Vegan Pecan Pie

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Is there anything yummier for an afternoon tea treat than a warm slice of spiced pecan pie with a dollop of creamy custard on the side? Determined to veganise a pie that I used to whip up without thinking twice in my vegetarian days (especially because it's one of my partner's favourite desserts), I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to swap out a few ingredients to create a dairy-free and egg-free version which is every bit as delicious as the traditional recipes. 

And this is the result - creamy, lightly spiced, darkly delicious with a hint of maple syrup & the soft crunch of pecans, this is a pie that is quick to make, easy to serve, and will firmly make it onto the family favourite list. 

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Pecan Pie
(egg-free / dairy-free / vegan)


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plain wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil
  • juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • iced water
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (or dark rum)
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour
  • 250 grams silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: mixed spice, cinnamon, ground cloves
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

  • Place dates in bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak while you make the pastry.

  • Place flour & coconut oil in food processor, whiz until small breadcrumbs form.

  • Stop machine, pour in lemon juice and whiz to combine. In short bursts, add just enough iced water to make the mixture come together.

  • Press pastry into a fluted rectangular flan tin. (I used 30 x 10 cm tin.)

  • Place in hot oven and bake for 10 minutes while making the filling. 

  • Drain dates and place in food processor bowl. Add remaining ingredients, including the zest of lemon reserved earlier, and whiz until smooth and combined. Set aside until the pastry is slightly browned on top.

  • Pour filling into pastry shell. Place pecans on top of filling, pressing some down and leaving some on top.

  • Bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 180 degrees C and continue baking for approximately 10 minutes more, or until the filling feels slightly firm to touch. 

  • Allow to cool slightly, and serve with whipped coconut cream, ice cream, or as we did, with home-made vanilla custard. (I make this with cornflour, Bonsoy milk, ground vanilla beans, a scoop of ground cashews and enough maple syrup or raw brown sugar to taste. Allow 2 tablespoons of cornflour per cup of Bonsoy. To make: stir cornflour into just enough milk in a sauce pan to make a smooth paste, then gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Place over gentle heat and bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon. When it starts to thicken, add the remaining ingredients, and continue cooking for 3 minutes while stirring. ) 

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