Recipe: Sweet Laurel's Dairy-Free Chocolate-Strawberry Melt-Away Pie

By Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas

Photo by Claire Thomas

Photo by Claire Thomas

Makes one 9-inch pie

Melt-away pie has such a romantic sound to it. Like warm summer nights giving way to fall, it has an ephemeral quality. But in truth, it’s simply an ice cream pie, and it couldn’t be easier to put together. The base is a piecrust with ice cream filling, and the toppings can be whatever sundae fantasy you feel like that day. We love the combination of strawberry and chocolate, especially with crunchy streusel on top, but any flavor pairing will work.

For the crust
¼ cup coconut oil, solid, plus more for greasing the pan
2½ cups almond flour
3 tablespoons 100% unsweetened cacao powder
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg

For the filling
1 quart Strawberry Ice Cream (recipe below)
1 cup strawberries, sliced ⅛ inch thick
1 cup streusel (recipe below)
5 ounces 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil.

2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, arrowroot powder, and salt. Cut the coconut oil into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or your fingertips until a dough comes together. It will look like wet sand, and the fats should be pea-size. Stir in the maple syrup and egg until fully incorporated. Gently shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, press into a disk, and chill in the freezer for about 2 hours.

3. Roll out the dough about ¼ inch thick and 11-inches wide. Place in the pie pan by rolling the dough up around the rolling pin and gently placing in the pan. Trim any excess, and bake for about 10 minutes, until matte and firm to the touch. Allow it to cool completely.

4. Make the filling: To make the ice cream extra easy to spread, whip it with an electric mixer for a minute or two until creamy and soft, but not melting. Immediately spread the ice cream into the cooled piecrust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour, until set.

5. To serve, top the pie with fresh strawberries, streusel, and a drizzle of melted cacao. Eat immediately, or hold in the freezer for up to an hour with the toppings.


Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

Strawberry completes the triumvirate of classic ice cream flavors—vanilla and chocolate being the other two. And for some reason, it seems to get overlooked. But we love the simple, bright flavor of fresh strawberries mixed into our creamy coconut ice cream base. It’s not too sweet and pairs beautifully with our fruit-based cakes and baked treats. The key is a touch of lemon, to keep the strawberries a pretty bright red and add a hint of acid.

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 cups coconut cream
¾ cup honey
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
¾ cup mashed strawberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk, 1 cup of the coconut cream, the honey, and salt until heated through. Pour the remaining 1 cup coconut cream into a large bowl and set a fine-mesh sieve on top.

2. Combine the mashed strawberries and lemon juice and set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly pour the warmed coconut mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Transfer the entire mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. Remove the custard from the heat when it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

4. Set up an ice bath by filling another large bowl with water and ice. Pour the custard through the sieve and stir it into the coconut cream. Mix in the vanilla, set the bowl with the cream mixture over the ice bath, and stir until cool.

5. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about an hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Halfway through the freezing process, when the ice cream looks like soft serve, add the mashed strawberries. Continue freezing. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set.


¾ cup almond flour
¾ cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for the streusel. Line an 8 × 8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides for easy removal.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, walnuts, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt until the mixture comes together. Crumble onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the streusel begins to crisp up. Remove and set aside, but keep the oven on at 350°F.

Reprinted from Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts. Copyright © 2018 by Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. Photography by Claire Thomas. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Check out the latest issue of Cherry Bombe Magazine, featuring Sweet Laurel's birthday cake recipe.

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Lauren Goldstein