There’s something about pecan pie and pumpkin pie that are just so quintessentially Christmassy – they just remind me of the holidays. Maybe it’s all of the deliciously spiced warmth and all the cinnamon.

This is my vegan pecan pie, which is also gluten-free and refined sugar-free and I was fortunate enough to have this published in the Christmas December 2017 issue of Devon Life magazine. It is super delicious and amazingly indulgent; no one would ever guess that this recipe is a vegan and refined sugar-free version. I love to serve this at a big family dinner, with some vegan ice cream and a glass of wine, but a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate would do very nicely indeed. Enjoy!

Vegan Pecan Pie (gluten-free and refined sugar-free)

(Makes a 25cm pie, enough for between 8 and 12 people)

Ingredients:

Soft coconut oil, for greasing the pie dish

For the base:

125g gluten-free oat flour (or buckwheat flour)

100g almonds

70g pecans

195g medjool dates

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil

½ tsp vanilla powder

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground mixed spice

Pinch of fine pink Himalayan sea salt

For the filling:

300g pecans

200ml pure maple syrup

80g cashew butter (no added sugar or salt)

65g medjool dates

1 ½ tsp vanilla powder

2 tsp ground flax seeds

Pinch of fine pink Himalayan sea salt

75ml water

For the topping:

Between 150g and 200g of pecan halves, to decorate

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and grease a deep 25cm pie tin with softened coconut oil.

To make the crust, blitz the nuts in a high-powered food processor until coarse. Add the oat flour, dates, vanilla powder, cinnamon, mixed spice, raw cacao powder and salt and blitz again until the mixture begins to come together. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and pulse again until the mixture reaches a sticky consistency.

Transfer to the greased pie tin and use your hands to spread the mixture evenly across the dish and press it into the base and up the sides of the tin. Use a fork to prick a few holes in the base of the pie to release any trapped air whilst it bakes. Bake the base for around ten minutes in the pre-heated oven, until the sides begin to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin as you prepare the filling.

Place the pecans into the food processor and pulse until coarse. Add the dates, cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla powder, flax seeds and salt and blend until the mixture is thick and smooth. Pour in the water and blend again until the filling becomes looser and creamier. Stir to ensure all the ingredients are blended. Spoon into a bowl and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, to cool slightly.

Retrieve the filling from the fridge and evenly spread the mixture over the pie crust. Adorn with pecan halves and serve on a cake plate.

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