I’ve been berry busy lately…making pies. Summertime always brings requests for fruit and berry desserts around our house and I’m berry happy to comply! The recipe that always gets the most requests is my raspberry pie. It’s easy to make and Costco never seems to have a shortage of raspberries this time of year (and at a great price, too). So I try to make as many raspberry pies as seasonally possible during the summer months.
Over the years, I’ve tried substituting other fruits and berries for the raspberries in this recipe (thinking that the filling would accommodate any fresh berries). Unfortunately, only the raspberry version seems to consistently captivate my crew’s taste buds. I have had some success combining blackberries with raspberries, but, I don’t suggest using blackberries alone. You would really miss the tang of the raspberries. So, when I have the opportunity to get my hands on both fresh raspberries and blackberries, I make a combo–berry pie.
By the way, the filling in this pie is dairy–free and uses tofu as a base. Before you tofu haters start clicking your mouse to exit this article, let me mention that you will never notice the tofu. Tofu is usually an innocuous ingredient in recipes, which makes it perfect for assimilating the star flavor (in this case, raspberry). It almost becomes pudding–like in texture when whipped up in a blender or food processor, which gives it a smooth texture without using fat–laden cream. I didn’t tell anybody about the pie having tofu in it until after they first tried the pie (and promptly professed their love of it). Just as I expected, no one cared (even the tofu–challenged). It’s that good!
WI wine recommendation: A wine with sweetness pairs well with this dessert. Try a rosé sparkling wine or a “late harvest” wine. For something different, a late harvest Zinfandel could be very interesting.
Raspberry Dream Pie
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 2 packets of crackers)
2/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup vegetable, safflower or grape seed oil
4 cups fresh raspberries (option: substitute 2 cups with blackberries)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 cup extra–firm silken tofu (one 12.3 oz box; I like MORI-NU brand)
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (I use LUNDBERG brand, available at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream (for optional topping)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Process the graham cracker crumbs along with the pecans in a food processor until the nuts are about the same consistency as the cracker crumbs. Keep the processor running and slowly pour the oil (through the feed tube) into the processor bowl until the crumb–nut mixture absorbs it. Stop the processor and scrape the corners of the bowl to thoroughly mix the oil in.
Check the consistency of the mixture by squeezing a small amount of the mixture between your fingers. It should hold together like moist (not wet) sand. If it is too dry, mix in a little more oil. If it is too wet, mix in more graham cracker crumbs.
Press the mixture into a 10–inch pie dish. I use a smooth, round meat mallet to press the crumbs compactly into the bottom of the pie dish. This will prevent thick pie crust corners if done correctly. Use your fingers and thumb to press the side crust into an even thickness.
Bake the crust for 8–10 minutes (or until lightly–browned). Set it aside and leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, carefully rinse the fresh berries and set aside to dry on paper towels. Select about a cup of the nicest looking berries and reserve to garnish the top of the pie after it has baked and cooled.
Take the remaining 3 cups of berries and combine with the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Process the tofu, rice syrup and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Scrape the tofu mixture into the bowl of berries and carefully fold in the mixture. Try not to squish the berries.
Spoon the filling into the baked crust and smooth it until the top is even.
Put the pie back into the oven and bake for another 7–10 minutes (until the filling just barely starts setting up).
Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool to room temperature. Garnish the top of the pie with the reserved cup of fresh berries once it has cooled down.
Chill the pie in the fridge until serving time. Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Baker’s notes: You can substitute frozen berries for the 3 cups that get mixed into the filling if you come up short on fresh berries. Don’t use frozen berries for the garnish, though. I’ve also substituted golden syrup for the rice syrup with nice results. Either regular or low–fat tofu can be used. Just be sure it is extra–firm and silken for the creamiest results.
August 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Thanks for the recipe! I love both raspberries and blackberries and this pie looks delectable! I’m not afraid of using or eating tofu, so I’m going to give this a try.
this looks like a great vegan dessert recipe. like the pie plate!
Looks good – not sure about tofu, but might be worth a try.
That looks stunning! I can’t wait to try this at home!