Virtual Vegan Potluck: French Silk Pie

For this years Virtual Vegan Potluck, I’m bringing dessert: a rich, creamy, and oh-so-decadent French Silk Pie. I hope you saved some room for a slice!

This is one of those recipes where the statement “they won’t even know it’s vegan” will actually be true. This pie is rich, delectable, both heavenly and sinful – an absolute indulgent dessert. It’s so chocolatey. It’s so dreamy, creamy… the crust is flaky and crispy… mmmm…

This pie would be a wonderful dessert to bring to a holiday party. It’s the perfect “pie and coffee” dessert. Or pie and soynog… oh.. yes.  I’m just going to let the photos do most of the talking for me on this one…

Vegan French Silk Pie
makes 1 standard size pie

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening (I used Earth Balance shortening sticks)
2 tablespoons chilled canola oil
4-6 tablespoons ice water

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked in water overnight)
1 cup vanilla hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 – 8 ounce container vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s brand), at room temperature
8 ounces semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
3/4 cup vegan natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
dash of salt

In a bowl, prepare the crust by sifting together the flour and the salt. Cut the shortening into chunks and cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter or strong wire whisk until the mixture is crumbly. Cut in the chilled canola oil. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Form dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Drain the water from the cashews. In a blender or food processor, blend the cashews and the hemp milk until very smooth and creamy. Add all the other ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to the blender and blend well to combine. In a double-boiler (or carefully in the microwave) melt the chocolate chips. Once melted, add the chocolate to the blender and blend to combine. Set aside.

Remove the pastry dough from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. On a clean, floured surface, use a rolling-pin to roll out the dough in the shape of a large, flat disk the size of your pie pan. Carefully place crust into the pie pan; press to the sides and bottom of the pie pan. Using a knife, or pastry scissors if you have them (I don’t) trim the edges of the pie crust. With a fork, poke 5 or 6 times in the bottom of the crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour in the chocolate pie filling. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving and topping with coconut whipped cream (recipe follows).

Coconut Whipped Cream
Makes enough whipped cream for one pie

1 – 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream), chilled overnight in refrigerator
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Scoop off the top of the coconut cream from the can (it will be very firm and you will be left with coconut water) and place in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Using an electric beater or stand-mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is fluffy. Add the coconut flour and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. If your whipped cream is too stiff, add a bit of the leftover coconut water. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When the pie is completely cool, spoon coconut whipped cream into a pastry bag, and pipe on top of the pie. Garnish the top of the whipped cream with chocolate shavings (optional).

Thanks Virtual Vegan Potluck! I can’t wait to see what everyone is bringing to the table!

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