I love raw desserts. Raw desserts are so much better
for you than the traditional versions because they’re free of white flour,
white sugar, saturated fats, dairy products, and wheat–ingredients that
many people are trying to avoid. If you bring a raw dessert to a party, I guarantee you that people are
really going to appreciate having something to eat that
doesn’t have those ingredients in it. But what’s really amazing about raw
desserts is how great they taste, and they’re so easy to make. In many cases, it
just takes minutes. Any dessert that you make cooked,
you can make raw. Cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, crisps,
ice creams, mousses, puddings, candies. All of it. And in my book Raw Food Made
Easy For 1 or 2 People, I give examples of all
those different kinds of desserts. I have a sweet tooth,
and I like dessert. There are just some basic
substitutions to keep in mind. Ground nuts and coconut take
the place of flour and butter, dried fruits and other natural
sweeteners replace sugar, and avocado replaces
cream, butter, and eggs. Now it might seem strange
to use avocado in a dessert, but if you think about it,
cream and butter and eggs don’t really have that
much taste on their own. They just make desserts taste rich. And that’s what the avocado does. Once you cover it up with different
flavorings, you won’t even know it’s there. It’s just going to make the
dessert rich and creamy. I’m going to make a gourmet
chocolate mousse tart that looks like it just stepped
out of a bakery window, but you’ll see how easy it is, much easier to make than
the traditional baked version. Let’s start off with the crust. This crust is made out of
walnuts and coconut. That’s going to take the place
of the flour and the butter. And also, some dates. These are Medjool dates, which is a
variety of date that’s very soft and sweet, and that’s going to bind the crust ingredients
together and give a little bit of sweetness. And I’ll add a pinch of salt as well. We’re going to make this pie
crust in the food processor, which is the necessary tool for
making a lot of raw food desserts– –the cakes, the cookies, and the pie crusts. Usually, I soak my nuts and seeds,
but there is an exception to that, and that’s the desserts. I’m using unsoaked walnuts right now,
and the reason for that is I want a dry and crumbly
texture in this pie crust. Same is true if you were going
to use this nuts in a cake. You don’t want
it to be soggy or wet; you want it dry and crumbly. So these walnuts are not soaked. I’ll go ahead and add
those to the food processor. I’m also going to add some
shredded, dried, unsweetened coconut, and that gives a
lightness to the crust. If you use only nuts, the
crust is going to be denser, but with the coconut,
it’ll be a little bit lighter. This really is going to take the place of flour. And a pinch of salt gives a nice,
buttery taste to the crust. And we’ll go ahead and process
those ingredients until they’re crumbly. That’s looking good. It’s resembling coarse crumbs,
and that’s just what we want. Now I’m going to add the dates, just
enough to bind these ingredients together. I removed the pits
from these dates. All I did was pull them apart in
half and just removed the pit. And I recommend buying dates
that have the pits in them and taking out the pits yourself
because if you buy them already pitted, they can sometimes be a little bit dry
and they won’t process as evenly. I’m just breaking these in half so that
they process a little more quickly. And now I’m going to process this mixture
until it just begins to start binding together. That looks great. It s just starting to stick together. When I press it between my thumb and fingers,
it holds, and that’s what you’re looking for. So now we’re going to shape it. You don’t need to roll
out a raw pie crust. That’s also another thing
that makes it easier. It’s shaped with your hands. So I’m going to pour this
crumbly crust into a tart pan. You could also use a pie plate. I’m just trying to make it
a little bit fancier here. And this is a tart pan
with a removable bottom. The bottom just comes right out, and that’ll
come in handy when we’re unmolding it later. So the first step to shaping a raw pie crust is to evenly distribute the crumbs
with your thumb and fingers. And I want to do this before
I start pressing down at all. I want to get all those crumbs
right where I want them. So I’m pushing them up the sides. There’s a little piece of date there. We’ll just take that out. Sometimes that happens. You don’t want to over-process your crust, so it’s better to under-process it
and have a little bit of date in there, and you can take it out. If you over-process, it
can get a little bit oily. So I’m just distributing these crumbs,
and I’m making a lip up the side. You can see there’s about half-inch
to a three-fourth inch lip here, and we’ll need that
when we press the sides in. And then I’m spreading the rest
of the crumbs on the bottom. It might look like we have a lot of crust here, but once we press it down,
it’s really going to condense. All right, so I’ve got those crumbs distributed
and a three-fourths inch lip around the sides, and now I’m going to begin
pressing down the bottom. Just pressing firmly with my fingertips. I used walnuts and coconut in this crust,
but there are so many variations. You could use almonds; you could use macadamia nuts. That would be delicious, very buttery tasting. And I’m pressing especially firmly in this
ridge where the bottom meets the sides, and that’s important so that
when you cut the pie or tart, it doesn’t slope and you
have a nice angle. Okay. We’ve got the
bottom pressed down. Now I’m going to work on the sides. So the first step is I’m going to press in
the sides using the side of one of my thumbs, and I’m going to use the other hand to just
guide the crumbs so that they don’t fall off. It doesn’t need to look perfect yet. We can always go back and clean it up. I’m just pressing this into the
flutes at the side of the tart pan, and this would be the same step
if you were using a pie plate. You just wouldn’t
have those flutes. Now I’ll turn the pie or the
tart and just continue pressing. All right, so now that I’ve pressed in the sides,
I can just go around with my fingertips and just kind of clean up any
of those edges, making it uniform. Just pinching. And there you have a homemade raw tart
crust, much easier than rolling it out. I’m going to use this crust right away,
as soon as I make my filling. But if you want to make
the crust in advance, you can store it in your
freezer for up to three months.