No-Bake Almond Butter Pie

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It’s been in the mid-80s here in northern California this week. The beautiful, warm days have made me want to spend all day outside while avoiding the hot kitchen. Tonight I was craving something decadent but it had to be something that didn’t require turning on my oven!

I recalled chilled peanut butter pies I’d had over the years, usually at picnics or church potlucks. They were always deeply rich and intense in flavor while still being refreshing. It seemed the perfect solution. Given that our son has an allergy to peanuts, I made my pie with almond butter. It gives the dessert an unexpected twist and a serving of good, healthy protein. But feel free to make this with peanut butter instead. It would be equally delicious!

This pie is perfect for an evening at home with the family (it was a plate-licking dessert for my kids, for sure!) or as a simple, show-stopping dessert for guests. Mix up the toppings to fit your mood; I used finely shredded coconut but be creative. Nuts, fruit, vegan candies, chocolate shavings… oh, the possibilities!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the graham cracker crust

  • 1.5 cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 6 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

For the pie filling

  • 1 cup creamy, unsweetened, unsalted almond butter (not raw). If yours is salted and sweetened, reduce the amount of powdered sugar and salt to taste.
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the chocolate ganache

  • 4 oz vegan chocolate
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
  • finely shredded coconut (optional, for garnish)

First make the pie crust. Place the graham crackers into a food processor and grind them into fine crumbs. Add the vegan margarine and sugar and pulse into well-combined. Firmly and evenly press the mixture into a pie plate. I seem to have misplaced my pie plate so I used a 9-inch shallow cake pan instead. It still worked perfectly! Chill the crust in the refrigerator for one hour.

In the meantime, prepare the pie filling. I use a wonderful brand of almond butter called Barney Bare. I buy this stuff three jars at at time from Whole Foods. It’s that good. You’ll notice it says “crunchy” almond butter but it’s really mostly creamy with the occasional chunk of almond. If you don’t like any chunkiness in your almond butter then look for one that’s completely smooth.

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This almond butter is really more creamy than chunky. I found it to be perfect for this recipe!

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until completely blended.

Once the graham cracker crust has been chilled for an hour, remove it from the refrigerator and pour the pie filling into the shell. Use a spatula to level it out.

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Place the pie back into the refrigerator while you make the chocolate ganache.

Simply melt the vegan chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Pour in the almond milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is an even, dark brown color. Remove the pie again and pour the chocolate ganache over the filling, spreading it with a spatula or spoon. I prefer to spread the chocolate almost to the edges of the pan, without covering all of the almond butter filling. By leaving some of the filling visible, the pie has a beautiful visual contrast of colors.

Place the pie back into the refrigerator to chill for at least another full hour before serving. Once you are ready to serve the pie, sprinkle it with the shredded coconut or other topping of choice. Slice and serve immediately!

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almondbutterpie6Happy eating!

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