Cheesecake,  Dessert

Forever Young Avocado Pie

I always get excited when someone presents me with a new, unique recipe to try.  Family, friends and co-workers know my love of cooking, baking and experimenting.  This recipe was given to me by a co-worker, tho I’d like to classify him as my friend, Randy, and proudly rename this pie to him.

If you Google nutritional information on the avocado, you will find many articles written on the health benefits of this fruit.  From protecting cholesterol related heart diseases to preventing and treating prostate and breast cancers to healing digestive, circulatory and sexual problems!  Avocados contain many essential nutrients including potassium, calcium, vitamin C and dietary fibers and is known as one of the good fats!

Okay, so I hear you… a healthy for you avocado mixed with cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and liquor…isn’t that just wrong?  Maybe..but it tastes so right!   In other words – delicious!  Creamy cheesecake-like texture, tart and lightly sweetened, you will barely taste the avocado.   So, if you’re going to splurge, at least you know you’re getting some good antioxidants! 

Avocado Pie

Adapted from the Food Network Magazine, April 2010

For the crust:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
zest from 2 limes

For the filling:

2 medium hass avocados
1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Licor 43 * (or lemon juice)
Pinch of salt

Whipped cream or confectioner’s sugar, for garnish (optional)

Make the crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Brush an 8 inch springform pan with some of the melted butter.  Mix the remaining butter with the graham cracker crumbs, chopped macadamia nuts, sugar, zest and salt in a bowl.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Cool completely on a rack.

Make the filling:  Halve and pit the avocados,then scoop out the flesh and chop.  Transfer to a bowl, add the cream cheese and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add the condensed milk, lime juice, Licor 43 (or lemon juice), and  the salt and beat until fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.  Pour the filling into the crust, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill at least 4 hours.

Remove the springform ring and slice the pie.  Garnish with whipped cream or confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve immediately (the top will start to brown as the pie sits).

* Licor 43 is a composition of deliciously ripe citrus fruits, spicy mediterranean herbs, and a hint of vanilla. 

Note:  Because the pie is not baked the alcohol remains at full strength.  If you prefer non-alcoholic use lemon juice as the original recipe calls for.  Now, if you are truly with party people who like a more tipsy dessert as I did when my friend Ayesha and Ken were visiting….she poured 1/2 shot of Licor 43 on each slice upon serving!!

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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