September 20, 2004
Avocado Pie

I never watched the movie Go Further, but at least three people--upon seeing it--mentioned that the bus that the movie followed had a raw food chef, who at some point makes a chocolate-avocado pie. For months, the idea of an avocado pie kept popping up, at the very least as a curiosity: avocado? pie? how could that possibly work?

It nagged at me so, that I finally decided to try it.

A google search renders a surprising number of recipes for avocado pie. They range from dead simple to alive with complexity. After a week and a half of the unbearable anticipation of watching my 89 cent avocados ripen (an unsavory combination of watching the proverbial pot and waiting for the proverbial drying paint... with the fortunate suggestion of mysterious possibilities of undiscovered tastes at the other end), I opted for a combination of recipes.

Childhood memories of pineapple pie, combined with my inability to eat it due to a dairy allergy, spurred me to add pineapple. After two tries, my experience says that there is no need for complexity. Did I mention that avocado pie is tasty? Two variations follow:

Avocado Pineapple Pie

2-3 avocados, ripe
1/2 - 1 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet)
2 lemons
1 small can pineapple rounds

1-2 cups margarine or butter
1-2 cups flour
3-6 tablespoons water

1 package graham crackers (optional but tasty)

Prepare a crust, using the infallible (except for one time in Georgia, when the flour gathered more humidity than I bargained for, and the crust ended up a bit soggy) directions from the intensively honed apple pie recipe, or some other crust recipe that works for you. Bake it at 350 F til it's crisp--20 minutes, give or take; there will be no further baking.

Juice the lemons, and mash the avocados, sugar, and lemon juice together. Use a hand blender if you've got it. Chop the pineapple into little chunks of a size that suits your sensibilities. Mix it all together (brief blending can render a range of pineapple chunk sizes, which makes eating the pie a bit more unpredictable and possibly fun). Maybe add a touch of flour, if it seems overly liquid. I haven't tried replacing the lemon juice entirely with pineapple juice, but it seems like it should do the same job--keeping the avocados from going brown.

Pour this green glop into the crust. Crumble up some graham crackers for a topping. I added a bit of margarine to the graham cracker crumbles, so they stick together a bit more, but I confess that there may be a better way, and I haven't got around to researching it.

Put the whole thing in the freezer for at least three hours (four or five, preferably), and serve with a side of whatever is left of summer.

Chocolate Avocado Pie

I tried this only once, with not-quite-ripe, low-quality avocados. It ended up a bit chunky, but still very tasty, leading me to see it as a promising avenue for future exploration.

Use the same recipe as above, minus the pineapple and graham crackers. Melt a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, and mix it in with the avocado and lemon juice. The results were a bit lemony, so it's probably worth trying to cut down the lemon juice substantially and see what happens. Vanilla extract may also be in order.

A lot of recipes call for a half cup of lemon juice, but I'm not sure how necessary it is. If it's strictly for color, then the chocolate renders that point moot. And the chocolate may also stabilize things in unforseen ways. (I haven't seen any recipies for Avocado chocolate pie, so speculation is necessary.)

Freeze, and enjoy. I reckon the half-assed version that I made was better than any vegan "cheesecake" I've ever had, lacking as it was in soy texture and aftertaste.

Bonus recipe: Vice Cream

I've been meaning to write down this recipe, and since summer's going fast, here it is. The name is short for "vegan ice cream", but as you'll see, the monicker is pertinent in other ways as well.

Put in freezer:

4 ripe, peeled bananas, in a ziplock back, tupperware, or somesuch apparatus

Four hours later, blend with some of the following (in anything from tiny to substantial amounts):

Coconut milk
Vanilla extract
Orange juice, in a pinch

Freeze a bit more, serve. Yum.

If you're in Canada, as I am, then you get to also savour the guilt of having used the weight of your ingredients in government-subsidized fossil fuels to enjoy your more or less vegan dessert. Vice cream, indeed. But if you're south, where some of these things are actually local, savour it!

posted by dru in recipes