Cacao is king to me and I pretty much eat it at any time of the day, with any meal and almost always with any desert but, sometimes (and only sometimes), chocolate just won’t do for a desert. Sometimes I just want a big ol’ fluffy cream pie to devour, one that I can pretty much dive face first into and only surface when there isn’t but a crumb left on the plate, my head saying ‘keep going’, my belly shouting ‘STOP’. You know what I mean?
Actually though, it’s been years between cream pies. In all honesty, I think I could probably insert decade into that sentence. When I said goodbye to dairy I of course said goodbye to cream, and I’m really not into soy or fake store bought, chemical maze, sugar-laden vegan creams. I said goodbye and never really looked back. The cream pie was as good as dead to me. But then, the heavens parted (and by heaven I mean to say I stumbled over the glorious oh she glows recipe) and coconut whipped cream was dropped in to my lap. Time stood still. I chilled that can of coconut cream. I whipped. I ate. And boy, oh boy, I loved.
Whipped coconut cream could only mean one thing. I had to turn it into a pie. Combine the need for that pie, my newly arrived, and dearly beloved, matcha green tea (by the glorious team at Matcha Maiden), and it being the wonderful season for ripe berries, and this was only ever going to go one way.
Plus, I give extra brownie points to the pie for its nutritional hit. But coconut cream, isn’t that full of saturated fat?? YES, and that’s one of the reasons I love it. Thankfully, we’ve finally moved past the belief that all saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease, morbidity and death. We now accept that in fact they have their place in building the immune system, protecting against neurodegerative disease and play an important part in weight management, to name but a few functions.
Of course, not all fats are created equal, but coconut fat is created with a heck of a lot of the good stuff. Comprised mostly of medium chain triglycerides like lauric acid (a strongly antiviral and antibacterial saturated fat), coconut fat has been shown to sooth digestion, boost immune and metabolic function, improve skin elasticity and stabilise blood sugar. It’s really no wonder that societies who traditionally rely on coconut oil as their primary fat look so darn good.
My lovely team at home helped me scoff down these tarts in one night. And you know the best part? We actually felt satisfied afterward eating a cream pie, rather than like bloated beached whales. Ah okay, second best thing. The eating was the best part.
- Pistachio crust
- 5-6 medjool dates
- ¾ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- Matcha coconut whipped cream
- 1 can of full fat coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon pure matcha green tea powder (we use Matcha Maiden)
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To finish
- Fresh or defrosted berries, crushed pistachio nuts, acai powder (optional)
- Pistachio crust
- In a blender or food processor, pulse to combine then blend well until uniform. The mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough. If it’s too dry, add dates. If too wet, add more almond meal.
- Press evenly into 8 small flan tins and set in the freezer.
- Coconut whipped cream
- **Note; to successfully whip coconut cream you need to also chill a metallic or ceramic jug in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to whipping. A wide, tall jug works best, to avoid spraying all the goodness around the room. A plastic jug probably wont work as well either, since a cold jug helps to prevent the coconut cream from melting into a liquidy mess (and plastic just don’t get that cold).
- Remove coconut cream can from the fridge, turn up side down, and detach this end of the can. The liquid section (water) of the can will be siting nicely here. Carefully drain away the liquid (and save to add to a smoothie), leaving the solid, coconut cream in the can.
- Pour/scoop/push coconut cream into a pre-chilled jug. Whip with an electric beater until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
- Add remaining ingredients and whip to combine.
- Remove crusts from the freezer, spoon in filling and decorate with your favourite tart toppings. We used fresh raspberries/blackberries, acai and crushed pistachios.
- Eat immediately, or store in the fridge for a few hours (but really, you’ve got some serious self constraint to do this) before consumption.