. They are really sweet, and just too big.

    I am going to make an avocado pie for sure. All that buttery yumness, and no actual butter.

  16. I had a dish of avocado and strawberry sorbet in Morocco. The avocado ice cream was very rich and creamy and worked well as a dessert when matched with the flavor of the strawberry.

    I'll post photos later, once I get settled again in London.


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