Pecan Pie

by - January 17, 2017

I feel like so many of my posts begin with a 'I have never eaten the non-vegan version of this but here is my vegan version which hopefully tastes similar but I think it's fab'
I have never eaten a non-vegan pecan pie, but here is my vegan version, which hopefully tastes similar. But either way, I think it's fab.

Don't worry. Non-vegans were consulted. I was told that the filling had to be 'toeing the line between sickly sweet and deliciously sugary' and 'its like a custard but gooey' and 'the pecans don't matter, it's the filling that does'.

So pals, here is my vegan pecan pie recipe. If you lack pecans, just make the pie filling and eat it with a spoon. Just kidding. Not really.

I know this is a little bit more decadent than 90% of the recipes on here. I could have made one with dates and coconut oil and oats but HONESTLY where's the fun in that?

Sometimes, it's good to be bad.

Vegan Pecan Pie 
1¼ cup plain flour
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup vegan butter, cubed and chilled (I swear by Stork. Best vegan baking butter)
3 tbsp ice cold water
1 tbsp dark rum (makes the pastry extra flaky, but if you do not have this just sub for 1 tbsp ice cold water)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

30g breadcrumbs
½ c plant milk of choice (I used soy)
2½ Tbsp vegan butter (you can sub for coconut oil or cashew butter)
1¼ c coconut sugar or brown sugar
 ¼ c maple syrup or agave or brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1 shot rum (optional but is it really??)
1/2 a small sweet potato, steamed or boiled or microwaved
1 tsp flaxseed, ground (optional)
3 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
3/4-1 cup pecan halves

To make pastry, cut the cold butter into the flour with a pastry blender, fork or food processor. You can use you hands to rub the butter in, but I find that this melts the butter faster and the result is not as flaky (maybe I just have incredibly warm hands?). When the butter has formed small pea-sized crumbs, work the ice-cold water and run in, a spoonful at a time, until a shaggy dough is formed which holds its shape when you press it (if necessary, add a teeny bit of extra water but try to use as little additional water as possible). Form a ball, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 160C. When ready, roll out the pie crust on a floured surface to 1/4 of an inch thick. Roll it over your rolling pin then drape it across your buttered pie pan. Shape the pastry into the crevices of the pan. Prick crust with a fork and fill with a sheet of parchment and pie weights or raw rice/beans ; bake for 7 minutes. Remove pie plate from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs and soy milk. Let water absorb, then put mixture in a food processor with butter, sugar, syrup, vanilla, sweet potato, flaxseed, and cornstarch. Blend into a smooth paste and then pour into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and let it cook a further 3 minutes, stirring constantly so the sugar does not burn. The mixture should turn a lovely caramel colour and start to smell delicious. Take it off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. You can either stir your pecan halves into the caramel at this point, or place them on top of the caramel once it is poured into the crust. Or do both, each with 1/2 of the pecans.

Sprinkle a sparse handful of breadcrumbs or ground almonds onto the base of the crust (helps prevent a soggy bottom, but it is optional!), then pour in the cooled caramel and place pecans on top. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Let it cool from the oven before serving. A la mode. Of course.

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