From A(vocado Pie) to V(irtual Vegan Potluck)
A little over a month ago I became a 41 year old. It wasn’t a big deal, just a little deeper into the decade of my life I’ll later refer to as “the forties.” What I lack in originality, I make up for with misdirection. For example… LOOK!! ELVIS!!! And he’s singing about the upcoming Virtual Vegan Potluck!!!!
That’s right folks, we are less than a week away from the 3rd Virtual Vegan Potluck. On Saturday May 11, 2013, at 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, this global vegan food festival will spring to life with animal-free dishes as diverse as the bloggers who are sharing them.
This blog, Jason and the Veganauts, will be sharing the recipe for a very special entree, as well as taking every opportunity to mention itself by name. Some call it a delicious daisy chain of over 100 vegan recipes, while others might say it is a good chance for this blog, Jason and the Veganauts, to meet new vegan friends. Either way, Jason and the Veganauts.
If you want, you can count down the start of the VVParty like I am this Friday night. I am going to watch the clock like it is New Years Eve, waiting for 12:01 to finally arrive, kicking off the celebration of food with more than one hundred vegan blogs that will be linked arm in arm in a show of delicious solidarity. Some of you might think that watching the clock tick is a pathetic way to spend a Friday night when there is so much art, dance, culture, and music to be experienced with friends and loved on/**OH LOOK! IT’S ELVIS AGAIN!!**
So as I was saying, I’ve been 41 years old for a month and a half or so. While I don’t remember the day being anything overly memorable the avocado pie my friend, Agent Dr. S, created before my very eyes was something I will not soon forget. As many of you know, Jason and the Veganauts does not generally deal with recipes, but in honor of the upcoming VVP this Saturday I will bend the guidelines and share his magic.
The recipe can be traced back to Steve Wood who was a culinary contributor to the book Food Healing: Cooking with Qi. Before seeing this cookbook I thought Qi was just a word used when playing Words With Friends and there is no better way to play the Q tile. In reality, it seems the word means a variety of hippy-dippy things like ‘life energy’ and healing which is groovy with me man. If nothing else, I think learning this will make me feel less guilty next time I play Qi on a triple word score.
The avocado pie that you see here today has been altered from the cookbook recipe making the outcome far less symmetrical and not nearly as photogenic. If you are looking for a pretty pie, this ain’t it. This pie relies on substance to make itself remembered, not glitz and glam.
The numbers used in this recipe are highly flexible. If you want a sweeter pie filling, add more maple syrup. Hate coconut? Leave it out! Can’t imagine how to pay for almost 2 cups of macadamia nuts? Use pecan and walnut OR take out a second mortgage. Recipes are not perfect chemical formulas. They are whimsical and flexible and begging to be personalized. The numbers are also a little fuzzy because Agent Dr. S insisted I drink whiskey while watching him create. I believe this is in an effort to make me forget his secrets. It worked.
For the crust you will need: 1-1/2 cups Macadamia nuts, 2 cup of dates, and 1/4 cup of coconut flour. For the filling you will need: 3-5 ripe avocados, 3/4 cup of very fancy maple syrup, 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
When making the crust, dump all of the crust ingredients into a food processor and push the buttons that make it process. It should go without saying that you can add more nuts if you want a nuttier crust. When everything is crunched together really well, take it out and smash it flat into a pie plate. You can take a lot of time with this and even make artwork out of the edges but it is going to be devoured in an uncivilized fashion once you taste it so don’t waste your time. Macadamia nut oil will appear on the crust as it sits and a paper towel can be used to absorb it. Pro tip: toss it in the oven on very low heat for an hour or two for a drier crust.
When making the pie filling, dump all of the filling ingredients into the food processor after you’ve wiped it clean. Then do that button thing again and process it all up until it looks like pie filling. The shaved coconut is optional. It is included more for texture than flavor. Try experimenting with and without the coconut, which in this case means make more pies. That is my favorite kind of science.
Pour the pie filling into the pie crust. It is a sad fact of life that you then need to wait for two hours. I certainly didn’t- I ate some right away, and it was weak-in-the-knees good. It was even better two hours later… and the next day? Oh my. Do yourself a favor and make two pies. You will eat one of them right away but with any luck and self restraint on your part, you will have one surviving pie to eat in it’s prime.
I hope you have fun experimenting with various pie permutations and combinations. I can say from experience, whiskey made the whole dessert preparation experience more fun. Plus, I was lucky enough to have Agent Dr. S involved in the process which put it over the top.
Mark your calendars! The Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0 will be in full swing when you wake up this Saturday. Fill your house with bulk ingredients because once you start perusing the VVP dish list, you are not going to want to waste any time shopping before trying to recreate the smorgasbord. Jason and the Veganauts will see you there!