Pecan pie 🥧 👩🍳
I don't know about you, but now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are much darker, desserts and cosy mugs of hot chocolate are calling my name!
Everything in moderation...wildly overused phrase I know, but when it comes to sugar it couldn't be more true. I love sugar and wouldn't dream of suggesting that anyone cuts it out of their diet completely. But we know that added sugar is not good for us. So for me there's a balance to be achieved in terms of what makes you feel good in the moment vs what makes you feel good afterwards.
Cosying up with a delicious slice of pecan pie after dinner on a cold dark winters night is 100% feel good. Mindlessly eating 1/2 of the pecan pie because you're bored, anxious or stressed, less so. My advice, eat sugar in a way that you enjoy it, not in a way that will cause you guilt and regret.
Check out this weeks Nutritional Nugget on coconut sugar to find out why coconut sugar needs to be treated with as much caution as refined white sugar.
1tsp (4g) coconut sugar contains: 15kcal | 4g carbs | 0g protein | 0g fat
You might have heard me talk about unrefined sugar being a better option than refined sugar. That's true to an extent when we are talking about sugars in their natural form for example in fruit & veg. But when it comes to added sugars such as coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, date syrup...we need to be very careful. They are still added sugars so all the negatives of refined added sugars still apply.
Ingredients (serves 8)
🥧 150g plain flour (i always use wholewheat flour)
🥧 1/2 tsp salt
🥧 3 tbsp olive oil
🥧 3 tbsp cold water
🍁 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
🍁 1.5 cups chopped pecans
🍁 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
🍁 1/4 cup maple syrup
🍁 3/4 cup coconut milk (full fat, from a can)
🍁 2 tsp vanilla extract
🍁 3 tbsp cornflour
🍁 1/4 tsp salt
Start by making the pastry:
- Mix the plain flour & salt
- Add 3 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil) and rub to create a breadcrumb like consistency
- Add 2 tbsp cold water and mix until it comes together into a ball
- Lightly flour a clean flat surface and transfer the ball of pastry out onto the floured surface - bring it together further with your hands to ensure it's holding together well. Then flatten into an inch thick round with your hands before rolling out with a rolling pin to approx 1/2cm thick max.
- Gently transfer the pastry to a 9" flan tin, cover with greaseproof paper or tin foil and weigh it down with some uncooked chickpeas or beans or blind baking beads if you have them.
- Bake for approx 7-8 mins at 180 degrees fan oven
Whilst your pastry is cooking, make the filling:
- Roughly chop the pecans
- Combine the canned coconut milk & cornflour - whisk to ensure the fat of the coconut milk is fully broken down and there are no lumps of cornflour
- Melt the coconut oil over a medium heat in a medium pan
- Add the pecans and stir to ensure covered with the oil and cook for around 30secs, stirring continuously so they don't burn
- Add the coconut milk mixture as well as the maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla extract & salt
- Stir continuously so it all comes together to a smooth base mixture packed with pecans.
- Fill the par-baked pastry base with the pecan mixture. Allow a few mm from the top as the mixture will bubble as it cooked and you don't want it to spill over as it will burn to bottom of your oven 😱
- Bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees, until the filling looks set but still jiggly.
- Now for the hardest part - leave it for 1-2hrs to cool / set ⏱️
This is beautiful served with some plant-based cream or ice cream. If you have an electric mixer you could even just whisk up the remainder of the can of coconut milk to create a cream consistency. (Electric mixer required...it takes bloody ages to get a decent consistency if you try to whisk coconut milk to cream by hand!)
The pecan pie lasts really well in the fridge for 3-4 days, it also freezes really well if you want to remove temptation of devouring it in two sittings!
Drop me a comment below if you try this recipe or share your creations on instagram @newnorm_plantbased
Until next week 😘