I’m preparing to host my very first Easter dinner tomorrow – a totally plant-based menu with all the fixins! Go big or go home, I say. Usually we go to my in-laws for Easter, but this year my sister-in-law had to stay close to home for an event so we offered to host. I’m making a ridiculous amount of food including many recipes from my next cookbook. So pumped. I just need to scrounge together enough chairs and pray that we all fit at our table! Ok, that is definitely not happening…but what would a big family get together be without a kids table?!
Cooking has been more fun than usual these days because I have an audience now – a 6 1/2 month old baby who loves to watch her mama in the kitchen! Adriana is very curious as to what I’m doing in there all the time and she smiles at me from the table and even laughs at all the right moments, such as when I bust out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star complete with a made up dance routine. I’m now a cook/entertainer all at once. What an ego boost, let me tell you. Did I mention I burned two desserts last weekend? I can’t imagine why…
This pie, however, came together without a hitch. Sa-weet. If you’re like me, you might even find you have all the ingredients on hand which makes me want to cry happy tears because I didn’t need one more grocery trip on a holiday weekend. Or should I say Eric doesn’t need one more grocery trip on a holiday weekend…bahaha. I don’t know about you, but when I realize that I have all the ingredients for a recipe I’m like that Ikea commercial, only instead of running to the car I’m running to my kitchen… START THE OVEN, START THE OVEN!
I’m not weird, not weird at all.
Last year I had the opportunity to preview Sarah Britton’s debut cookbook, My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season, based on her beautiful whole foods recipe blog. I’ve long admired Sarah’s unbridled enthusiasm for plant-based food; in fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever come across someone who is so passionate about vegetables, not to mention, knowledgeable about how they impact our health.
This cookbook is gorgeous with beautiful food photography and interior design (I’m a bit of a cookbook nerd these days, often gushing over paper stock of all things). There are 100 creative vegetarian recipes with many vegan options. Some of the ingredients are a bit uncommon or difficult to find, but I expect if you have a solid farmer’s market and health food store handy you’ll be able to find many of the ingredients in the right season. Just in case you aren’t sure which ingredients are in season, the cookbook is conveniently divided into 5 sections by season (spring, early summer, late summer, autumn, and winter). I love that summer is divided into two seasons; it totally makes sense because there’s so much coming into season over the summer months. One thing’s for sure, Sarah’s recipes will help you bust out of a cooking rut and get adventurous in the kitchen.
Here is a sample of recipes from My New Roots:
- Buckwheat Crepes with Creamy Purple String Bean Slaw
- Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip
- Shaved Turnip and Radish Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- Oyster Mushroom Bisque
- Apricot Rhubarb Clafoutis
- Caramelized Fennel on Herbed Polenta
- Roasted Cauliflower with Lebanese Lentils and Kaniwa
- Trippy Tie-Dye Soup
- Butternut Stacks with Kale Pesto, Kasha, and Butter Beans
Today, I’m excited to share this dreamy Banoffee Pie recipe from her new cookbook. I’ll be serving it tomorrow along with a few other desserts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (yes, I had to eat a slice before serving it tomorrow…don’t judge). I’m predicting it won’t last long because who on earth can resist the combo of coconut whipped cream, banana, oats, and date caramel? Anyone?
This Banoffee Pie is decadent while still feeling super light and healthy. The almond-oat crust is layered with sticky date caramel, sweet banana coins, luxurious whipped coconut cream, and shaved dark chocolate, for a pie that's sure to impress. This recipe is adapted from My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season. Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Britton. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup (78 g) raw almonds
- 2 cups (200 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (23 mL) water, or as needed
For the Raw Caramel Toffee:
- 1 1/2 cups (340 g) pitted Medjool dates
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) smooth almond butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 vanilla bean, seeded, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (optional)
For the filling:
- 2 (14-ounce/398 mL) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight*
- Raw Caramel Toffee (from above)
- 3 large (600 g) ripe bananas, sliced into thick “coins”
- 2 squares (6 g) dark chocolate, shaved
- Place 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or for at least 12 hours) to allow the coconut cream to solidify.
- For the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grab an 8- to 10-inch tart pan (I use a 9-inch) and lightly grease the base and sides with coconut oil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit on the bottom and place it inside. This will prevent the crust from sticking.
- Add the almonds into a food processor and process until they are the texture of coarse sand. Now add in the oats, cinnamon, and salt and process again until the coarse, sandy texture returns. Add the melted oil, maple syrup, and water, then process until the mixture comes together and no dry flour remains. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers; if it's still too dry, try adding another teaspoon or two of water and processing again.
- Crumble the dough all over the base of the tart pan in an even layer. Starting at the center, press the dough flat into the pan with your fingers and work your way outward and up the sides. If the dough starts to stick to your hands, lightly wet your fingers every now and then. With a fork, poke the base of the tart about 15 times to allow the air to escape while baking.
- Bake the tart, uncovered, 12 to 14 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place the tart pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. If the crust puffed up during baking, you can poke it a few more times with a fork to let the air escape. The crust will firm as it cools.
- Meanwhile, make the Raw Caramel Toffee: Add the pitted dates into a bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if your dates are firm. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor along with the almond butter, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla bean seeds (if using). Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
- Open the chilled cans of coconut milk and carefully scoop off the white cream from the top of the can, discarding the water. Add the coconut cream into a medium bowl. With electric beaters, beat the cream until smooth and fluffy.
- When the crust has cooled, gently spread all of the caramel toffee onto the base of the crust—using the back of a lightly wet spoon—until the base is covered. Slice all of the bananas. Place half of the banana slices on top of the caramel, pressing down lightly to adhere.
- Spread all of the whipped coconut cream on top of the banana slices in an even layer. Now place the remaining banana slices on top of the pie in a circular pattern, overlapping and stacking them to create height. Garnish with shaved chocolate (I like to shave it with a vegetable peeler) and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 to 5 days. I don't recommend freezing this pie, as the banana slices get mushy after thawing.
* To save time, you can swap the homemade coconut whipped cream for store-bought coconut whipped cream (such as So Delicious Coco Whip). Be sure to let it thaw before use.
The raw caramel works best with soft, fresh dates.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Congrats again, Sarah!
To those of you celebrating this weekend, I wish you a lovely Easter! Spring is officially in the air. ahhhh.