Vegan Pecan Pie
My husband turned 50 last week. Part of me is still picking myself up off the floor and dusting myself down from the shock of being married to a fifty-year-old; the other part of me simply laughs in the face of age; it’s never bothered me, fifty is the new thirty, age is just a number yada yada.
Despite seemingly rocketing through time, one thing remains resolutely unchanged – my husband’s favourite birthday bakes. He likes a key lime pie and a pecan pie, no messing about. Sponge cakes are for small children’s parties and why would you want an airy mouthful of springy sugar when you can have a big slice of PIE?! I came up with a cashew-based key lime pie and shared it here a couple of years ago, but the pecan pie took much longer to get right. This recipe here – and I’m chuffed to bits with it – is my latest and best version.
I posted a fairly traditional pecan pie recipe on this blog a few years ago; the one you see here is a slightly modified version of that. For the egg replacement I use ground/milled flaxseed (linseed, same thing) or a flax-mix – usually a combination of ground flaxseed and nuts and suchlike. I always keep a pouch in the fridge as my daughter loves it on her porridge and it’s a fab source of omega-3 and other good stuff. Mixed up with water, you get a nice gloop that binds very well in this particular setting.
For a little twist, try stirring in some dark chocolate chips at the end – a small 100g bag (Sainsbury’s ones are accidentally vegan) would be scrumptious I think. I always want to do this but my husband looks at me as if I’ve suggested stirring in hamster hearts so I haven’t tried it yet.
As with all pies, this tastes better the days after you’ve made it. At the very least, allow to cool completely and sit in the fridge for six hours before serving. Tastes terrific with a scoop of Swedish Glace ice cream or some soya pouring cream. Enjoy! x
You’ll need a 9″ pie/tart/quiche tin.
Pastry (use shop-bought shortcrust if you like)
200g plain flour
40g foil-wrapped Stork or any vegan butter
40g Trex or refined coconut oil
30ml lemon juice
30ml cold water
30g milled flaxseed + 120ml hot water from kettle (150g total weight)
200g pecans – reserve about 20 pecan halves for decoration and chop the rest
150g dark brown sugar
150g golden syrup (corn syrup is traditional but hard to find in the UK)
60g vegan butter
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp natural vanilla extract or paste
45g fine cornmeal
To make the pastry:
Place the flour, butter and Trex or coconut oil in a processor and blitz briefly, just until you have a buttery, sandy looking mixture. Stop the motor. Combine the lemon juice and water in a little jug and, with the motor running very slowly again, slowly pour into the mixture. As soon as it begins to clump, stop the motor. Empty the contents on to a clean surface and lightly bring together with your hands. Do not knead, just pat it together into a fat disc shape and place on a covered plate in the fridge for 30 minutes. I wrote a page about making pastry here if you’d like to see pictures.
Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f / gas mark 5.
After the pastry has rested, roll it out (a couple of inches bigger than your tin) on a floured surface and carefully press it into your tin. I like to leave the excess pastry hanging over the edges and trim it off after it has blind-baked, this avoids it shrinking down the sides. Use a fork to prick the pastry all over then put the pie tin on to a larger tray or baking sheet then place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. The larger tray will hold any bits of over hanging pastry that might break off during baking, and also make clean-up a bit easier.
After blind-baking for 10 minutes, run a serrated knife, at an almost-flat angle, along the edge of the pie to neatly remove the pastry. While it is baking you can you crack on with the filling.
To Make The filling:
In a small bowl or jug, combine the flaxseed and hot water and set aside. Chop up the pecans, remembering to reserve some.
Next, place the sugar, syrup, butter and salt in a large saucepan and melt gently. Keep stirring until the mixture starts bubbling, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla, cornmeal, your flaxseed mixture (it should look gloopy, if not wait another five minutes) and lastly stir in the chopped pecans.
Pour the mixture into your ready-and-waiting pie tin and arrange the reserved pecan halves around the edges or to your liking. Bake for 50 minutes on the middle shelf and set aside to cool completely before storing in the fridge.
As mentioned previously, this tastes better the following days so don’t be afraid to make in advance!