Who doesn’t love pecan pie?
But who loves the bazillion calories that are in it? Or the immensely fattening and unhealthy eggs and butter?
How would you like to serve a pecan pie that is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, oil-free and fantastic? It is not sugar-free or soy-free but oh boy is it delicious!
Last year we had Thanksgiving with some dear friends. Let’s call them “The Carnivores.” Mr. Carnivore is steadfastly married to his carnivore tendencies, as well as anything involving butter, cheese and eggs. Mrs. Carnivore is very friendly to plant-based meals and enjoys them when I make them.
For Thanksgiving, since both families wanted to honor our own traditions, we packed up our entire plant-based meal and brought it over to the Carnivore household where they made their own traditional dishes. We all enjoyed a delicious meal with great company and Mr. and Mrs. Carnivore were open to trying several of our plant-based dishes. Mr. Carnivore really enjoyed the butternut squash soup we made and was a good sport about trying the lentil loaf. Mrs. Carnivore loved everything we brought.
When it came time for dessert I brought out this pecan pie. I served everyone a slice and Mr. Carnivore devoured it, looked up, and said “this is delicious!” Then came the best part of the evening: I looked him right in the eye and told him it contained tofu. I thought he was going to lose his dinner right there on the table. It left him speechless. And the rest of us laughed and laughed and laughed. Even after finding out the secret ingredient of tofu, he was still a fan of the pecan pie.
So this recipe has been validated by a devout carnivore who has declared it delicious and he didn’t notice the tofu! If that isn’t a positive endorsement, I don’t know what is.
I wouldn’t say that this is low-calorie since it does contain a fair amount of sugar but since it doesn’t have eggs or butter it is certainly less caloric and less fattening than the traditional version.
I adapted this recipe from one created by Isa Chandra Moskowitz at Post Punk Kitchen and made some tweaks to avoid using the vegan margarine. I ended up with a delicious vegan, oil-free dish. If you aren’t gluten-free or oil-free you can use a store-bought vegan crust or use your own favorite recipe. To keep it gluten-free, use my favorite 2-ingredient crust from Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen. It is so easy to make and is vegan, oil-free and gluten-free.
We hope you enjoy our favorite healthier pecan pie!
- 12.3 ounces firm or extra-firm silken tofu (1 package of Mori-Nu)
- ¼ cup cold almond milk + 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegan sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar (I use sucanat which is a less-processed substitute for brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons non-GMO corn starch
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons black strap molasses
- 2 cups pecan halves
- Vegan pie-crust (gluten-free if desired)
- Prepare your pie crust per the instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Crumble the tofu into a food processor or blender and add the milk, vanilla, and salt. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- In a small sauce pan heat the sugars, cornstarch, maple syrup and molasses over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk. You should see bubbles start forming. Once this happens stir constantly until it becomes thick and syrupy, which could happen as early as 5 minutes.
- Do not overcook. If it begins boiling reduce the heat a bit. For me at 10 minutes I had a caramelization disaster where the whole concoction turned back into granulated sugars and I had to start over.
- When the caramel is done, transfer it to a mixing bowl and add the tofu mixture while the caramel is still hot. Mix well.
- Fold in the pecans and combine.
- Transfer to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes or until the pie appears to be set. It might still be a bit wiggly.
- Cool for a few hours before serving.
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