Pie! Who doesn’t enjoy a good pie every once in awhile? With so many different types of pies, it’s really hard not to find at least one you like. You’ve got fruit pies, cream pies, pudding pies, savoury pies, and if you are like my family, cheesecake is even classified as PIE.
In my family, we generally had pie only two or three times a year when I was growing up, Thanksgiving and Christmas being two of those occasions. When we did do pies, there was usually a minimum of 5 flavours, pretty much all of which came from a box, a Jello-O pudding box to be precise, except the pumpkin pie, which came from a can. And of course, nothing goes better with those processed pies then a pre-made graham cracker crust and Cool Whip whipped cream.
After I moved to the UK, I missed pudding pie so anytime I went home or had a care package sent, a box of chocolate Jell-O instant pudding was always on my list so I could indulge my pie cravings any time of the year. Then after being here a few years, I came across a can of Libby’s pumpkin purée, so I started making pumpkin pie from a can as well and before long, pumpkin pie was my new favorite because I didn’t have to wait until I went stateside to get the main ingredient.
A few years ago, when things changed in my life and I started eating healthier and making things on my own, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a pie from scratch, so naturally, I figured I would go for a pumpkin pie first. However, because pumpkin is one of those vegetables you can only get in the fall and sadly for me that had just passed it wasn’t gonna happen, so I started looking for other pie recipes to try out. I was never much for baked fruit so those were out and I wanted something that at least gave me the illusion that I was being healthy, so homemade pudding pies were also out. Then I got a Jamie Oliver cookbook with recipes from the US and in it was a recipe for Sweet Potato pie. I could go for that, it was veggie based (i.e. ‘Healthy’) and spiced similarly to a pumpkin pie, BINGO!
Well, needless to say, sweet potato pie and I became best friends. I made it anytime I wanted pie or had company over, and it was always the dessert I brought to gatherings. That is until I could no longer have gluten, dairy, eggs, or sugar, which eliminated pretty much all the ingredients except the sweet potato 😭
So much to my dismay, my love affair with sweet potato pie was over. I tried various other alternative, healthy pies, but they were all very delicate and volatile. I don’t know how many times I’ve had pies melt as soon as I took them out of the fridge to bring to a party. And then there were the raw ones that were chewy instead of soft and creamy. I tried many and they were all disasters for the most part.
Then I found this recipe on Pinterest from Audrey at Unconventional Baker awhile ago. I tucked it away on one of my boards, and never gave it a second look as I had so many other baking projects to try. Sadly, I had forgotten it until a couple months ago, when I felt like pie and remembered it. It was a chocolate pumpkin pie which I thought was interesting as I’d never seen that combination before. At the time though, I didn’t have any pumpkin, so I just swapped it out for sweet potato and the result was fantastic. I served it a party I hosted and everyone loved it (kudos to Audrey for her recipe providing many smiles that night). I used it a few more times with success but then I decided I wanted to create something a little different to what Audrey had done, and something that would reignite my love affair with sweet potato pie. So using her recipe as a starting point, I started testing and I ended up creating a very different and very delicious CHOCOLATE Sweet Potato Pie that had a pudding consistency. It was like the chocolate Jello-O pudding pie of my youth and the sweet potato pie I had once loved so fondly made a baby.
While I was at it, and since I’d run out of coconut flour, I figured I’d try my hand at a traditional style crust but with cassava flour. However, although I got a couple decent crusts, none had the crispness I like and were rather chewy in a not good way once they were refrigerated, so I decided to go another route and ended up with a coconut based brownie crust. This crust came out soft and slightly chewy (in a good way) and it paired beautifully with the silky, smooth, creamy sweet potato filling. I mean look at it, it’s gorgeous.
Now I know the holidays are only just now starting to fade away from everyone’s memory, so some of you may still be pied out, but I promise this pie will be worth digging out the pie tins again.
- 1 1/4 Cup Desiccated coconut (Fine)
- 1/4 Cup Tapioca Stach
- 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder (Use carob for AIP)
- 3 Tablespoons Coconut oil (Melted)
- 3 Tablespoons Honey, Maple syrup or Agave
- 1/2 Cup Sweet potato puree
- 1 1/2 Cup Sweet potato puree
- 1/2 Cup Honey, Maple syrup or Agave
- 2/3 Cup Coconut oil (Melted)
- 1/3 Cup Coconut milk (Canned, Full-fat)
- 1/2 Cup Cacao powder (Sub carob for AIP)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pink himalayan salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas 4
- Mix together the coconut, tapioca starch and cacao (or carob) powder. (See note below)
- Mix the coconut oil, sweetener and sweet potato together until smooth. (I use a blender for this)
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients together to bring the dough together.
- Press the dough into your pie tin, bringing it up the sides.
- Prick the base with a fork and then chill for 15-20 minutes.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. The base and sides should be dry, but still soft and spongey, with browning along the edges.
- Allow to cool completely and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a high speed blender or food processor, combine all the filling ingredients.
- Blend on high until a smooth, glassy, pudding like consistency. It should be thick, but pourable.
- Pour into the chilled pie crust smoothing out the top. (if you want to add something like cacao nibs like I did, this is a great time to do that.)
- Allow to chill for at least two hours before serving.
- If you don't have fine coconut, you can use a blender or food processor on low to blend the coconut to a finer consistency. You want it to be of a dirt consistency, not powder, but not huge grains