The Utah State Fair is going on this week and next.  Every year, in addition to displays and exhibitions, they hold Bake Off contests.  It's been a few years since I went, but it's something my family and I enjoy participating in.

The competition on Thursday was the "Governor Herbert's Favorite Pie" Bake Off.  He and his wife were taste-testers of all the pies, but there were three pastry shop owners/chefs brought in as the judges.  Long story short, this is the pie I brought.  They liked it (it earned second place), and nobody could believe what the 'secret ingredient' was!  Two whole avocados.  Sounds like an April Fools' Day food, doesn't it?

When made in a plain chocolate pie, the avocado can be detected only as a faint fruity taste.  I took advantage of that by using orange juice and zest in the pie.  I've made several flavor variations on this pie, but the chocolate-orange is my favorite.  Well, the favorite chocolate version, anyway.  I really, really like the Lime Silk Pie.

This filling is free of gluten, eggs, dairy, refined sugar, and nuts!  If that matters to you, just be sure that the crust and toppings you use are, as well.

The pie also freezes well.  The texture softens slightly after being thawed, but not by much.   To thaw one piece, let sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes.  To thaw the whole pie, let it sit 45-60 minutes instead.
If you cut the amount of orange juice or water in half and just pour it in a pan, you get fudge instead.

Chocolate Truffle Pie

Juice and finely shredded zest from one large orange or two smaller ones 
½ cup honey
 ½ cup coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ripe avocados, about 5 oz. apiece
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

One 8” pie crust
Fudge sauce
Whipped cream

Measure orange juice; add a little water or more juice to equal ½ cup.  Put the orange juice, zest (should be about 1 Tbsp), honey, coconut oil, cocoa, avocados, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor.  Run on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.  Pour into prepared crust.  Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours until set.   Let stand at room temperature 30-60 minutes before serving for a softer texture. 

Serve with a drizzle of fudge sauce and some whipped cream.

 
 
Or Lime Silk Pie.  Just put all the filling in an 8" pie crust.  The recipe is also gluten-free.  If you change the fruit to orange, and add cocoa powder, you get Chocolate Truffle Pie.

A friend recently sent me a very strange-sounding chocolate pie recipe, using avocados and coconut oil in the filling for some healthy fat.  It was so unusual I just had to try it!

It was shockingly good.  So good it deserved some variations. 

This one doesn't use cocoa at all, and takes advantage of the natural green color from the avocados.   

Are you intrigued yet?

Toasty Coconut Crust: (or use your favorite crust)
2 Tbsp. honey
½ c. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 c. toasted fine-flake coconut

Pull out an 8” pie pan, OR for tartlets, line 30 mini-muffin tins with paper liners (optional, for easier removal).  Stir together the honey, coconut oil, and salt.  Add coconut and mix until smooth.  Press into the pie pan or muffin tins.  For the latter, use 1 Tbsp. per mini muffin tin and press.    Put in the freezer for 10 minutes, while you make the filling.  For easiest removal, take the mini crusts out of the pan (still in the liners) when firm, before adding the filling.

Filling:
2 avocados, about 4-5 oz. apiece
½ c. coconut oil
½ c. honey
½ c. fresh lime juice (or use the juice of 3 limes and make up the difference with water)
1 Tbsp. lime zest, or 6-8 drops lime essential oil
2 Tbsp. coconut cream concentrate (optional but softens the sharpness a little)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Put all the filling ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into your prepared crust.  Chill at least four hours, until firm.  (To speed it up, try 30 minutes in the freezer.)  Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes if you want the filling a little softer.

Garnish with a dollop of coconut yogurt (or sour cream if dairy’s OK for you) and a bit of lime zest.    Makes one 8” pie or about 30 tartlets.


One website dedicated to avocado recipes - including both unique and stand-by recipes- is TheAmazingAvocado.com   

I'd love to hear back from you once you try this lime pie!

What else do you  do with avocados? 


 
 
Picture
There are lots of recipes here for pies, crusts, and toppers! 





Check out the following links, from my main page and blog posts.  You'll see repeated recipes throughout them; they're mostly handouts from different pie classes I've taught.


Crash Course In Pies- basic Vanilla Cream Pie and variations: Banana Cream, Banana Caramel, Butterscotch, Coconut Cream, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Eggnog, Peanut Butter, and Strawberries-and-Cream pies!  Also has different options for crusts and toppers (meringue or no-run whipped cream)
 
Custard Pies: Recipes from The Chameleon Cook: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Cranberry Pie, Rhubarb Pie, Date-Pecan Pie, and Lemon Chess Pie (blog post on Lemon Chess Pie here).

Memorable Holiday Pies
- easy pat-in-the-pan crust that is never tough, the world's BEST raspberry chiffon pie, pumpkin pie, cream pies with a few variations.

Pumpkin class handout - includes my mom's pumpkin pie recipe, along with other non-pie recipes.

Starter Cookbook- cream pies and variations, crusts, meringue, no-run whipped cream, and tips.

The Great Pumpkin Cookbook  - includes Praline-Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin-Apple Pie, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Pumpkin Streusel Pie, Pumpkin Cookie Pie (sugar cookie crust, pumpkin-icecream filling), Gobble-up Pumpkin Pie (uses a can of sweetened condensed milk), Impossible Pumpkin Pie (makes its own crust), Mom's Pumpkin Pie, Honey-Pumpkin Pie, Raisin-Pumpkin, Tofu-Pumpkin (egg and dairy free), and Molasses-Pumpkin Pie!  Also has a few pumpkin cheesecake recipes, along with dozens of other recipes.
 
 
Picture
Picture
  This week has been an exciting one for our end of the Salt Lake valley, with the large fire in Herriman and the evacuations there.   It really makes us stop and think about what we would do if a catastrophe occurred in our own homes.   (Nice timing, September is National Preparedness Month.) 

Could you grab all your important documents if you only had five minutes?  Could you list, at the drop of a hat, what physical things are most important to you?   I recommend spending some time making a list of what to grab if you only have a few minutes.  What would you get if you had an hour or two?  It’s better to figure it out ahead of time and never actually have that emergency, than to forget something in your rush.

 I dropped in at the Red Cross evacuation center (an LDS stake center), and learned a couple things.  When I was there on Tuesday, one family had been there since Sunday.  They’d gone three days without a shower or a change of clothes, and the children were expected to be back in school.   I rounded up clothes for the family (thanks to those who donated!), which they appreciated.  The thing that really surprised me, though, was what I brought that they got EXCITED about….    The 8-yr-old was ecstatic about having pajamas to wear at bedtime, but the mom and 11-yr-old  were happiest about Chapstick, fingernail clippers, and hair elastics.   Those are such simple, inexpensive things.  

 Do you have extras of these in your home storage? Would you be ‘up a creek’ if you couldn’t get to a store?  Think about what little things would make a difference to you, and store some.  A great inventory list to help you expand your storage, if you’re at the year’s supply stage, is found in the back of the  Church booklet, “Essentials of Home Production and Storage”. If you’re not that far yet, that’s okay, keep moving toward it.

 “Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” -The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375


Now the recipes- dinner and dessert, all using zucchini.  One of the beauties of zucchini is that it doesn’t really taste like anything.  This means you can put it in recipes and taste the OTHER ingredients instead of the squash.  The zucchini pizza may sound strange, but my mom (who invented this recipe) fed it to 150 college students recently, and all but one liked it a lot.  Pretty good odds.  My kids and husband liked it, too.  The photos above show the finished pizza and the just-cooked crust before adding toppings.  I used yellow squash in mine.



Zucchini Pizza


3 eggs
3 cups shredded zucchini or yellow squash
1 cup biscuit mix (or pancake mix or flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in)
1/4 cup of chopped onion (or more if you like onion a lot)
salt and pepper to taste-few sprinkles of each

 Mix the biscuit mix into the shredded zucchini and chopped onion. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl with the salt and pepper, then mix into the zucchini.  Spread batter onto a 12 inch pizza pan that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray.  Bake at 375 until edges are slightly brown and center is firm and springs back nicely. Spread about 8 ounces of pizza sauce on top, then top with favorite cheese and meat, just like any pizza.  For pizza sauce, I use a can of tomato sauce and add a little each of: garlic, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme.
It does still stick a bit to the pizza pan,unless you use a pizza stone or parchment, but it's allright if you use a pancake turner and are careful.

 

ZUCCHINI CREAM PIE

 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded and grated zucchini (yellow squash works too)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
¾ cup – 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
2 eggs
3 T. flour
1t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
2-4 Tbsp. butter, optional.
1 unbaked 9 – 10" pie crust
½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground nutmeg

 Steam or microwave grated zucchini on a microwave safe dish until very soft,
about 2-3 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and cool. Preheat the oven to 425
F. Place the evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and salt in a
blender and blend, adding the butter if you’re using it.  Add the cooled zucchini and blend again until smooth. Pour custard into unbaked pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Place on
a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 F. and bake for
another 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 8 servings.