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Pecan pie: gluten free, dairy free, vegan

Posted Nov 18 2012 4:54am

This pecan pie was a huge hit. Maybe one of my most popular desserts yet.

I made it last night for fifteen friends, none of whom follow my diet, and each one of them demolished it. They were all obsessed!

I wish I could show you just how good it tastes, especially the insanely creamy pecan and date infused caramel middle. Just wow. It also totally melts in your mouth against the ever so slightly crunchy base, and the toasted maple pecans on the top. I’d go as far as to say it tastes kind of perfect!  It really is amazing. So wonderfully indulgent and decadent, yet so healthy. Who knew that a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan pecan pie could taste better than a normal one?!!

The ingredients list is amazing: almonds, pecans, cashew nut butter, dates, coconut oil, cinnamon and a little pure maple syrup. That’s it! Really a long way from a traditional pie, and so much more delicious. You’ll be getting tons of wonderful plant protein from all the nuts, as well as a lot of skin enhancing vitamin E from the almonds, fibre from the dates, anti-inflammatory goodness from the coconut oil and blood balancing awesomeness from the cinnamon!

I used a little pure maple syrup in this recipe instead of agave, as in this pure form it still has a relatively low GI and is easily digestible. It’s a good choice of natural sweetener when you’re after a rich taste as it adds a caramel like flavour, which here really complements the dates. But please make sure you use only PURE maple syrups, the other ones all contain nasty ingredients that won’t do anything for your health. You can buy the good kind in any health food store.

Serves 15

For the crust:

- 3 cups of ground almonds

- 10 medjool dates

- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

- 2 teaspoons of water

For the middle:

- 1 cup of pecans

- 3/4 of a cup of water

- 1 jar of cashew butter (mine was 17o grams)

- a dozen medjool dates

- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

- 1/4 of a cup of almond milk

- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

I use this cashew butter form Holland and Barrett, it’s delicious!

For the pecan topping:

- 1 cup of pecans

- 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup

- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Start by making the crust – preheat the oven to 180C. Then put the ground almonds in the food processor with the pitted dates, coconut oil, cinnamon and water. Blend into a sticky mixture.

Coat the bottom of your baking pie dish with a little olive oil, to prevent the pie from sticking, before using a spatula to cover the bottom with the mixture.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the top becomes nicely browned and is hardening.

While this cooks make the middle layer. First place the pecans in the food processor for a minute to allow them to crush down into a flour, then add the cashew butter. Once those have mixed add the maple syrup, almond milk, cinnamon and pitted dates. Allow these to blend as you gradually add more water.

Then place the pecans for the topping in a baking dish with one spoon of maple syrup and cinnamon, mix them all together and bake for 5 minutes at 180C, until they become a little browned and crunchy.

Once the pie base has cooked allow it to sit for a few minutes, before spreading the middle layer across it and adding the pecans on the top.

Allow it to sit for a couple of hours to firm up, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated though. Then slice and enjoy! This will be a new family favourite I’m sure.

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