avocado

A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

IMG 4906 Edited A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

Writing a blog provides the perfect excuse I need to make weird recipes. Pre-blog, I might have tucked a recipe for avocado crème pie away. But now, I bake pretty much whatever catches my eye. This is not always a good thing.

Fortunately, this pie was a good thing. The recipe began, “Although this may sound bizarre at first, it makes a lot more sense when you remember that avocados are actually fruits!” The author went on to ask, “You wouldn’t think twice about a banana crème pie right?” Well no, I would not think twice about a banana crème pie, but ah, I would also eat a banana in my car on the way to work. I cannot really say the same for an avocado.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this avocado crème pie. More so than avocado, the citrus taste of the lemon really came through. The flavor was definitely unique to all of my previous avocado experiences.

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This pie is the perfect dessert to take to a Wizard of Oz theme party. Not only does its lovely green color resemble the wicked witch of the west, it melts like her too. Once a piece is cut and on a plate, it rapidly loses its shape. Since Wizard of Oz theme parties are fairly rare, a better option might be to serve this dessert at a Halloween party, given its bewitching green color and all.

I would definitely eat this pie again, but I would look into variations first. Realizing cream cheese is a base in the pie, I would try to tweak the recipe to become more of an avocado cheesecake rather than a pie. That is likely just my preference for a heartier texture, but I wanted to throw it out there as an idea.

Alas, this is the final avocado recipe for the month. (Is that you rejoicing, I hear?) As we barrel into the last week of August, my desire to bake is slowly waking from its summer hibernation, which I hope is a good thing. Perhaps more importantly, my desire to bake “normal” recipes is returning with it. Have a great week!

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Avocado Crème Pie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • For a Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • For the Avocado Pie Filling
  • 2 medium sized, ripe avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (one brick) cream cheese, slightly softened
  • ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • whipped cream for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter or oil and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and pat it into place.
  3. Bake at 350 F for approximately 15 minutes. The crust should be set and browned around the edges.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. While the pie crust cools, peel and pit the avocados. Cut them into chunks and place them into a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice.
  6. Puree until smooth, then add in the zest, vanilla, cream cheese, rice syrup, coconut oil and salt.
  7. Pulse to combine all of the ingredients. Set aside.
  8. In a saucepan over low medium heat, whisk together the sugar, milk and arrowroot or cornstarch. Be sure to break up any lumps.
  9. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture should be thick.
  10. Stream the sugar syrup into the blender or food processor while it is running and blend until very well combined. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  11. Pour the avocado filling into the graham cracker pie crust.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator at least six hours before serving.
  13. If desired, garnish with whipped cream immediately before serving.
Notes
Though this recipe came from a vegan cookbook, I have obviously de-veganed it by using butter in place of margarine, whole milk in place of soy milk, etc. Please use whatever substitutions are appropriate for your diet. Streaming the hot sugar syrup into my food processor was no problem because its lid has an opening for just this type of thing. I am uncertain how performing this step could cause anything less than a mess with a blender. The top of my blender opens in the center, but mixtures certainly like to shoot out of it when it is open. It may be best to use a stand mixer to accommodate this step.

 

Avocado Fries With That?

IMG 4832 Edited Avocado Fries With That?

Though not one of the deep fried desserts my sister has requested multiple times, at least avocado fries are a deep fried start. I have wanted to try this avocado recipe for over one year, and I am happy I finally did. Fries were a really fun way to eat avocado. They were surprisingly filling, yet they lacked a bit in the taste department.

I am not a very big advocate for salt – I avoid cooking with it almost to a fault – but it really draws out the flavor of the fried avocado. Should I make these fries again, I will likely add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some other seasoning to the flour.

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No avocado post of mine would be complete without sharing an avocado story from childhood. It’s gross, so if you have read enough, please feel free to exit the blog at this time. (Just be sure to return when I share a Peach Coffee Cake recipe in a day or so). At this point, five readers know exactly where this story is going.

The year is unknown, but I would say I was in junior high school. My parents, my sister, and I along two close childhood friends and their parents were dining at a Friday’s restaurant located on the corner of Kenny and Henderson in Columbus, Ohio. Sadly, I believe that corner is now home to a CVS. (Though I suppose there are worse things to be found on corners.)

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After whatever it was we did that day, my friend Eric and I sat near the end of the table with my father.  Suddenly, he sneezed, and then opened his napkin to reveal a large smear of green “boogers” made of guacamole. Dad intended this little stunt to entertain his daughter and a teenage boy. I am not all that proud of what that says about my maturity at that age, but nevertheless, it was entertaining.

In fact, it entertained not only for the three of us, but the waiter as well. Along with our entire table. And everyone else seated in the section. Entertained is likely too positive a descriptor for most of the other parties.

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I do not remember my mother’s specific reaction, but I am sure it could not have been good. She always told my sister and me that we could be seated at a dinner table with someone like the governor someday, and she did her best to teach us table manners. At the time, I did not really get the intensity behind her insistence that we act like ladies.

Of course I knew not to put my elbows on the table or belch in front of the governor! Fortunately, I still recall her advice and make every effort to eat like a lady at the table today.  Though I am also still for a less classy dining experience now and then if it creates a lasting memory. Happy weekend all. Enjoy!

IMG 4808 Edited Avocado Fries With That?

Avocado Fries
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Canola or other vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups panko (breadcrumbs)
  • 2 firm, ripe avocados
Instructions
  1. Heat oil to 375 F in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir together the flour and salt on a shallow plate.
  3. Place the lightly beaten eggs in a second shallow dish.
  4. Place the Panko on a third plate.
  5. Slice the avocados into ½ inch wedges.
  6. Roll an avocado wedge in the flour, then dip in egg, and finally dredge in panko.
  7. Fry the breaded avocado wedges in the hot oil for 30 to 60 seconds. It’s easiest to work in batches of three or four wedges at a time.
  8. Place the fried avocado wedges on paper towels to drain.
  9. Keep the avocado fries on a baking sheet in an oven warmed to 200 F until ready to serve.
  10. Serve with salt to taste.

 

A Flavor of August: Avocado Pear Dip

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Never underestimate the places you might find a delightful new recipe. I picked this one – for Avocado Pear Dip – up while I waited in line at the Community Drug in Benzonia, Michigan. While in the midst of the most severe physical pain I had experienced in nearly 20 years. While on vacation. In a place very far removed from my insurance network. To every gray cloud there is a silver lining.

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One of my favorite snacks is chips and dip. This Avocado Pear dip provides a flavorful, creamy alternative to the sour-cream based dips I typically fall victim to. I was very surprised by its flavor, and what I mean by that is, the dip had a lot of flavor. Though I like avocados, I tend to eat them in ways that complement a dish rather than act as the primary flavor.

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Take, for example, a sandwich. One of my favorite sandwiches to order is a grilled chicken breast on sourdough bread, topped with provolone cheese, sprouts and avocado. Along those lines, the Avocado Pear dip is easily transferable to a sandwich spread. If my sandwich suggestion is not up your alley, try the avocado dip in place of mayonnaise on any sandwich. I think you will like it. Enjoy!

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Avocado Pear Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Allow the dip to chill at least 30 minutes so flavors may meld before serving.
Notes
If you prefer a chunky dip, mash the avocados by hand. Do not add them to the blender or food processor, but fold them into the dip after all other ingredients are smooth.