Don’t forget to submit your Thanksgiving recipes today at All Through the Year Cheer! (Your recipe can be for anything that says Thanksgiving to you.) On Monday a round-up of the submissions will be posted, as well as the winner! Oh, and be sure to head over and check out the great prize that Brandy has for the winner!
Since the holiday season (a.k.a. the season for pies!) is upon us, I wanted to share one of my favorite pie recipes. There’s an over-abundance of wonderful recipes for apple and pumpkin pies; however, pecan pie is one of my favorites and it’s not quite as common, so it was the perfect choice! Most of the pecan pie recipes I’ve made call for a very large amount of corn syrup and/or sugar (if you’re familiar with pecan pie, this will make sense, since it’s very sweet…almost sickeningly sweet).
I made my pie sugar-free, and chose to sweeten it with dates and honey (plus a little molasses if you choose to use it), which I think perfectly complements the richness of the pecans. I also remade a healthier version of pie crust using oats, since I think the nuttiness of oats goes well with the filling (and yes, because I try to find any use for oats that I can ;) ). This isn’t a typical, tender, flaky, and buttery pie crust (although I do love those too!)…this is dense and nutty…think of it more as a healthy pie crust substitute. But of course, feel free to swap it out for your favorite crust.
Working With This Crust: Unlike most pie crusts, this one does not have to be chilled. In fact, chilling it makes it too solid to roll out. You can make this dough and immediately roll it out; or you can make it and store it in the fridge for up to five days, then let it sit at room temperature for about two hours before rolling it out.
To Make Ahead: This whole pie can be made a day or two in advance. Or you can make the crust and the date mixture up to five days ahead and store them in the fridge until you assemble the pie (just remember to let the dough sit at room temperature for about two hours before rolling out).
(Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie)
Date Mixture (see below)
2 tsp vanilla
3 TB rolled oats, finely ground in a food processor
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c pecans, chopped
1 c dried dates, chopped (about 10 average-sized dates)
1/2 c honey
1 TB molasses (optional; I add it for deep color and depth of flavor)
1 c water
Whole Wheat & Oat Crust:
3/4 c rolled oats, finely ground in a food processor
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 TB brown sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c unsalted, cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 – 4 TB very cold water
9-inch pie plate
For the Crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the ground oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg . Pulse in the butter a little at a time until the mixture is crumbly. Still pulsing, add the water drop by drop through the food processor’s feeding tube just until the dough is wet enough so that you can use your hands to form it into a ball. To roll out the dough, place it between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness, then remove the top piece of plastic wrap, invert the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, trim the edges, and form any decorative pattern you like on the crust. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pie crust several times.
For the Date Mixture:
In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, honey, molasses (if using), and water. Cook on medium-low heat (uncovered) until the dates start to disintegrate and thicken up the liquid (this will take about 20 minutes). Allow the date mixture to cool, then transfer it to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (you should end up with about 1 1/3 c of puree).
Assembling the Pie: Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix together the date mixture, vanilla, eggs, ground oats, salt, nutmeg, and pecans. Transfer the filling to the crust and bake for 50-55 minutes until a knife inserted one inch from the crust comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.
Your pie looks so beautiful and rich in color. I can not wait to try it. I am the host of this years party and I did not have a pecan pie recipe. Now I do, thanks to you.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Gorgeous looking pie there Faith! And we have the same pie plate! I got so excited when I saw it :P
I’m very intrigued by your changes. Wish I could try a slice!
I thought that was a chocolate pie when I saw the first photo! I love how dark and rich it looks from the dates and molasses. This pie will definitely go on my “to bake” list, because I am NOT a fan of the “regular” pecan pie made with tons of corn syrup and eggs (blasphemy in South Louisiana, but hopefully nobody heard me!).
What a delicious and healthy pie! I love it! I am a big fan of dates and pecan pie. The two together sound scrumptious!
This Pecan Pie is so perfect for the season!
Blond Duck says
I LOVE that version. Have you ever tried the dear Abby pecan pie?
Juliana — Thank you so much for the lovely award! That is a very sweet surprise! :)
Blond Duck — I’ve never tried the Dear Abby version…I’m curious though! I’ll have to look it up! ;)
Oh Faith, your pecan pie looks delicious, love it gooey and the oat crust sounds great :-)
By the way, I have a little surprise for you, please visit me at Breakfast with Meat Sauce.
I love love love Pecan Pie! This looks so delicious!
Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says
Hi Sweet Friend! What a fantastic recipe and I love how you’ve found an alternative to using corn syrup and sugar! The crust sounds amazing too!
Have a fabulous week and sending you Thanksgiving blessings!!
Love and hugs,
Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says
Scrumptious! I love your version, bookmarking!
kudos to you for skipping the corn syrup and sugar–the end result certainly doesn’t appear any worse for the wear. in fact, it looks lusciously dense and delicious. awesomely done.
I love that it’s only sweetened with honey and dates…I usually can’t stand pecan pie because of the saccharine cloyingness of the excessive sugar!
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My daughter and I are sitting here admiring your pie. I love how you make it healthy but it still looks and I am sure tastes delicious!
What a great pie! Again, I like how you took an old classic and gave it a modern twist.
[email protected] says
A soft, moist and delicious pie! Marvelous! never had a date pie! i shud try this!
What a delicious, delectable pie!! Perfect for the holiday table.
What a fantastic looking pie. I agree with Nutmeg Nanny about your inspired addition of the dates and molasses. I love a good pecan pie so will be trying this one out soon.
Heavenly Housewife says
How scrumptious! Surely you can’t eat this cake all by yourself, right?… I’ll come right over :D
Nutmeg Nanny says
This looks great! I love the addition of dates and molasses…yum! The crust goes perfect too. I guess you finally got some sunshine because the pictures look great :)