One of my favorite blogs to read is VeganCulinaryCrusade by Lisa Pitman. I had the pleasure of getting to know this incredible woman when we were students together at 105 Degrees Academy, now Matthew Kenney OKC. Lisa always inspires me on many levels and most recently I was inspired to participate in a challenge on a recent blog post. She and a friend are having a mini pie contest. It needs to be mini, all raw and make good use of what is in season currently at the farmer’s markets. Hmmmm.
I decided to let the fruit dictate where I began so when I went to the farmer’s market, I engaged all my senses to find what fruit was as close to perfection as you can get. It wasn’t even close, the peaches were the choice by a long shot!
Not sure why I was compelled to open some coconuts for this experiment, but it was so nice outside, it seemed like a good deck activity at the time.
A little of this and a little of that, this is what I had a little later …
I had two mini pies. Not sure yet if they were any good, so I “dressed” them up a bit to try.
Time for the moment of truth.
My critical family of taste testers decided it was “a go”. Now all I needed was my “formula”, which unfortunately was nowhere to be found! I had made all sorts of notes and measurements and the paper simply was not to be found. I almost decided to forget about it except for the fact that, after I thought about it, I really had everything I needed, including the coconut meat, which was the hardest part, so I tried to recreate what I had done. I also changed the presentation up a bit.
Should you be in the mood to open a few coconuts, here is the final recipe I came up with:
1 Cup walnuts
dash of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Pulse all together in a food processor just until it will hold together when pinched with fingers. Use half of this mixture to line two 4″ mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Reserve the other half of mixture for the topping. Refrigerate or freeze while making filling.
1 Cup coconut meat
1 Cup (soaked) cashews
1/4 teas. salt
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 teas vanilla
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup coconut oil
Blend everything except coconut oil in blender until very smooth. Add coconut oil slowly near the end of blending. Refrigerate overnight to firm up. You can also run it through an ice cream machine to help firm up.
When custard is firm, spread a generous amount over the bottom of crust. You will most likely have some filling left over. Layer fresh ripe peach slices on the filling. Top with remaining streusel topping.