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Courage and Sweet Avocado

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In my twenty six years on this earth I have moved more times than I can count, this includes three countries.

I’ve been called brave, courageous and actually always felt terrified with each step off the cliff into the unknown of a new country thousands of miles from everything I know.

In the past five weeks I’ve had every emotion under the sky. Terrified to the point of holding back tears. Questioning all sense of rational while trying to come up with new recipes. Trenching through the wind and rain imagining where I’ll go next if this doesn’t work.

Today, over a pizza menu, all those fears washed away as I received a phone call to say I’d gotten a job. With the sun shining through the window down the quiet street in Kensington I felt the fears dissipate.

I’ve come to realize moving somewhere new doesn’t take courage.

It’s the staying that takes courage, choosing the unknown, the quietness, the lack of stability and where life is headed. It takes courage to say “yes I will choose this, over the comfort of the life I know and yearn a little bit to return to.”

Baking with a culinary ingredient that is known for savory partners instead of sweet can take courage. And you know what, like moving to a new country, it can work out.

If you are like me, you’ll crave a slice of this days after eating it.

Avocado and Candied Cashew Pie
Adapted from Cynthia Presser
Serves 10

Ingredients:
Base
3 1/2 cups graham crackers/wheat biscuits, crushed
1/2 cup cashews, roughly crushed
1/3 cup superfine/caster sugar
90g butter, melted
Filling
2 avocadoes, just ripe and roughly chopped
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons plain gelatin/1 1/2 heaped tablespoons agar agar powder
4 egg whites
Topping
1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
Grease a pie dish and preheat the oven to 180°C/350F.

In a food processor or blender combine the crushed graham crackers, cashews, sugar and butter and mix until well combined. Press into a pie dish. Bake in the oven until brown, approximately 7 minutes.

Remove and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, place the avocadoes and sweetened condensed milk and blend until smooth and well combined, approximately 2 minutes.

Whisk the gelatin and water until well combined, approximately 20 seconds, then fold into the avocado mixture. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks.

Gently fold the egg whites into the avocado mixture. Pour the filling into the pie crust and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Just prior to serving, place the cashews, sea salt, sugar and butter into a skillet and cook on medium, stirring to ensure even caramelization. Remove and sprinkle over the top of the pie.

Slice and serve.

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