This dairy-free and gluten-free raw berry cream pie shows off the best fruit that summer graciously offers!
And it reminds me how much I have always adored strawberries.
After taking the first bite when I made it the other day, I immediately recalled a time in my childhood when I created a made-up character by the name of Strawberry Cervone.
You’re in for a weird tale. Brace yourselves.
For the majority of second grade, I developed the persona of a girl named Strawberry. I was absolutely infatuated with strawberries. Everything (e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g) I did revolved around this summery fruit.
Every homework assignment was themed around strawberries. Every doodle I drew was fruit. I ate strawberries all the time for breakfasts, snacks, and desserts. I had friends, family members, teachers, the mailman, and anyone I interacted with even in the slightest call me by this new name.
And I don’t know how she did it (that is the mystery and miracle of mommies), but my mom found countless outfits and accessories covered in strawberry designs.
She has pictures of me posing in a matching jumpsuit and hat hidden somewhere. And I suspect she has a secret plan to eventually use those as some form of a mom-embarrassing-daughter scenario.
It hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully not during my wedding.
While I grew out of that garish jumpsuit from my childhood, my love of strawberries continues to remain strong and unfettering.
And it’s why I constantly seek out new and tasty recipes featuring my favorite fruit when they are at their ripest and sweetest in the summer months.
And since this is a raw dessert, the subtly floral and fruity flavors of the berries stay bright and lovely.
It’s easy to make, as well! Blend together a vibrant medley of fresh berries of your choosing with coconut oil, cashews, and a little agave nectar and vanilla to make a smooth and thick mixture.
Pour this silky cream over a pecan and cacao powder crust and let it set in the fridge for a few hours to harden completely.
The pie is best presented as an impressive dessert. Topped with lightly whipped coconut cream, a dash of cacao powder, and fresh berries, it’s ideal for entertaining when you want to please a wide range of palates and cater to various dietary restrictions.
After your first bite, there’s no doubt that Strawberry Cervone will be inviting some new friends to the summer fruit club!
Note: matching jumpsuit and hat not provided.Print
Want to showcase the best sweet summer berries in an effortless dessert? Our recipe for raw and dairy-free berry cream pie is easy to make.
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecan halves
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
For the Filling:
- 2 cups fresh berries (any combination of blueberries, raspberries, quartered strawberries, etc.)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut oil, slightly melted
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Crust:
- In a food processor or high-speed blender, process all of the crust ingredients until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick, dry, and gritty nut butter, about 1 to 2 minutes. You may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the appliance a couple times to evenly mix the ingredients.
- Transfer the mixture to the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch springform pan. Firmly press and spread the crust to evenly cover the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Set aside as you prepare the filling.
For the Filling:
- Clean and dry the container of the food processor or blender you used for the crust.
- Place all filling ingredients in the clean food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until a completely smooth and creamy liquid forms, about 30-40 seconds, depending on your appliance. Scrape the bottom and sides of the appliance and process for an additional 10 seconds.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust and evenly spread the top smooth with a spatula. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours to set.
- Once set and firm, remove the ring of the springform pan, cut in slices, and serve!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Vegan
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, berry, pie, cashew, pecan, cacao powder
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Set out an 8-inch springform pan.
Measure all of the ingredients for the crust.
Measure out all of the ingredients for the filling. If using strawberries, remove the leaves and quarter each fruit with a sharp knife before measuring.
Heat the coconut oil for the filling in the microwave or on the stovetop just until it’s slightly melted. You don’t want the coconut oil to be hot. It just has to be soft enough to easily combine with the other ingredients to form a smooth liquid.
Step 2 – Make the Crust
In the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, pulse all of the crust ingredients until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick, dry, and gritty nut butter. This will take about 1 or 2 minutes.
Are the ingredients not mixing properly? Scrape down the sides and bottom of the appliance a couple times to evenly mix everything. Make sure you use a wooden or metal spoon! The blades may rip the material of a rubber spatula.
Transfer the mixture to the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch springform pan. Firmly press and spread the crust to evenly cover the bottom and go slightly up the sides of the pan. Set aside as you prepare the filling.
Step 3 – Make the Filling
Clean and dry the container of the food processor or blender you used for the crust.
Place all of the filling ingredients in the clean food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until a completely smooth and creamy liquid forms. This should take about 30 to 40 seconds, depending on your appliance.
Don’t have a high-powered blender or food processor? If you’re using a regular blender to make the filling, soak the cashews overnight in water before using in the recipe, to ensure a smooth – not gritty – cashew cream.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the appliance and process for an additional 10 seconds, to make sure no large chunks of fruit or nuts remain.
Step 4 – Set and Serve
Pour the filling on top of the crust, and evenly spread with a spatula. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least three hours to set.
Once set and firm, remove the ring of the springform pan, cut in slices, and serve with more fruit for garnish!
Note: there may be some discoloration on the top due to the raw fruit naturally oxidizing the longer you leave it stored, as well as on the sides once you remove it from the pan. No worries, this won’t affect the taste!
Cater to Your Own Fruity Obsessions
While I may be crazily passionate about strawberries, feel free to choose your own combination of berries to use in this recipe when you make it at home.
I used about 1 1/2 cups of strawberries and 1/2 cup blueberries for the dessert featured in the photos.
You can use all of the same fruit, or a blend of multiple fruits. Strawberries and blueberries are my go-to mix for this recipe, but you can use raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, and boysenberries too.
I recommend tasting the fruit before buying, so that you can manage the sweetness and sourness levels with the right combination of fruit.
And if you have any extras, make the most of the fresh fruit by learning how to store it properly.
Do you like making raw dessert recipes? What are some other recipes you love making with summer fruit? Let’s chat in the comment section below!
The sweet tooth never sleeps, especially during the summer! For even more gluten-free recipes that please, entice, and delight at the end of a meal, here are some of my favorites that feature the best warm weather ingredients:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on May 25, 2012. Last updated on May 15, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.