One of my dear clients who quickly became a wonderful friend too invited me to a Diwali dinner and when I asked her to please tell me what to bring, she said: "a yummy, raw dessert".
Shouldn't be a hard task for someone who eats stuff like that every day, right? Um, not quite! My palate is so different...not like the average person's, to say the least. So every time I get asked to make something for a party or some kind of get together where there will be a variety of non-raw-foodie people present, I get nervous. It's not as simple as writing recipes for a blog and pointing out what is optional what is not and what ranges of the amounts of ingredients you may add to this or that...no, you make it once and that's it. You take what you've made and the guests will either like it or they won't. End of the story. Whew. And it's not that I really care about whether people like my food or not..they can always have something else...but in THIS case...well, this was a different story! Diwali is a beautiful and very important holiday and I felt truly honored to be invited and treated as part of the family and I wanted to make something that they would like. So, it was quite nerve-wracking process! : )
Whenever I'm preparing something for a new crowd I taste test my mixtures and once I find the perfect (to my palate) balance I add more sugar or salt or spices, depending on what kind of dish it is. In this case, obviously, since it's a dessert, I added some sugar. That is optional though if you've been on raw foods for a while and enjoy things closer to their original state.
I'm not a pie person. Mainly because I don't have a family to feed (yet) so what will I do with a pie? Eat it all? Probably! That's what would happen but (1) I don't want to do that to myself and (2) I'm just not motivated enough to make a pie for me only.
And so, I had to come up with a recipe from scratch because I'd never made persimmon pie before...and I must have done pretty well since it was devoured within minutes, with not a crumb of it left! Ha! Never seen a crowd like a raw dessert so much! And, that's why I'm sharing the recipe with all of you...
Raw Persimmon Pie
(Makes One 9-inch (23 cm) Pie)
For The Crust
1 ½ cups cashews (use a bit less if you're like me and prefer a thinner crust)*
½ cup dry shredded coconut
8 dried cherries**
4-5 Medjool dates**
1 vanilla bean (only the scrapings of it)
pinch of salt
3 T coconut oil
* any kind of (or the mixture of) buttery nuts may be used: macadamia, walnuts, pecans work well
**any dried fruit you like may be used (I like adding some for tartness, like cherries) but you may use only sweet ones and add a squeeze of lemon or even some lemon zest for a nice twist
For The Filling
9 ripe (soft and dark orange!!) Hachiya persimmons
1 T coconut oil
3 T coconut sugar (optional, taste test the filling for sweetness)
½ tsp psyllium husk powder
½ tsp (or a bit less) allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger powder
1. Grind all crust ingredients, except for the coconut oil, in the food processor to make a homogenous mixture
2. In a glass bowl, work the coconut oil into your crumbly mixture by hand. Make sure the oil is well distributed and there are no chunks of it anywhere in the dough.
3. Press the dough into a pie shell (you may even use a shallow bowl instead) and pinch the edges. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to let the crust become firm.
4. To make the filling, the easiest thing to do is to squeeze the soft insides of persimmons into the a blender by cracking the skin open while holding the fruit above the carafe and let the soft part drop in there. Don't use any of the skin or the stems and leaves, of course, only the soft part of the fruits.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients except for maybe all the sugar and blend them into a smooth pudding-like consistency.
6. Taste test your filling mixture and add sugar (or anything else) as desired to adjust the flavor to your and you guests' liking.
7. Pour the filling into the pie crust you have chilled and either spread it with a spatula or make a pattern on top or decorate it later with berries, dried fruits, edible flowers, nuts, coconut flakes, or anything you have on hand and you think would go well and / or look pretty.
I had no berries at home and that's what I would have put on...so, I just made a swirl, which people also commented on and really liked :) simple things can really work well.
8. Place the pie in the fridge to cool and set for at least an hour before serving. You want to make sure it becomes firm enough so that the slices don't collapse and look like sauce upon cutting the pie.
Besides the fact that persimmons are so delicious, you may want to take advantage of their ease of use now that they're in season because they're very nutritious too! Read all about their health benefits and another recipe made with them here.
Happy first week of the Holiday Season!...
More to come soon... : )
P.S: What does the Holiday Season come with for many of us? Parties, dinners, abundance of food, temptation to overeat and, yes, actual overeating and being less active...which, more often than not, leads to weight gain.
How would you like to do yourself a favor and help "reset" your body and mind before you're invited to those parties, social events and huge dinners?
You're in luck! Very soon you'll have a chance to sign up and join a group of like-minded people for a Pre-Holiday Body & Mind Reset - Detox Program!..
Stay tuned for the details on that!
Featured in Funky Raw, UK's raw food magazine