With Ventura County being one of the top avocado producers in the world, it only stands to reason that locals would find myriad uses for the strange fruit. About four months ago, Santa Paula resident Ali Fox had some extra time on her hands. Hungry for a new project, she was struck by an epiphany while picking avocados: pie. She remembered there was a recipe for avocado pie in her family, so the stay-at-home mom set about hunting it down. As it turned out, her mother had committed the recipe to memory. Fox began experimenting in her kitchen, using her unsuspecting children as guinea pigs.

Kids are notoriously picky, yet hers went bananas for her sweet pie. Samples were passed around to friends and family for feedback, minor alterations were made, and the result was a rich, creamy (and healthy HDL-laden) dessert not unlike cheesecake with a hint of citrus. Fox entered her Sweet Avocado Pie in the Carpinteria Avocado Festival and walked away with a blue ribbon for Best of Show. Pie is an important component of the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, but in the West, where it’s generally sunny and dry during the holidays, maybe we need our own dessert. While pumpkin, pecan and even apple pies are practically indelible (and undeniably delicious) items on the holiday menu, they represent a climate and culture that hails from the opposite end of the country. Could there be a more perfect ingredient to showcase the Left Coast’s agricultural bounty in this season than the avocado? Check out Fox’s individual Sweet Avocado Pies at Bernadette’s on Main in Ventura or order a full-size pie by getting in touch with her: alissafox1@gmail.com, 218-3732 or Ali’s Sweet Avocado Pies on Facebook.