Thursday, 9 May 2013

Raw Coconut and Lime Pie

This was not just pie-making, this was a coconutty adventure of grand proportions. Firstly, I needed coconut, in many different forms. I saw that Waitrose were selling pre-cut coconut chunks but I always feel far more righteous eating something I've made entirely from scratch so I found two of the hairiest coconuts I've ever seen in my local Asian shop, as well as picking up coconut oil and dessicated coconut. As I wandered home something struck me; my coconut cracking experience was limited to the odd coconut falling and breaking from the coconut shy school fetes. I was approaching 30 and was missing a vital life skill.

Unsure how to approach this task, I asked around to see if anyone had the skills I required, but unsatisfied with the responses, I turned to the ever reliable source: YouTube. Assisted by my good friend and fellow foodie, Vega Van Teese, we set on an internet search to find answers. Now, if you have some time on your hands and aren't scrolling straight down to the recipe, I implore you to watch these videos.   The first one we came across is a very slick American video involving something that bears no resemblance to any coconut I've ever seen. Despite that, we were mesmerised by the calmness of the lady with the cleaver and the ease with which she cut straight into the fruit, releasing vast quantities of coconut water and easing the flesh out effortlessly with the aid of a simple kitchen device.

However, my coconuts looked nothing like that, so we kept searching. We found a much more realistic - and British - version from a man in a far less glamorous kitchen who had very little regard for his own safety. Bizarrely he also had what looked like an anvil outside, very convenient for coconut bashing. Highly amused by the difference in these instructional videos, we took the British approach. Armed with a spoon, a dangerously sharp knife and a brick wall, we set about getting ourselves some coconut flesh.

Warning 1: if you do buy a hairy coconut, it will make a huge mess in your kitchen.

Warning 2: if you also decide to "take the British approach", beware wayward bits of coconut pinging into eyes as you hack away.

This recipe makes one pie in a 4" cake tin.

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 8 dates, soaked for an hour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I used Koko dairy free, not strictly raw. You can use water as an alternative or any other sort of milk, it's just for binding the ingredients together)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Flesh from one small coconut
  • 1 ripe small avocado (very ripe!)
  • Juice and zest of two limes
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar/maple syrup
In a food processor, mix up the flax, dessicated coconut, vanilla extract, salt, dates, 1 tsp coconut sugar and 1 tbsp coconut oil. Depending on how sticky your dates are, that might already make perfect "pastry". If it isn't quite binding together, add a bit of coconut milk.

Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of your cake tin. It should be fairly thick.

Now, process or blend the remaining ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, decorate with a bit of dessicated coconut and pop the whole thing in the freezer. It will set after a few hours but you can store it in there for a couple of days if you don't want to eat it straight away (I don't know why you wouldn't..).

Once you take it out of the freezer, cut your slices and leave them at room temperature for at least an hour before serving, otherwise you'll miss out on the lovely lime flavours. 

If you have any of the green mixture left, add a bit of chilli and black pepper and eat it as a dip with carrot sticks!

1 comment:

  1. Love the English guy best but initially it looked like he was assaulting a baby sloth :-(