There are 3 types of consistency that you can aim for when making the base for your raw vegan desserts. Raw vegan pie crusts, raw vegan cookie crusts, and raw vegan brownie crusts. Actually, most of these dessert bases will come out more like a cookie or a brownie, not so much like a flaky pie crust, but I actually prefer it that way.
Raw Vegan Pie Crust recipe: I haven’t made this yet, but I think that the closest you’re going to get to a flaky pie crust is by splurging and following this recipe which uses nothing but macadamia nuts. Expensive and I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it’s delicious. Just look at that photo! As soon as I get my hands on some Irish Moss, I’ll be trying this.
Raw Vegan Cookie Crust recipe: This is generally made with a combination of nuts and seeds and dates. Depending on what type of nut you use, it will produce more or less oil. You canalso add some coconut or coconut butter as desired. First you blitz your nuts or seeds of choice into a “flour” and then you start adding your dates. The crust is ready when the base still looks a bit floury (not fully making a ball of dough) but you can clump some of it together and it sticks. There are recipes out there that call for a lot of ingredients and are a little bit more fussy (though I’m sure delicious) like this one, but otherwise here’s a basic guideline for about a 9X9 inch pan:
- 1.5 to 2 cups of nuts or a combination of nuts, seeds and coconut
- 6 dates to 1 cup of dates, depending on how oily the nuts are that you use. Example: almonds and sunflower seeds are quite dry, walnuts and pecans fall somewhere in the middle, cashews more so, pistachios and macadamia nuts are the oiliest.
I love brownies and they’re my favourite base, both for flavour as well as texture, when it comes to anything calling for chocolate. This worked extremely well as the base for my Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake recipe.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup dates
- .33 cup raw cocoa nibs, or cocoa powder
- For the crust, start by blitzing the walnuts in the food processor until the walnuts start to release some oil and begin to clump together, so past the “flour” stage.
- Start adding the dates a few at a time until all of the dates have been added and this comes together as a kind of moist dough.
- Add the cocoa nibs or powder. Blend until combined.
- Press into a tray or springform pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
A note about the base for raw vegan desserts. I generally like to get this out of the way a day in advance of the rest of the recipe. It has to chill in the fridge or freezer anyway, so I find this much more convenient. However, if you’re making the base on the same day as the rest of your “baking” I recommend doing it last. Why? Because you don’t have to clean the food processor out in between the filling and the base. Just put your filling in a bowl and let it chill in the fridge separately while you use the food processor to whip up your base. There’s no harm done in getting a bit of the previous tasty residue into the base, it won’t be noticeable, and if you’re like me you probably don’t relish cleaning the food processor over and over again so save yourself some hassle. Just sayin’.
A general tip about preventing your dessert from sticking to the pan. You could line your pan with parchment/wax paper, but if you’d like to be a bit more environmentally conscious you can sprinkle some coconut on the bottom before you press the dough in and this will help it not to stick. Another magical use for coconut!