Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Non-Dairy Strawberry Banana Pudding Pie

My friend Stefaneener told me my idea for a strawberry, banana and kiwi pie sounded awful. So I thought about it a bit, and left out the kiwis. I used fructose and our bee's honey for sweetening (beyond the sweetness of the bananas, I mean), palm oil for shortening, and tapioca for starch.

Add 1/4 tsp salt to 1-1/4 cup flour (unbleached, all-purpose) and then cut in 1/2 cup palm oil, cubed and chilled. Popping the palm oil in the freezer for several minutes is sufficient to get it nice and hard. Continue cutting in the oil until you get pea-sized balls. Then add no more than 1/4 cup ice water, sprinkling about a teaspoon at a time onto the dough. Don't stir; it's sort of a folding motion, to moisten the whole mass. When it gets to the three or four big clump stage (there will be many smaller bits) collect it into a ball with as few motions as possible and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

The reason to handle the wet dough as little as possible is to make a crust that is so flaky and tender that you could fill it with a moose turd and people would come back for seconds.

Roll out your dough. You should see chunks of palm oil that aren't blended in. Bake it in a glass pie dish with a weight to hold down the middle of the crust for about 6 minutes at 450°F, then finish it off without the weight for another 8 minutes (or so. Keep an eye on it. A very thin crust will bake quickly). Let it cool.

Slice four bananas thin. If you slice them laying flat, you end up with slices that are uneven. Here's how I slice bananas to compensate for their curve. Hold the banana curve-up and you can slice it so you get nice even pieces.

Make your slices about half this thickness. I was trying to make it easy to see what I was up to.

Reserve a small handful of slices for the pudding mixture and another set of slices to place on top of the pudding.

Slice most of a pint of strawberries.

Start with banana and lay alternating layers of fruit until you run out of strawberries. The banana layer on the bottom will glue everything to the crust.

Blend 2 tbsp tapioca pearls at very high until fine. Add 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned or quick or even steel cut) and blend again until fine. Over medium heat, add water until you get a nice consistency that will pour down between your fruit layers (sorry I don't have an actual measurement for this). Add 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 or 3 tbsp of honey, and a few very well mashed-up banana slices. Pour it over your pie. It'll start to set up immediately.

Proteins in the oatmeal and sugars in the honey will link up with the tapioca and banana starches to make a very fine binder for your fruit layers.

Place your last layer of bananas on top of all this.

Blend 2 tsp tapioca pearls at high until fine. In a small saucepan, mix tapioca and 4 tsp fructose. Over medium heat whisk in 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1 tbsp lemon juice (I got to use a lemon from the our tree). Boil gently for a minute. If you boil longer, you'll notice a color change. That's okay; you're caramelizing it and the flavors will be more intense.

Pour or spoon the glaze on top of your pie. If you worked quickly enough your final banana layer hasn't oxidized. Arrange a few strawberries on top. Let it rest for about an hour before serving.

The only allergen left in this pie is the wheat. We have a community member who is sensitive, so I made her a trifle sort of thing by making all the layers and filling and glaze in a small glass bowl.

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