We’ve included two recipes here that are great grain-free replacements for those graham cracker crusts we all know and love. The first is our Pecan Crust we use in both our Heavenly Berry Chocolate Pie and our Key Lime Cheese Cake recipes.
- 8-10 oz organic pecan halves or pieces (this will make 1 1/2 – 2 C pecan meal)
- 4 Tbs butter , melted
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs coconut flour , optional
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon , optional
For the filling:
- 1 package 8 oz full fat cream cheese , softened (preferably organic and w/o additives like carrageenan)
- 1/4 to 1/2 C dark chocolate chips , melted (we like SunSpire or Enjoy Life brands)
- 1 C full fat heavy cream , whipped (we prefer raw, grass-fed cream OR Kalona or another grass-fed, clean brand)
- 1/4 C coconut sugar or date sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- garnish with sliced fresh strawberries or other berries
- melt a few extra tablespoons of chocolate chips and a tiny bit of coconut oil together. Using a spoon drizzle it on top of the berries on your pie. So pretty and…more chocolate!
First, make your crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Thoroughly butter a pie dish (or spring form pan or tart pan or mini pie dishes…whatever you prefer to use!)
- In a small sauce pot set your 4 Tbs of butter over medium heat so it can melt while you’re working with the pecans.
- Using a food processor, pulse 8 to 10 oz pecans (halves or pieces – organic is best) until you have a meal about the consistency of heavy sand. Stop twice or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl. You want to see how course the pecans still look and make sure you aren’t making pecan butter!
- In a medium size mixing bowl place your fresh pecan meal, salt, cinnamon (optional), coconut flour (if using – it just helps to bind), melted butter and honey. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined. It will feel like course, very wet Play-Doh.
- Dump the mixture into the middle of your buttered dish and use your hands to press it into a thin (you know, normal crust thickness) layer from the center out and up the sides. Watch our crust-making video above to see how I do it.
- Place your crust into the oven for 18 min. You can check a few minutes early but this shouldn’t over cook it unless you have some very thin spots. Even so, it will just be a bit browner. Nothing to worry about. The crust will firm up as it cools.
- Your crust does need to cool completely before putting in the filling so you can make it earlier in the day or the day before and just wait to make your filling when you’re ready to put it in the crust. It doesn’t take long
Make your filling:
- First, in a medium size mixing bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, vanilla and the coconut (or date if you don’t do coconut) sugar until combined and smooth. I do this with an electric hand mixer like this one. You could use a stand mixer as well.
- Set that aside and melt your chocolate chips in a small metal or glass (or other heat proof) bowl over a small pot of boiling water on the stove. This is a make shift double boiler and keeps your chocolate off of direct heat where it could burn. We don’t recommend the microwave for heating food.
- Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and mix that up until combined.
- Set that aside and whip your heavy cream – In a separate medium size bowl place the 1 C of cold heavy cream and, using the hand mixer or your stand mixer, whip it until stiff. This takes a few minutes. Start slow so you don’t slosh the cream everywhere. Once it starts to thicken you can turn the speed on the mixer up more.
- Now, again using the mixer, combine 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Once its smooth add another 1/3 of the whipped cream. Mix. Add the last 1/3 and mix until smooth. If you do this my hand it is hard to get the lumps smoothed out.
- Pour the filling into your cooled pie crust and use a flat spatula to even it out if needed.
Put the pie in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once chilled you can garnish the top with strawberries or any other berry. Keep in the fridge until time to serve. Cover and store in the fridge as well. Melt a little extra chocolate and drizzle it on top for extra pizzazz!
Recipe Notes – Be sure to watch our video of me making this crust if you need a little more help! CLICK