Chocolate Pecan Pie
Vegan - Dairy Free - Soy Free - Gluten Free
If you are looking for a fancy easy sweet dessert you should consider trying this Vegan Chocolate Pecan Pie, with"caramel-like" filling, and not only it has toasted pecans, and Santa Barbara Vegan Chocolate Couverture Chips.
This Chocolate Pecan Pie is everything you want in a holiday dessert. The bonus is it is best served at room temperature and can even be made in advance and/or frozen. It can be made Gluten Free, simply substitute with 1:1 gluten free flour.
Pecan pie filling is usually made with eggs and corn syrup, but we're calling on good vegan substitutes like oatmeal, maple syrup and sugar to bring the gooey texture to this gourmet vegan pie.
I'm not claiming this is a "healthy" pie, but it's certainly healthier than most.
What I love about this pie is that all of the ingredients are easy to find in grocery stores or online. If you can't find them, you can always substitute a store-bought pie crust.
And last but not least, this chocolate pecan pie freezes beautifully! So feel free to make it two weeks in advance. Then move it from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before serving, and from the fridge to room temperature about two hours before serving. It's a pretty forgiving pie that holds up to shipping even!
How to Make Chocolate Pecan Pie (vegan style)
1. Make the pie crust yourself or use store-bought pie crust.
2. Toast the pecans to enhance their flavor.
3. Make the oatmeal as part of the filling.
4. Use Santa Barbara Vegan Chocolate as a filling.
5. Bake & let it cool.
Tips fora successful and perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Pie
Total bake time will be around 45 minutes, give or take a few. My advice is to set a timer for 30 minutes and then take a peek to make sure everything looks okay.
Since not all ovens are the same, I recommend keeping an eye on the pie during the last 10 to 15 minutes just in case the filling is getting too bubbly or the crust too brown. If you use a traditional flour-based crust, you'll probably need to cover the edges of the pie with foil or a pie shield to prevent over-browning.
After 30 minutes the filling should appear slightly bubbly and puffy. At this point I usually set the timer for another 10 minutes until I see signs that the center is hot and baked.
If you lightly tap a few of the pecans they should indicate that the filling underneath is somewhat firm. Now you're ready to sprinkle this beauty with flaked sea salt (optional) and let it cool. Use the flawed sea salt if you like the idea of a salted caramel flavor. The sea salt will enhance the subtle caramel flavor.
FOR THE PIE CRUST:
• 2 cups all purpose flour (substitute with 1:1 Gluten Free flour to make it a GF crust)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons of sugar
• 2 cups unsweetened vegan butter (room temperature).
• 1 cup lukewarm almond milk (you can substitute with whipped vegan cream or coconut cream)
FOR THE PIE CRUST:
• 2 cups raw pecan halves (8 oz.)
• ½ cup Santa Barbara Vegan Chocolate
• 1/2 cup rolled oats Ensure certified gluten-free, if needed
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
• 4 Tablespoons corn starch
• 2 Tablespoons coconut butter or coconut oil Sub smooth almond butter or vegan butter, if desired.
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes (optional)
FOR THE PIE CRUST:
1. Put flour, sugar, salt, milk & unsweetened vegan butter (room temperature) into the bowl of a food processor and whisk or pulse 6 to 8 times until combined.
2. Using your hands, quickly pack the dough into a smooth ball.
3. Wrap the dough disk tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Once your pie dough is chilled, remove from fridge and let it warm up on floured surface for a few minutes.
5. Roll out with a rolling pin , always start at the center of the crust, on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.
6. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
7. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
8. Using a fork make some holes in the bottom of the pie.
9. Fill shell with pie weights or dry beans and bake at 375° F for 20 minutes (until crust is golden).
Make the filling and assemble the pie:
1. Combine the oatmeal, sugar, maple syrup, corn starch, coconut butter/oil, vanilla, in a blender. Blend until smooth. Then add the fine salt.
2. Put the toasted pecans in the pie shell. Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of Santa Barbara Vegan Chocolate, and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate on top of the pecans. Pour the blended filling on top.
3. Add the reserved Santa Barbara Vegan Chocolate Chips on the top of the pie.
4. Transfer pie to preheated oven , 350° F, and set a timer for 40-45 minutes. After 30 minutes the edges of the filling should be bubbly, but the center will look like it needs more time. Ensure the edges of the crust aren't getting too brown (cover with foil or a pie shield if needed), and bake for another 10 minutes.
5. After about 40-45 minutes total bake time the center of the pie is bubbly, hot, and appears mostly set.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.( optional).
7. Allow pie to cool at room temperature for 2 hours before slicing. Alternatively, let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 1 hour. See Notes for extended storage tips.*
Baking and Slicing Tips*
Since not all ovens are the same, I recommend keeping an eye on the pie during the last 10 to 15 minutes just in case the filling is getting too bubbly or the crust too brown. If you use a traditional flour-based crust you’ll probably need to cover the edges of the pie with foil or a pie shield to prevent over-browning.
Because of the chunky nuts and chocolate, a very sharp chef's knife is the easiest way to neatly slice the pie.
Once completely cool, cover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
This pie can be served cool, room temperature, or slightly warm. Keep in mind that the chunks of chocolate will be hard straight out of the refrigerator.
To freeze: cover cooled pie with plastic wrap to protect from air. The day before serving, transfer the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator. Then transfer the pie to room temperature 1 to 2 hours before serving.