No-Bake Strawberry Coconut Pie
No-Bake Strawberry Coconut Pie (The Nosher via JTA)
active: 2 hrs
(The Nosher via JTA) -- I first tried raw vegan coconut cream pie years ago at Café Gratitude, one of the popular plant-based restaurants in Los Angeles. Café Gratitude is a quintessential healthy L.A. eatery. The menu features dishes with titles like “I am bountiful” and “I am cosmic” (which you are semi-forced to say out loud as written). Those dishes might include heirloom grains, fermented vegetables, turmeric or seaweed. The servers often have ethereally glowing skin and offer you an inspirational “word of the day” to think about when they take your order.
All new-agey West Coast things aside, the food is good and I have a soft spot for the place, especially when it comes to their dessert menu.
When Passover comes around, I look for desserts that could be enjoyed beyond the eight days of the holiday and do not involve matzah meal of any kind. We live in a golden era of grain-free dessert innovations, and in the past few years this wealth of creativity has greatly enhanced the offerings at my Passover table, including this riff on Café Gratitude’s vegan coconut cream pie. I’ve added strawberries for their brightness, both in color and taste, which complements the rich creaminess of the coconut.
This recipe is also easy to modify with your own favorite flavorings or ingredients. You could swap strawberries for another berry or a mix of berries. You could add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to the filling and chocolate shavings to the garnish. Or you could add caramel and chopped nuts to the mix. Coconut is an easy base to enhance.
In all fairness, this dessert is a departure from the classic coconut cream pie you may be familiar with, and if you are a dessert traditionalist and like pies sugary and plenty sweet (not that there’s anything wrong with that), this may not be for you. What this does offer is a creamy, smooth, coconut-rich treat without grains, refined sugars, dairy or any baking required. It also offers a way to end a rich seder meal on a lighter note, and it sneakily satisfies both a wide range of potential dietary concerns as well as the laws of kashrut for Passover. And maybe, after a few bites, you might just feel slightly more bountiful and cosmic.