Coffee, Banana and Walnut Pie

This is a wonderful chilled, sweet pie that uses tofu as its base. Tofu is great for taking on the properties of eggs when baking tarts and pies as it sets firmly, like an egg-based pie would. The dessert is gluten-free, but you can use a standard vegan pastry base if you have no issues with wheat or gluten.

I’ve used instant coffee here, which I think gives it the right type of coffee flavour, even though I don’t actually drink instant. It also allows you to use a very small amount of water for more concentrated taste.

There are some lengthy chilling times here, because you need the filling to be fully set before you pour on the topping. I would recommend making the base and filling the night before you want to eat it, and then putting the topping on a couple of hours before you want to serve it.


Prep time: 30 minutes. Chilling time: overnight, plus 2 hours. Cooking time: 2 hours.

Make 1 x 9-inch pie

Gluten Free

 Ingredients:

For the Base:

250g gluten-free self-raising flour

150g coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp xantham gum

200g vegan margarine, plus extra for greasing

100g unrefined sugar

½ tsp salt

150ml plant milk

For the Filling:

1 block firm tofu, drained

2 ripe bananas

15g instant coffee, mixed with 50ml hot water

30g walnuts

250ml vegan cream

150ml plant milk

300g light brown soft sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

For the Topping:

150g dark brown soft sugar

50g vegan margarine

100ml vegan cream

2 tsp instant coffee

A handful of roughly chopped walnuts to garnish.


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Method:

First make the pastry. Combine the flours, baking powder, xantham gum and margarine in a mixing bowl and rub between your fingers until you get a fine breadcrumb texture (about 5 minutes). Stir in the sugar and salt and then pour in the plant milk. Bring the pastry together with your hands, knead for just a couple of seconds, then cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Grease a 9-inch, loose-bottomed tart tin with margarine and preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F.

Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out to just beyond the size of the tart tin. Gluten-free pastry doesn’t bind as well as regular pastry, so I find it helpful to roll it out onto greaseproof paper, then tip it upside down into the tart tin. It will probably still break up a little doing this, so you might have to do some patching in the tin itself. Press the pastry down and into the edges and sides of the tin, then trim any excess pastry that overlaps.

Now line the pastry with greaseproof paper, up and over the edges, and fill that with dried rice or baking beans. Put the tart tin on a baking tray and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is cooked but not really browned. Remove from the oven, then remove the baking beans and paper and set aside.

Turn the oven down to gas 4/180C/350F.

Now make the filling by putting all of the filling ingredients into a blender and blending until you have a completely smooth mixture. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula in between blends.


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Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case, to about ½ cm below the rim and then gently put it back in the middle of the oven, keeping it on the baking tray in case of spillage. Bake for 90 minutes, or until the filling is risen and set. Now turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. Cool the pie in the oven until it is ready to be transferred to the fridge, then cover and chill overnight.

Once the pie has completely chilled and set, you can make the topping. Put all of the topping ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until you have a thick caramel sauce, stirring almost constantly, then turn off the heat and allow to become quite cool. Stir every five minutes or so while it is cooling to keep it smooth.

Once it is cool enough but still pourable, pour the topping over the top of the tart filling and then rotate the tart from side to side to evenly spread it over the top. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top and set, uncovered, in the fridge for about 2 hours.


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