For pies that require no baking, rely on this recipe for a pie crust that magically comes together with only three ingredients. This crust plays a dual role. In addition to creating a base for a pie filing, it actually contributes nutty texture, flavor, and sweetness to the pie. Contributed by Zel Allen, reprinted from The Nut Gourmet.* Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Yield: 1 (9-inch) crust
- 1 ½ cups whole almonds
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates, chopped
- Water as needed
Grind the almonds into a fine but not powdery meal in the food processor. Add the dates and enough water to form a dough that holds together when pressed, starting with 1 tablespoon and adding a tablespoon at a time. This depends on how moist the dates are, but in any case you won't need much water!
Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl and redistribute the ingredients.
Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Cover and chill for an hour or and fill as desired.
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Zel and Reuben Allen host the popular, long-running webzine Vegetarians in Paradise.
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ellen lehn says
Can you also use this crust with pies that need to be baked?
Ellen-- I'll check with the author of this post and get the answer up her as soon as she responds.
Mary Jo Wilson says
could you use raisins, as my husband can't eat dates
Mary Jo -- I've also put this question to the author of this post and let's see what she says in her response. My initial thought on the raisins is that they'd work, but you may need to add 1 -2 tablespoons of water, as dates have less skin surface and are more moist. I wonder, too, if moist, unsulphured dried apricots might be a good substitute for dates.
Zel Allen says
Ellen--Though I haven't actually used this crust for a baked pie, I'm guessing it would hold up rather well and might even contribute a pleasing texture and flavor.
Mary Joe--I have also made this crust with the same quantity of dried cranberries in place of the dates. I had to increase the water to about 4 or 5 tablespoons total. It was really delicious and contributed a pleasing sweet-tart flavor. You could certainly try raisins, but I think they may be a bit too sweet and cloying. I love Nava's suggestion to use moist unsulphured dried apricots. That actually sounds so good, I can almost feel it pulling me into the kitchen.
Wondering if you could add some dark cocoa powder,to make it a chocolate crust (to use as base for the Buckeye Pie on this website)??
Oh yes, that's a great idea. Go for it!
Jo Ellen says
If we soaked the dates beforehand, would we still need to add water into the mixer?