It was scandalous, I tell you, that on the day I wanted to make a pecan pie I couldn’t find any pecan nuts anywhere!
I was working with a client recently and we wanted to rustle up something delicious, gorgeous and a little naughty. We were in the mood for my pecan pie! The world was harsh for us that day – could we find any of those delicious nuts ANYWHERE!? No! We searched high and low. Even tracked down bags of mixed nuts in an effort to take out all the pecans for ourselves. Believe me when I tell you that we drove around town for hours looking for pecan nuts! But, nothing. It was a sad day in the kitchen and we hung our heads in shame that we could not complete our delicious task.
Then it dawned on us. Get a grip. Use walnuts instead. Just pretend they are pecan nuts! So we did! This is a recipe for Pecan Pie substituted with delicious sticky walnuts and it was an absolute triumph! So the lesson goes like this – just use up what you have in the kitchen but for the love of vanlilla do not, I repeat, do not skip (or play with the recipe for) the sticky sauce. You will regret it. Because it’s just too good as it is, and a life full of regret is not a life that’s worth living….
You have been warned…
- 1/2 cup activated walnuts
- 1/2 cup activated pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup activated buckwheat
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup raisins/dried berries/cranberries
- 2 cups date paste
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed)
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk (heaped)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar (milled to a fine powder)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (do not use agave or honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- Sugared or candied activated pecans (or walnuts!)
- I use activated nuts because I want my food to be clean. I want to enjoy the benefits of activated nuts in as many dishes as possible and, to be quite honest with you, once you get used to working with nuts and seeds in this way not activating them for recipes can really ruin the flavour of a dish as your taste buds really do get used to that clean, deep, well-mannered taste. If you are not activating your nuts yet (which means soaking them to bring them back to life and to clean them) and then drying them out – use nuts straight from the packet but do try to use activated where possible and try to get in the habit of keeping stocks of activated, enzyme rich, tasty nuts and seeds in the pantry ready for recipes.
- Firstly get your spring form pan ready for the pie base. Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor using the ‘S’ blade. Use the mix to line the pan (base and sides) with your hands. This is a crumbly dark mix so be sure to press things in firmly. So that when you slice your pie the base isn’t ‘wobbly’ use the base of a jar or a mug to tamper down the mix and flatten it out once you have finished lining the pan. This should really help even things out and make sure you don’t have troughs or humps that are too deep and wobbly looking when you are done.
- Place the pie dish in the freezer ready to form while you make your sticky sauce.
- Use a home made date paste. Basically this is dates soaked in (filtered) water overnight and then blended into a runny sauce. Don’t over fill the bowl with water. You need just enough water to cover the dates. Make sure they are stoned and then blend the dates with the water to make a lovely thick sauce.
- If you don’t have any prepped then just use soft dates (like medjool) and blend with a little water. That’s not a problem. Other date types might be too hard and leave your sticky sauce ‘bitty’ so if you do have hard dates it’s best to take the time to soften them first in water and then blend to make a paste.
- To make the sticky sauce, pretty much add everything slowly to the blender, lastly the psyllium husk. Add this to increase the stickiness but also how much you add will increase the pie’s ability to set and keep stable at room temperature.
- I am not a fan of desserts served straight from the freezer (or even frozen at all) so the combination of the coconut oil and the psyllium husk will allow your pie to sit on the counter and firm up gently in the fridge without the use of the teeth-chilling freezer.
- Once you have the sauce to the consistency you like (I like it like porridge thick but with no lumps) pour over the chilled base and leave to set in the fridge.
- Decorate with activated nuts (pecan or walnut!) To ‘candy’ your nuts quickly: rub in maple syrup and sprinkle with a little milled coconut sugar.
- Serve at room temperature and keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. Or if you must, it can be frozen – just watch out for condensation when defrosting which can make your base soggy and does not bode well for the oil content. Worst of all if you have sensitive teeth, like me, this turns a deliciously delicate sweet warning pie into a chilling electrical storm in your mouth!
To make cakes and pies like this with me check out my latest events schedule for cookery school and join in a cake making class!
Let me know if you make it and feel free to post your comments below!
Keeping it juicy & raw