I had a slice of chocolate pecan pie in Dublin in May 2011 that I thought about for years afterwards. After making several versions, I have decided that I actually prefer pecan pie without the chocolate; the cocoa powder in the filling slightly obscures the maple flavour. I am however quite keen on a mix and match approach – choolate ganache to top a maple flavoured filling could be the way forward.
You can make this with maple syrup or golden syrup. I suspect other syrups like agave would work well too. If you prefer to use all natural sugars, replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar.
This recipe is heavily inspired by one from the Loving It Vegan Blog. I’ve suggested using coconut cream & corn starch as an egg replacer, or Orgran egg replacer. (The versions I trialled using aquafaba did not go terribly well, I am sad to report, but I would love to hear from you if you have had good results with it in a pecan pie.) For the first option, use two teaspoons of corn starch, whisked with 2 tablespoons of coconut cream, from the top of a tin of coconut milk and bake the filled tart for twenty minutes. Orgran is available from most health food shops including Holland & Barratt and some supermarkets. Just follow the instructions on the packet for two ‘eggs’ worth but the the filling will need to be baked for slightly longer – thirty minutes rather than twenty.
I used my small tart tin which is 20cm in diameter and 1/2 an inch deep but for a larger, deeper tart, you can increase the quantities by two or three, depending on the size of your tin.
Pastry: 100g plain flour
50g butter or vegan margarine
20ml cold water
Filling: 55g butter or vegan margarine
75g light brown sugar or coconut sugar
60ml/4 tablespoons of golden syrup or maple syrup
100 – 150g pecan nuts
1 tsp vanilla essence
two teaspoons of corn starch & two tablespoons of coconut cream from the top of a tin of coconut milk OR two ‘eggs’ worth of Orgran egg replacer
- Make the pastry and roll out into a circle, slightly larger than the tart tin.Carefully place into the tart tin – see here for full instructions on making a pastry case. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans before baking for thirty minutes at 180C.
- Weigh out the brown sugar, butter and syrup into a small saucepan. Over a low heat, stir until it melts and remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence. If you would like a chocolate-y filling, add a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder and stir/whisk to make sure any lumps of cocoa are mixed in.
- Whisk the coconut milk and corn starch in a small bowl OR whisk up the egg replacer as per the instructions on the packet. Pour into the mixture in the saucepan, then add the pecan nuts and stir briefly to combine. (I found 150g filled the case perfectly but I’m sure 100g will do.)
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 180C for twenty minutes if using coconut cream in the filling and thirty if you’ve used Orgran egg replacer. Allow to cool for an hour before putting into the fridge to set for two hours. Once it is set, you can also pour over a layer of chocolate ganache and put it back in the fridge to set the ganache.