As it happens, today is International Macadamia Nut Day and I do love me a macadamia nut or two. Since I've been wanting to try this recipe for a Raw Blueberry Pie, I decided to try it with a few macadamia tweaks. (Incidentally, try typing macadamia multiple times - not easy).
Before we get into the recipe, a few words of caution about nuts. Everyone thinks you can just buy them, keep them in a bag, and they never go off. Right?
Nuts have a shelf life. Eat them once they've gone past that shelf life and they will be soft, not to mention taste rancid. And we don't want a rancid pie now, do we?
So buy your nuts fresh and keep them in an airtight container. Use them within three months. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to one year. And don't worry about them tasting odd after defrosting - their low water content means the taste will not be changed.
The other thing to note for this recipe is that you don't want salted nuts, and my local grocery store carries very few nuts that are unsalted. Your best bets may be Whole Foods or some other place that sells bulk nuts.
So on to the recipe. Instead of using a pastry or cooked base, this pie uses nuts and dates. You want to make sure both are FRESH. No ifs, ands or buts. Stale nuts will not a good pie make. I made some alterations to the recipe given on GoodGirlGoneGreen, mainly in the types of nuts I used. Next time, I will use fewer nuts for the base, perhaps 2 - 2 1/2 cups total instead of 3. Also, the base improves in consistency if you make the pie one day and eat it the next. Hubby is not a nut person so he says he'd prefer a biscuit base next time, but he does enjoy the filling.
Blueberry Pie with Nut Crust
This pie has three individual layers: a crust, a blueberry filling, and a blueberry topping. Of course, you can substitute a biscuit base if you wish.
To make the crust, you need:
About 2 1/2 cups nuts (see my note above).
About 16 fresh pitted dates.
The original recipe called for pistachios and walnuts. Hubby doesn't like walnuts, so we used almonds and pistachios. Next time, I'd probably use a combination of almonds and macadamias for a much more delicate flavor. This is where the need for fresh nuts really comes through. The base will taste bad if they are not at their best.
Put the nuts in your blender and grind until fine. Add the dates and continue to blend. The stickiness of the dates will eventually hold the nuts together.
Press the mix into the base of a pie dish (I used a nice new PamperedChef stoneware dish) and put in the freezer for a while to help it set a bit more.
Next, we need to make the pie filling. You can probably use a different berry is you prefer, but I love my blueberries.
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tbs maple syrup (I used local Kentucky maple syrup)
2 tbs melted coconut oil
1 cup macadamia nuts that you've soaked in water overnight
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put the nuts in to the blender first and grind until fine. You don't want to find the odd whole nut in your pie. Add the other ingredients and blend well. Pour over the nut crust and freeze until it is set.
And finally, add the topping. As you can see from my pics, despite following the instructions in the original recipe, my topping didn't cover the entire pie so feel free to toss in more fruit.
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend half a cup of the fruit with the maple syrup and vanilla to make a sauce. Add the remaining fruit and stir (but don't blend). Pour over the top of your pie.
I then put my pie in the fridge to store until we were ready to eat it. As you can see from the pic below, it makes a delicious breakfast when accompanied by a dollop of Greek yogurt and some fresh raspberries.