I have to say, I am not a pumpkin pie fan. Don’t get me wrong, but the typical pumpkin pie seems to lack something. Now I love pumpkin bread and anything pumpkin spice. It reminds me of Chai spice from India; what an amazing aroma and taste.
Now mind you, through the years I have tried to acquire a taste for old fashioned pumpkin pie. Especially when there are times it is the only dessert offered during the holidays. But I found that even the whipped cream didn’t make the dessert more enticing.
One day the “Light Bulb” went off and I decided to start experimenting with recipes on how to improve the outdated pumpkin pie. I tried just about everything. You know how that goes. Now I also wanted a modern twist and still keep the homemade taste. What a task, right? To my surprise, I came up with a few fabulous recipes that were to “Live For”. PS I never say to die for. Who wants that?
In result, I discovered that pecans are a seamless match for creamy pumpkin filling. I have to admit, the pairing took me by surprise. Now pecans are a wonderful nut that is very versatile and naturally sweet. They can be used for a topping as well as a crust. So once I discovered the marvelous pairing, I started working on the details.
Now I am sure you know that pecans make a great pie. Pecans are also great for a gluten free crispy crust. In addition, these sweet treats can be used as a topping for making an excellent streusel.
Well, I ended up with two fabulous recipes. One version is with a crust and the other is crustless with a streusel topping. Both were outstanding. I really could not make a decision on the best recipe. Plus I felt the need to share both recipes with you.
So I found that it is probably best to let you decide which one you want to fall in love with.
- 1 can pumpkin pie mix (16oz)
- 1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree (16oz)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
- 1 1/2 TBLS coconut oil, melted
- 3 TBLS maple syrup or honey (to taste)
- 1 large sweet apple such as honeycrisp (optional)
- Dash sea salt
- 2 ½ cups pecans, soaked overnight then dehydrated for 24 hours
- 1 TBLS date paste * see note
- 1 ½ TBLS maple syrup
- 1 TBLS coconut oil (not coconut butter)
- Dash sea salt
- ½ cup oat flour
- 1 ½ TBLS virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 TBLS maple syrup
- ½ cup raw pecans, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C)
- Lightly oil a standard glass pie dish with coconut or olive oil.
- For crust, add the pecans to a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are small crumbs.
- Place the pecans and remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Combine until well mixed.
- Press the crust into the pie dish with your hands or the bottom of a spoon. Cover with parchment paper then place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before filling with pumpkin mixture.
- In a blender or food processor, add all the filling ingredients. Start with a low setting and slowly work up to high speed until well blended. Filling should be smooth and fluffy.
- Pour the filling into the pie dish if you are using the crustless version. If not, place the mixture into a pan and cook on low heat until thickened. Pour mixture into set pie crust.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For crustless pie, put the pie in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start making the streusel.
- In a large bowl, mix the streusel topping ingredients until crumbly but thick. Crumble the topping evenly over top of the half cooked pie.
- Place pie back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow pie to cool. The pie is best if you refrigerate it overnight.
- Notes: Either use the pecan crust with no topping or the pecan streusel topping and have a crustless pie. Generally, making both in the same recipe is an overkill. Too many pecans take over the pumpkin and spice flavor and make it to sweet and gooey.
- You can also use a regular pie crust in replace of the pecan crust.
- If whipped cream is desired, use fresh whipping cream and blend until desired thickness. There are also vegan whipped creams available in the market.
- If you do not have any date paste, just take a few fresh dates and mash them
Perfect Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel
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