In my pre-vegan days, pecan pie was one of my biggest holiday downfalls. You know, the rich, gooey pie made with about a gazillion eggs. I’ve made plenty of vegan pecan pies, but this year I wanted something a little less sweet and some kind of nutrition. I found this recipe for Sweet Potato Pecan Pie from Straight Up Food, and it was just what I was looking for. The crust was more complicated than I wanted, however, so I used the same ingredients but a simpler method. Not only is it vegan and gluten-free, it has no added oil.
You can bake the sweet potatoes and scoop out the flesh, or peel them and cook in boiling water until tender, then drain completely. If you cook the sweet potatoes in advance, the pie filling comes together quickly.
The pie can be made a day in advance.
Pie Crust Ingredients
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- 2 ounces pecan halves (about ½ cup)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2½ ounces pitted dates (5 Medjool or 10 Deglet Noor), quartered
- 1½ tablespoon nondairy milk
Pie Crust Method
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with the oven rack in the middle position.
- Place the oats, pecans, and cinnamon into the food processor and pulse until ground (about 30 seconds).
- Add the dates and process for about 1 minute more, until the mixture starts to clump.
- Add the nondairy milk, and process for 5 to 10 seconds until the mixture balls up into a dough.
- Press the mixture into an 8-inch pie pan, making it as even as possible.
- Cover the crust with foil and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filling.
Pie Filling Ingredients
- 1½ cups (packed) cooked sweet potato or yam (about 1 pound uncooked)
- 4 ounces pitted dates (about 8 Medjool or 16 Deglet Noor), quartered
- ¾ cup nondairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ to ½ cup rolled oats, ground into flour (½ cup will result in a firmer filling)
- 1¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground clove
- ¼ cup pecan halves, chopped (for the center of the pie), plus 15 to 20 pecan halves to decorate the outside edge
Pie Filling Method
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- If you haven’t already, grind the oats into flour and set aside.
- Place the dates, nondairy milk, and vanilla extract into a blender and set aside for at least 15 minutes so the dates can soften.
- In a medium bowl, mix the oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, and clove.
- Blend the dates, nondairy milk, and vanilla in a blender or food processor on high speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and cooked sweet potato until the filling is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. The filling will be thick.
- Scrape the filling into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth the top until it’s even.
- Arrange the pecan halves around the outside and the chopped pecans in the middle.
- Gently wrap a few strips of foil around the top edge of the pie (trying not to touch it on the filling) so the edge does not get overcooked.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil strips, and cool before slicing.
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