Dairy-Free Cream Pie with Tahini & Chocolate
By Aly Miller, thenosher.com
Using tahini instead of peanut butter is one of my classic moves, and I know I’m not the only one. Tahini adds a nutty flavor with a hint of bitterness that goes perfectly with a smooth, dark chocolate. Sometimes, sesame seeds themselves are called for.
My discerning roommates and neighbors enlisted themselves every weekend as taste testers for months, happily devouring each version.
In the end, the recipe with the simplest ingredients and easiest directions won out. You won’t find any tricky gluten-free ingredients or dairy substitutes in here — you might even have these items ready and waiting in your pantry. Since the directions are so easy, I think you’ll find that the hardest part is waiting for it to chill.
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 heaping cup pitted dates, soaked for 10 minutes
2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt, more to taste
2 cans full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in the refrigerator
1 cup tahini
4 Tbsp. maple syrup or powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. semi-dark chocolate
4 Tbsp. almond milk or dairy-free milk
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Materials: Either an 8-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper or a 9-inch pie plate. Hand mixer or stand mixer and a food processor.
First, chill a tall glass or metal mixing bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the crust: In a food processor, blend the walnuts, drained dates, sesame seeds, cocoa powder and salt until the mixture looks blended throughout. Walnuts should be processed into small pieces, and dates should be smooth like a paste.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your pie pan of choice. If you want to use a springform pan (to display the pie without a plate), be sure to line it as best you can with parchment paper. Use your fingers to press the crust in an even layer on the bottom and sides.
Next, make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate in a double boiler and let it melt for a minute or two. Then add milk, whisking until your ganache has a smooth, even consistency.
Spread ganache onto the bottom of the pie and top with sesame seeds. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to firm up.
Last, make the filling: Remove the cans of coconut milk from the refrigerator and open them. Carefully scoop out the hardened, creamy top layer (about half the can) into your chilled bowl.
Try not to scoop any of the coconut water that sits below the cream into the bowl. Pour the coconut water into another container to use in smoothies.
Next, with the mixer turned off, break the chunks of coconut milk into smaller pieces by pressing the blender into the hardened coconut cream.
Mix on the lowest setting until it comes together as a stiff, whipped cream texture, gradually mixing faster.
Add the tahini, vanilla and powdered sugar or maple syrup. Blend until smooth, about 30 more seconds.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the filling atop the ganache. Refrigerate for two to three more hours and serve.