I love pecan pie. But I am very particular about what makes a good one. It has to be gooey, sweet, and caramely, and the crust has to be flaky and buttery. Most importantly? The pecans have to be toasted, as the roasted, nutty flavor changes everything. During the holiday season, I indulge in a lot of desserts, but I always crave pecan pie. So I created this healthier raw version without the cream, butter, and sugar found in the classic pie. Mine is made with dates (always Medjools), maple syrup, and a sweet-salty crust with oats and, yes, more pecans. For an even more festive treat, add a few teaspoons of bourbon to the filling!
What you need:
For the crust:
- 1 cup raw pecans, lightly toasted
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 Medjool dates
For the filling:
- 15 Medjool dates
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups whole raw pecans, lightly toasted, divided
What you do:
- For the crust, into a high-speed blender, add all ingredients and blend until a crumbly mixture forms. Press mixture into a springform pan, and set aside.
- For the filling, wipe blender clean. Add dates, water, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Blend until creamy and caramel-like. Add 2 cups pecans, and pulse until incorporated but with small pecan pieces remaining.
- Spread filling on top of crust. Arrange remaining whole pecans on top of filling. Place pie in freezer for 3 hours, or until set.
- Remove pie from freeze. Slice and enjoy!
>> Medjool dates are key to the gooeyness of this pie. Whenever possible, I pick up Medjool dates at the farmers’ market where they are fresher and softer than storebought. Only have firmer dates on hand? Soak in hot water for five minutes before using.
>> Add a dollop of coconut whipped cream (recipe here) or a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream.