This creamy vanilla Cream Pie with Pecan Crust is No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, and absolutely delicious! This is a great dessert for any time of the year, but especially during the hot summer months.
Vanilla Cream Pie with Pecan Crust
These Vanilla Cream Pies are amazing. Not amazing for a Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free dessert. You know how people will say “This is good for a healthy dessert”. No!
I mean these are amazing for ANY dessert. I’ve had plenty of creamy desserts make with milk and cream and these vegan cream pies can stand up to those desserts any day.
One key ingredient in this dessert is Agar Agar. It’s made from seaweed (I believe) but it has absolutely no flavor so don’t worry about your dessert tasting like the ocean! Agar Agar is the vegan version of gelatin. The recipe will not work without it, but it’s pretty easy to find. I ALWAYS find it at Asian grocery stores. Just ask an employee and they should know exactly what it is. Don’t buy it from Health Food Stores if you don’t have to because many of those stores charge a gazillion times more than the Asian grocery stores.
Also, make sure you purchase Agar Agar Powder, not the Flakes. For some reason, the flakes do not have the same gelatinizing strength as the powder. If you can only find the flakes then you might have to double the amount you use.
In order to activate the agar agar you will have to mix it with water, heat it in a pan or pot, and stir stir stir! Don’t stop stirring for 5 minutes. You want to remove as much of the powdery agar agar clumps as possible so the mixture becomes smooth and thick.
Another important tip when using agar agar in any recipe is to have your food (whatever you’re adding the agar agar to) in a mixing bowl, blender, or food processor beforehand. Once the agar agar is activated you’ll want to immediately add it to your mixture, in this case it will be the creamy vanilla custard mixture, and start to blend/stir/mix right away. The agar agar mixture hardens very quickly so don’t rush and make a mess, but don’t take your sweet time on this step.
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Delicious mini Vanilla Cream Pies that are vegan, gluten free, and easy to make!
- Pecan Crust:
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 cup pecans
- Vanilla Cream Filling:
- 2 cups cashews
- 3 cups filtered water
- 8 – 10 pitted medjool dates
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons agar agar powder + ¾ cups filtered water
- paper muffin liners
- cupcake pan
- Prepare the muffin liners in the cupcake pan.
- To make the crust, place the pecans and dates in a food processor. Pulse the processor every few seconds until the dates and pecans form a crumbly mixture. You should be able to grab some of this pecan mixture in your hand, squeeze it, and it should hold its shape. Press about 2 tablespoons or so of this pecan crust into the botton of each muffin liner. Set aside.
- Place the cashews, 3 cups water, dates, vanilla beans, and salt in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Leave this mixuture in the blender for now.
- Place a small non-stick pot on medium heat. Add the ¾ cup of water and agar agar. Stir constantly for 5 minutes. Do not stop stirring. This mixture will thicken as you cook it. Agar Agar works like gelatin to thicken the cream mixture and cooking activates its thickening properties.
- After 5 minutes pour the agar agar mixture into the blender with the cream and blend for about 10 – 15 seconds, or until the agar agar is fully incorporated. The cream mixture will thicken immediately once you start blending and your blender might have a little trouble, but make sure the agar agar is evenly distributed.
- Quickly pour the vanilla cream mixture into the muffin liners, on top of the pecan crust. The cream will start to thicken fast, so don't take too long to complete this step.
- If you'd like, you can top these vanilla cream pies with a few chopped pecans and a drizzle of vegan chocolate sauce, but these will still taste delicious if you skip this step.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place the mini vanilla cream pies in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until they are completely firm. Enjoy!
Use pitted California Dates if you cannot find Medjool Dates.