since a lot of people asked…
In nc, strawberries come into season relatively early, like in april and with them, immediate sweltering summer temperatures. this recipe is absolutely perfect because it doesn’t require using any heat and is eaten cold, thus providing an enormous cooling benefit. Also, everyone can eat it– it’s vegan and easily gluten-and-dairy free. And it’s so good…guaranteed to make even the pickiest strawberry eater consume the whole thing (I should know, the boy doesn’t like strawberries as much as I do, but he will eat the whole pie to every crumb and drop.)
Raw Strawberry Pie (adapted from Domino Premiere issue, Spring/Summer 2005)
2 lbs fresh strawberries, tops removed, quartered (or sliced- it doesn’t really matter. what matters the more strawberries, the better. this would be roughly 2 pints of strawberries, but I’ve made it with 4 pints.)
1 tb fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can reduce this in half if you’re watching your sugar consumption- or if the strawberries are particularly sweet, but if you put in more strawberries, that’s just less sugar per slice 🙂
2 cups almonds, ground (the best way is to grind sliced or blanched almonds in an electric grinder- whole almonds take longer)
1 3/4 cups pitted dates (I prefer organic Medjool dates with pits- taking the pits out is not hard, and besides, you have to chop them anyway. Do not use chopped dates that are covered with oat flour- you need the stickiness of fresh dates, and the oat flour will defeat that purpose)
In a bowl, combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla and brown sugar. Mix well and put in refrigerator.
Grind the almonds if you haven’t already. Put them in another bowl and start working on dates. Remove pits from dates by slicing them in half (not all the way) and removing the pits. Flatten the dates and mince them into little bits. Your knife will get a little sticky, and date slices might stick to the other side of knife, but that’s okay. Just move them down to the cutting board and keep mincing them. Place minced dates into the bowl of ground almonds. If your hands are sticky from dates, don’t bother washing them.
Use your hands to mix the dates and almonds together into a dough. It will take some kneading, but it will work out, I promise. It should have a consistency of a slightly dry play-doh or clay. Form a ball.
Place the date-almond ball into a pie pan (if you are worried about things sticking, put a little bit of canola or grapeseed oil on the pie pan and grease thoroughly) and mold it into the pie pan as best as you can. Take the strawberries out of the fridge, and using a slotted spoon, pile berries into the crust, leaving liquid behind. You can save the liquid to put into sparkling water with maybe some sliced limes or for making a small batch of strawberry lemonade, or if you are feeling particularly plucky, you can drink it straight up- it’s so good!
This is the hard part…you have to put it in the fridge to set for two hours. Try to tell everyone in the house not to touch it until then (ha….).
You could serve it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, creme anglaise, or sprigs of mint. Or just eat it straight up.
Additional note: The crust is basically a larabar, but better. You could make a date and almond mixture, flatten it, cut up into smaller pieces and chill to make your own larabars. Though the crust is just divine when it’s already absorbed strawberry juices.