There are only three ingredients:
2 cups raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, etc) – don’t soak the nuts
1 cup dates, pitted
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
Put the raw nuts in a food processor, and blend with the S-blade until the nuts are reduced to small crumbs. (This will be very noisy when you first turn on the machine.) Add the dates and salt, and blend again until there are no more chunks of dates. The end result should look like loose crumbs.
Pour the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate, and use your hands to press them into the form of a pie crust. It may take a little practice to get it to look symmetrical, but it isn’t difficult. I usually start by pressing straight down to get the bottom flat, and then I press around the sides as I turn the pie plate. You can make the pie crust flush with the top of the pie plate, or you can create a lip around the edges. The strawberry pie shown above has a lip; the other photos show pies without the lip. Sculpt it however you like.
Put the pie crust in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This helps it become more firm and solid. Fortunately this is just enough time to prepare the filling.
There are countless variations on the ingredients you can use to make the crust, but generally the best place to start is with raw nuts and some kind of chewy dried fruit. Instead of dates you can use raisins or figs.
The salt is optional, but I find that a little salt in the crust makes for a nice contrast to the sweet fruit mixture that will fill the pie.
You can also add some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. If you like the taste of coconut, try adding some shredded coconut as well.
How to Make the Fruit Filling
Making the filling is quite simple and only requires three ingredients:
6 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, etc.
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup dates, soaked about 10 minutes
Blueberry pie is the easiest to make because the blueberries don’t require any prep work other than washing. If you’re using larger fruits, you’ll need to cut them into smaller chunks. If you’re making strawberry pie, cut off the stem part, and cut the strawberries into quarters (into sixths or eighths if the berries are very large). For cherry pie, pit the cherries and then quarter each cherry. For apple pie, cut the apples into thin slices or small chunks.
Put 2 cups of the fruit, the lemon juice, and the soaked dates (minus the soak water) into a blender or Vita-Mix, and blend until you have a smooth liquid. Put the remaining 4 cups of fruit into a large bowl, and pour the blended mixture over it. Mix it together.
Take your pie crust out of the freezer, and pour the fruit mixture into it. Use a rubber spatula to spread the filling into the crust.
Viola! Your pie is done. You can actually eat it right now, but it’s best if you refrigerate it for at least an hour or two.
The blueberry pie is easiest and tends to come out best because the blueberries hold their moisture well. If you use strawberries or other fruits and cut them into small pieces, they’ll release some of their moisture as the pie sits in the fridge, so the crust will become wetter. This isn’t a big deal for my family because our pies rarely last more than a day anyway.
You can make pies with frozen fruit, but you’ll need to thaw and drain the fruit first. Personally I prefer fresh fruit pies. One time I made a blueberry pie for a potluck with organic frozen blueberries, and everyone still loved it.
Use your imagination to create different flavors and textures for the filling. You can add other ingredients to the sauce, like adding cinnamon for an apple pie. You can also mix and match different fruits. For example, you could use a strawberry sauce for a blueberry pie and vice versa.