ABOUT THE RECIPE:
This delightful and delicious vegan strawberry cream pie provides the perfect showcase for fresh, ripe strawberries or raspberries. The filling is so creamy you will not believe it’s based in raw cashews and tofu. Easy to assemble and super yummy!
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan cookie crumbs or vegan graham cracker crumbs (see notes)
3 to 5 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini, as needed
1½ tablespoons dairy-free milk
1 block (16 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu (refrigerated variety)
1/2 block (8 ounces) soft silken tofu (refrigerated variety, see note)
1⁄3 cup raw cashews
1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan white sugar or your preferred dry sweetener
16 ounces fresh strawberries (see note)
2 tablespoons seedless strawberry preserves or jam (see note)
2½ teaspoons water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the crust, put the cookie crumbs, 3 heaping tablespoons tahini and 1½ tablespoons dairy-free milk in a medium-sized bowl and combine using a large fork or dough blender. Add more tahini until the crumbs are moistened, but still crumbly in texture (consistency of "wet sand"). Press the crumb mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Put the pie pan on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the crust cools, put the extra-firm regular tofu, silken tofu, cashews and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the tofu mixture over the partially cooled crust. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the pie is still slightly soft, but almost firm to the touch (cover the outer rim of the crust with thin strips foil during the last 15 minutes of baking if crust is getting too brown). Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.
While the pie bakes, trim 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch off the wide end of each strawberry. Then, when the pie is out of the oven but still warm, arrange the strawberries, flat end down, in a pleasing pattern on top of the pie, gently pressing the end of each strawberry into the filling so it stands upright. Put the preserves and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Spread the preserves evenly over the top of the strawberries using a pastry brush or small spoon.
Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours before serving. Carefully cut the pie into slices (the filling will be slightly soft). Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days.
Chef’s Note: To make cookie crumbs, put 1½ to 2 cups of broken up vegan cookies in a blender, and process into coarse crumbs. Add more cookies, as needed, to make the amount of crumbs needed for this recipe.
Chef's Note: For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free cookies or graham crackers for the crust.
Chef’s Note: For a firmer pie, omit the silken tofu and use 1/2 block (8 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu (in place of the silken tofu).
Chef's Note: if preferred, you can use fresh raspberries and seedless raspberry preserves (or jam) in place of the strawberries.