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how do you make pie FIRM??

Hey everybody,

I’ve been making some pies. Particularly a key-lime pie—and it tastes AMAZING but it doesn’t really hold together that well like the raw pies that you see in the stores. So what is the secret? Can someone tell me what ingredients help to give it that congealing firmness? Help!

Thanks Janelle


  • I use chia seed as a thickener or use avocado as the base…

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I made a raw sweet potato pie that called for a small addition of psyllium powder. Its pupose was to set the pie, which it did.

  • I use coconut oil or cacao butter. Both firm up nicely when refridgerated (even more so when frozen, of course). The cacao will hold up a bit longer once out of the fridge for awhile.

  • p.s. I actually made a coconut-ginger-key lime custard for dinner tonight – sooooooooooo good :))lime and coconut are a dreamy pair!

  • Some people use irish moss. We use psyllium powder or slippery elm powder.

  • i don’t have any insight.. but jah rawstafari, i want that coconut ginger key lime custard recipe because i am just sitting here drooling! :D

  • I use the freezer to get pies firm ;) Avocado is a great base for key lime pie. I have never used chia, or psyllium, or anything like that.

    jah rawstafari – Yeah, I want your coconut-ginger-key lime custard recipe, too!

  • I thought I would share this site on some herbs and the some of the benefits they have to offer.


    If you are not familiar with slippery elm bark powder… here are some of the benefits…known as a thickner and aid to the digestive system.


    A great time to be slipping some slippery elm powder into your recipes is during winter. It has been known to be a great aid for preventing colds.

  • For me it depends on the recipe. For raw cheesecakes, coconut oil firms them up nicely. Last night I tried Ani Phyo’s raw pumpkin pie (had a little pumpkin to use) which called for psyllium powder to make it firm and that aspect was successful. (btw -her recipe was OK but it did taste like raw pumpkin. If anyone tries it, use a traditional raw crust like almonds & dates in lieu of her pumpkin & sunflower seed crust. That tastes a bit weird. She says her recipe is the best tasting pumpkin pie but I’m not sure if she’s ever tasted a good old fashioned traditional New England pumpkin pie)

  • loorin – is that your kitty in your pic? Super cute! I have an all black kitty too, except for he has a little white patch on his neck – it looks like a priest’s collar :)

    Anywho – I have been coconut crazy lately. Especially fresh coconut milk. Once I figured out how to make that – it’s been coconut curries, coconut soup, coconut yogurt, coconut chai – lol! AND I finally got a machette so now i can take advantage of living in S. Florida and NEVER pay for a coconut again. I just picked up two from the side of the road last night :))

    So here is the custard I made.

    1 cup fresh coconut milk 1/2 cup coconut water (young will be sweeter, but mature works as well) 1 cup young cocnut meat 1/4 cup mature cocout meat 3-4 soft dates (not soaked – I discovered the tiny chewy bits add pleasant delicious texture) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract zest of 1 lime (or more to taste) 1-2 inch thumb of ginger

    Throw it all in the high speed until smooth (about 1 min) It will be slighty warm. mmmm. You could make it more of a pie by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil, pouring into your favorite crust or springform and tossing it in the freezer to set up. The flavor of warm verses cold is quite a lovely difference!

    This was my after workout power-up and dinner, so it was enough for just me… but it probably could satisfy two as it is pretty rich. Personally – I’m glad I didn’t have to share!

    Hope you get to try it!

  • p.s. loorin – I see that you are in NY, so you won’t have the good fortune of roadside coconuts, but you should be able to find them pretty cheap at the grocery store. Coconut is one of the items that I don’t over-stress if I can find/afford organic. The mature one’s especially, have a very low pesticide load (most of the young ones, however, have been rumored to be dipped in formaldehyde…)

  • This rumor drives me nuts! coconuts are not dipped in formaldehyde. Here’s scientific evidence: http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/matt-amsde…

    I use lecithin for pies, agar for jello.

  • ooooh! That sounds so delicious! They have some organic young coconuts at the natural grocer near me.. I am going to have to pick some up tomorrow. Thanks so much jah!

    Bronson also has little white hairs all over him.. he is missing the top of one ear, and I usually wake up to him spooning me. I adopted him about 6 years ago and the poor guy has moved all over the country with me. I am currently in the midst of trying to get him onto raw too!

    Ahhhh! I am so excited for coconut custard pies!!!

  • winona – thanks for posting that link! I read that too – and I couldn’t find it to post:)

  • Just wanted to mention Ani’s pumpkin pie recipe again. I made it this past monday and I’m eating another piece of it here at work (it’s a Wed) I have to say it does taste better after a couple days! Although I wouldn’t bring this to a SAD gathering or a Thanksgiving dinner, I do find it tasty this morning :-)

  • Jah- i don’t understand your recipe (sorry for getting off topic)....What is the difference between 1 cup fresh coconut milk and 1/2 cup coconut water…i thought the juice in the coconut was what people referred to as either milk or water?

    also what is the difference between a mature coconut and a young coconut and how do you tell the difference when yo buy them.

    thanks! looking forward to trying your recipe

  • stylestacey – sorry for the delay – I forgot to check back up on this topic. Okay so here a few clarifications in the world of coconuts (they are so versatile they can be used at every stage for so many purposes!)

    Young vs Mature:

    • Young you will find precut down to the white husk in most health food stores (thai young coconut) They are flat on the bottom and pointed on the top. (google for opening instructions :) You cannot hear water when you shake them. If you can, they are too mature already. The inside of young coconuts is usually very thin and jelly like consistency. And the water is sweet.
    • Mature coconut is the one people traditionally associate with visually. They are brown with 3 eyes on top that resemble a bowling ball. You will be able to hear the water when you shake them and the meat is very firm and thick – mature. The water is very mild and only has a slight coconut flavor if any.

    Coconut Water vs Milk

    • Water – is just that, the liquid that is in the coconut when you first open it. Very delicious and has many health benefits, that in the interest of time I will refer to google :) can you tell I love google?
    • Milk – is made from shredding the mature coconut meat adding water and then straining out the fiber – just like you would do when making any nut milk. Depending on how much water you add it can be referred to as milk (more water) or cream (less water) Either way it is ridiculously good and an amazing base for raw ice creams, yogurt, or mousses!

    Okay – hope that helps! Have fun experimenting!

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