Reprinted with permission from Cook, Share, Eat, Vegan: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Everyone, published by Octopus
Serves 8 – 10
The vibrant green hue of this (nearly) no-bake dessert, coupled with the insane red of the macerated strawberries, is precisely why I love to wheel this dish out at dinner parties – after all, we do eat with our eyes. The agar agar flakes ensure a firm pie that slices beautifully. If you are unfamiliar with this handy little ingredient, you’ll soon get the hang of using it. The trick is to allow the flakes to dissolve in water without stirring (although occasional swirling is encouraged) before pouring the liquid into the cashew/tofu mix. You’ll end up with a wonderfully zesty filling with an uplifting hint of matcha, which helpfully boosts both flavour and colour too – double whammy. Your friends and family are bound to be impressed.
100g desiccated coconut
100g Brazil nuts
200g dried apricots
¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or ½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
pinch of sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
200g cashew nuts, soaked overnight and drained
150g silken tofu
grated zest and juice of 6 limes
125ml agave nectar or maple syrup
1 heaped tablespoon matcha powder
pinch of sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
200g strawberries, hulled and sliced
juice of 1 lime
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
3 tablespoons palm sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), gas mark 6
2. To make the crust, place the desiccated coconut, pistachios and Brazil nuts in a blender or food processor and pulse together to form a fine crumb-like texture. Add the apricots, vanilla powder, salt and coconut oil and blend for one minute, or until it just comes together (pinch some of the mixture between your fingers to test – if it sticks easily, you’re good to go).
3. Transfer the crust mixture to a 23cm fluted tart tin and press into the base and sides to cover evenly. Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until lightly coloured, then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the refrigerator until needed.
4. For the filling, add the cashew nuts to a blender together with the tofu, lime zest and juice, agave nectar, matcha powder and salt. Blend for 10–15 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth (if it is not entirely silky, keep blending until you achieve the desired consistency, otherwise it will negatively affect the texture).
5. Meanwhile, place the water in a small saucepan and sprinkle over the agar agar. Do not stir. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes, or until the agar agar has dissolved and the water has reduced by about a third.
6. Add the agar agar liquid to the blender with the pie filling and blend until it is completely
incorporated, scraping down the sides from time to time, then pour the filling over the cooled crust, smoothing the top with the back of a spatula. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 4–6 hours, or until set.
7. For the macerated strawberries, put the berries, lime juice, vanilla seeds and palm sugar into a bowl, stir to combine and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until needed, bringing the berries to room temperature before serving.
8. Pile the strawberries over the centre of the pie to serve.
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