I had never had pecan pie until this recipe. Not once. I was never a fan of walnuts or pecans growing up, so, fruity pies and custardy pies were always the ones I leaned towards during the holidays. We never even had pecan pie for Thanksgiving as a kid, so, that’s probably where it all really stems from. My mom never served beans, so, I’ve never been a huge bean fan, either. It’s funny how our childhood tastebuds play such a huge role in the foods we eat today.
So, when it was time to start testing Thanksgiving recipes for our SECOND Merit + Fork Holiday Season (hey, how’d that creep up so quick?!), I decided to get a little more grown-up and finally tackle the elusive Pecan Pie. This pie has always seemed very adult-y to me, because adults love nuts while kids typically do not… but, never fear. I promise you, adults & kids alike will LOVE this pie – it’s definitely changed my pecan-tune! If you have small children who aren’t huge nut fans, simply chop them up more finely so the chunks aren’t too big.
There’s almost no way you COULDN’T love this pie… (unless you’re allergic to tree nuts. In which case, I would advise staying far, far away from this recipe. :D) For those who CAN enjoy pecans, though, I highly recommend acquiring the freshest pecans possible before attempting this pie. I had initially pulled out of my pantry some store-bought organic pecans, but, they tasted a bit stale. In my attempts to roast & rid of the stale flavor, I forgot to set a timer and ended up with a tray full of burnt n’ blackened pecans. Womp.
By the grace of god, the next day our farmer neighbor invited me to go pecan picking at a fellow neighbor’s farm. I had never even seen a fresh pecan before, but, OH MY GLOB it was like the Pecan Gods were raining down upon us… and boy, were they good. Pounds and pounds of fresh pecans that tasted NOTHING like store-bought ones, with a flavor eerily reminiscent of butter pecan ice cream. Sweet, light, crunchy, no bitter aftertaste… even my super-picky boyfriend was snacking on the freshly cracked gems and he’s a strictly-roasted-and-salted-cashews kinda guy. Amazing!
After hitting the fresh-pecan mother load and consequently cracking, one-by-one, 50 pounds of pecans (I enslaved many loved ones for this process. Thanks, Mom + Boyfriend <3), this pie was born. Simply sweetened with honey & maple syrup – basically Mother Nature’s liquid gold – it’s got an ooey, gooey, not-overly-sweet, caramel-y inside, with a crunchy praline topping all wrapped in a buttery, flaky pie crust. I mean. Come on. Let’s be honest. I basically just soiled me britches writing that description. It is THAT good. I truly cannot wait to make this jam again for Thanksgiving, especially after all the rave reviews I got from my non-paleo family members. Of course, I won’t tell anyone it’s paleo until after they’ve eaten & enjoyed it.
- Pecan Filling:
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp butter/ghee, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- *1/2 cup whole pecans (*optional, for garnish)
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 par-baked pie crust (recipe below)
- Single Pie Crust (adapted from Elana’s Pantry):
- 1-1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 3 tbsp lard, chiled
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp sweetener of choice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare pie crust by pulsing all ingredients in food processor until ball of dough forms. Roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper to fit your 9-inch pie pan.
- Carefully place dough into greased pie pan. Gently use a fork or fingers to decorate/crimp edges.
- Bake at 325 for 12 minutes then set aside to cool. Prepare filling while baking the crust.
- Whisk butter/ghee, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt into beaten eggs and set aside.
- Heat honey & maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling, whisking occasionally.
- Once bubbling, stir/whisk constantly, boiling over med-low to medium heat for about 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in egg mixture and nuts. Pour into par-baked crust. Gently place whole pecans on top in preferred design.
- Bake pie at 325 for 25 -30 minutes or until set. (Center of filling should NOT jiggle.) Cool completely before serving.