Vegan pecan pie

Vegan pecan pie

vegan pecan pie

While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, vegan pecan pie eating is something I could easily get behind. It happens to combine some of my favourite flavours on Earth: buttery pecans bathed in an aromatic concoction of maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest, which I know is not necessarily traditional, but I like its festive overtones, so I added it to mine. This recipe creation was full of drama so I am especially happy that it made it to the blog and I’m able to share it with you today. I hope you’ll make it and love it!!

Firstly, I’ve had to make it several times to get the proportions right. As it’s a fairly technical recipe, I was prepared for that, but it was still a little tiring nevertheless. Third time lucky, the pie was ready and did not end up looking too bad either, so I was ready to crack on with the photos.

The issue was the light or the lack of thereof. The weather forecast was pretty clear on the fact that there was no sunshine or white cloud to be had at all this week – it was black cloud back-to-back. What is one to do? So I dusted off my artificial light setup and got to work. I did some test shots and I was fairly happy with them, so I was in a good headspace until about 10 hours later when Duncan got home from work to find me in the middle of a shoot-induced mess, on the verge of tears.

After 10 hours of solid work and tinkering, I had no decent photos to show for myself. I HATED the outcome and, what’s worse, I couldn’t figure out why exactly. I was exhausted and despondent and I lost all sense of perspective. I was sobbing uncontrollably, doubting my ability to take a single decent photo ever and wanting to ditch the whole thing.

Duncan tried to talk some sense into me – bless him – he is good like that, but I was having none of it. As I was worried that the pie will look worse for wear the day after, I pushed myself to do a few missing shots after dinner, but I was still not happy with the results of my work. I went to bed all anxious and upset as I was staring down the barrel of having to make the pie again. But I was out of some key ingredients too, and worst of all I had no idea how to get decent shots with my light setup, so I was feeling stuck and helpless.

I woke up to see the pie look as good as on the day it was made and while there was truly no blue skies to be had, grey cloud morphed into a whitish cloud, so I figured I would give the natural light one more go. I did the entire shot in just over an hour and I am finally happy to share these with you.

I also had a good look at the room I was shooting in and realised that what most likely screwed me was the magnolia painted walls and yellowish curtains which reflected a nasty, yellowish cast into my photos, making this dreamy pie look completely unappetising. There is not much I can do about that as I cannot cover up such a vast surface area unless I pitch a white tent up in the middle of my dining room! It’s a rented house, so repainting isn’t really an option, but it made me realise where I was going wrong despite trying every trick in the book.

I guess I am doomed to be chasing elusive white clouds for a little while longer…until I figure this conundrum out. Ah, they joys of food photography in winter gloom…

vegan pecan pie whole

vegan pecan pie texture

vegan pecan pie cut

vegan pecan pie side

vegan pecan pie slide

vegan pecan pie whole side

makes
25 cm / 10"
PREP
60 min
COOKING
75 min
makes
25 cm / 10"
PREPARATION
60 min
COOKING
75 min
INGREDIENTS
PASTRY

  • 240 g / 2 cups all purpose white flour or GF all purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp xantham gum (only if using GF flour)
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • 100 g / ½ cup (not melted!) refined coconut oil

FILLING

METHOD
PASTRY

  1. Sift the flour (and xanthan gum if making GF pastry) into a large bowl.
  2. Add the salt and chopped coconut oil and cut it into the flour with two knifes. Here is a handy guide to making shortcurst pastry that I follow.
  3. Once the mixture is uniform and there are no large lumps left (to check, shake the bowl lightly, they will come to the surface), rub the small bits of oil into the flour with your fingers until there are no lumps left. Yes, I know, it does take some time!
  4. Finally trickle in cold water and mix it into the flour mixture with a cutlery knife.
  5. Add the water very gradually as too much will make the pastry tough. To check if more water is needed, grab a handful of mixed dough with your hands, if it is very dry, add a tiny bit more water, mix it in and check again.
  6. Once the dough is the right consistency, form it into a flattened ball quickly – handle the dough as little as possible, wrap it in cling film and chill for 60 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper until you get a circle large enough to cover your entire tart case, about 2-3 mm in thickness. Place the rolled-out dough over a tart case and gently line the inside of it with the pastry. Tuck the pastry in well, ensuring that it fits snugly into all the nooks and crannies. Trim the excess pastry with a sharp knife or by rolling a rolling pin along the baking case edge. Patch any holes up with the cut off excess. If making gluten-free pastry (which tends to be more crumbly), you may be better off placing the crumbled pastry in the tart case and simply moulding the pastry with your hands to the shape of the tart tin – you do not need to worry about overworking the pastry as it contains no gluten.
  8. Pierce the bottom of the pastry with a fork in a few places and chill the pastry-lined tart case in the fridge for about another 60 minutes.
  9. 45 min into pastry chilling time, preheat the oven to 180° C / 355° F. Line the pastry case with a large piece of crumpled baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice for a blind bake.
  10. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes.

FILLING

  1. Place the maple syrup, sugar and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring the whole time. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor combine drained tofu, vanilla paste, orange zest, cinnamon and salt. Blend until silky smooth.
  3. Add the cooled sugar mixture to the tofu mixture along with the tapioca starch. Blend until smooth.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F.
  2. Add the chopped pecans to the cool filling and fill the prebaked tart case.
  3. Decorate the top with pecan halves, brush them lightly with leftover filling.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160° C / 320° F and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until the edges are cooked.
  5. Cool the tart completely before cutting.
SHARE
NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
328
16%
sugars
19 g
21%
fats
21 g
29%
saturates
10 g
51%
proteins
4 g
7%
carbs
34 g
13%
*per serving
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5.0
13 reviews, 37 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Tanja:
I absolutely love this fantastic pecan pie! A friend of mine who lives vegan recommended it to me a few years ago. I've made the pie three times now and the second time, I used some cheaper vanilla extract and thought I could save a few bucks. Oh boy, was I wrong! It almost ruined the flavour of this delicious aromatic pie and cost me the "oh wow, can't believe that's vegan" experience at the family dinner table. Never doing that again! I've found that although I halved the maple syrup on my second and third attempt, the pie is still on the verge of being too sweet (yes, even for a pie). I'll try also halving the brown sugar next time and hopefully will achieve a result that better fits my German taste buds. All the best - Tanja
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Tanja,I'm delighted to hear that this pie has been such a success in your house and many thanks for letting me know. Sure, the sweetness can be adjusted as it's very individual. Hope it works out well. x Ania
Aditi:
I quit eggs few years ago, although not vegan, being a vegetarian and egg free pretty much eliminates conventional desserts for me. I tried this pecan pie and it was unbelievable! Not only vegan but you cannot tell the difference. It’s easy, rich in flavor and really awesome texture. Everyone who ate just could not believe how amazing it was being vegan!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yay, thank you so much for your kind words, Aditi and for taking the time to leave this review - I really appreciate it! I'm delighted to hear that this pie was such a success with you and your fellow diners. x Ania
Noemie:
Loved this recipe will definitely make it again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    So happy to hear that, Noemie - thank you! And many thanks for taking the time to leave a review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
Lua:
HI, I love all your recipes! I was wondering if using buckwheat flour would work? Using the xanath gum, of course. Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoy my recipes! I would say yes, but I would also add some starch (about 20%), like potato starch, cornflour / starch, and optionally some rice or almond flour (another 30%) to make sure you get a nice texture after baking. Also, the amount of water needed may be different as those flours will have different absorbency level to wheat flour. Hope it works out well. Ania
Kara:
This pecan pie came out beautifully! My non-vegan pecan-pie-loving mom approved too!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you so much for letting me know, Kara! I'm delighted to hear that you and even your non-vegan mom enjoyed it. Ania
Aviva Taams:
Made this today. The GF version. I couldn’t find silken tofu, only firm. So I blended the quantity required down with some almond milk to the consistency of Silke tofu which worked fine. Absolutely divino ! The grated orange peel comes through subtly and every bite is quite heavenly packed with nuts and flavour. Effort required for the dough making well worth it ! Love love love ithis vegan pecan nut pie and ao does the rest of the family. ❤️❤️❤️
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Aviva,Thank you so much for your kind words. I am delighted that it came out so well (good thinking on your feet, btw!!) and that you and your family loved it. x Ania
Nancy Lou:
Please see comment sent before... I forgot to add the stars 5
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you :)
Nancy Lou:
This Pecan Pie recipe from Ania is even tastier than the original recipe from my aunt eaten 60 years ago! Have made it several times. I only change the crust by adding more coconut fat. And although we looove the cinnamon orange flavor, I might next time add rum and vanilla instead. 😉 Thank you Ania!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Wow, that's some compliment. I am delighted to hear that you enjoy this pie and yes, adding more coconut oil to the crust does make it more indulgent, for sure. Good call! Ania
Lydia:
Hello Ania, I would like to use your recipe and make this but I don’t use/have/like tofu, please tell me what I can use instead. I am not vegan. Thank you so much.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Lydia,Full disclaimer: I have not tried making this recipe with anything else than tofu, but I am pretty sure that full fat coconut cream and a bit more cornstarch would work fine too. Good luck! Ania
Bhavini:
This recipe was super delicious - and so quick and easy to make (I cheated and bought ready made pastry to save time). I had never had pecan pie before, combined with the fact I was making it vegan, I wasn’t sure how this would turn out but everyone absolutely loved the flavours and it was a huge success with my American flatmate spending her first Thanksgiving in London. Will definitely become a regular on the dessert list!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, Bhavini! I'm delighted that you and your American flatmate approved and how nice of you to make it for her, what a great friend you are! Ania
Ceilia:
I made this pie as a test run for Thursday and I am blown away by how good it is! My whole family raved about it and my husband is not even a full-time vegan. Thank you so much - this is going to be my go-to recipe for now on. Ceilia
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so happy to hear that, Ceilia! Thank you so much for letting me know that it's such a firm favourite with you and your family. Ania
Eva:
Absolutely delicious! It was my very first vegan pecan pie and I loved how simple it was to make. Super tasty. My boyfriends favorite pie and he’s so impressed, love it. Thanks so much for this recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that both you and your boyfriend enjoyed this pie so much, that's so lovely to hear - thank you. Ania
Tania:
Just making this delicious looking pie and wondering how cool does the sugar, maple, coconut mixture have to be before mixing it with the tofu mixture?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Tania,I cooled it down completely, but I am sure it will be fine if it's a bit warm to the touch still. Ania
Patsy:
Hi Ania, hoping to make this tomorrow but only reading now that’s it’s silken tofu and I’ bought a firm one :( Will it still work?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Patsy,It should, although I haven't tried. I would say use a bit less and blend it with a bit of plant milk in a blender first to achieve smoother, custard-like consistency of silken tofu. Good luck! Ania
Dee:
I LOVE pecan pie so thank you for this recipe. At the same time, I am so very sorry that you got upset about trying to make great pictures. You are to be commended for doing so much to help people become plant based - for morals, for health, for environment, for animals. Dee
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks for your kind words, Dee! And I hope you'll enjoy my vegan take on pecan pie! Ania
Roi:
Hi Ania! I ended up using it anyway and the pie came out perfect :) Everyone loved it Thanks! Roi
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's lovely to hear, Roi. And thanks for letting me know! x Ania
Roi:
Hi :) what can replace the refined coconut oil in this recipe that won't add unwanted flavors? Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Roi,I don't know if you are aware but refined coconut oil (as opposed to extra virgin coconut oil) is flavourless and odourless so it does not contribute any flavour at all. If you do not want to use coconut oil for another reason, I am not sure what else to suggest as I have not tried anything else and I cannot really think of anything that I am certain will work here. Anna
Sam Smakman:
Hi Ania,Here is Sam from Amsterdam, The Netherlands! Your pecan pie is fantastic! I’ve baked it several times and it makes everyone happy. Thank you for sharing.Best regards and I will try many more of your ideas.Sam
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Sam - I am so happy to hear that you and everybody else enjoyed it so much! I hope you'll find other recipes you like equally too. x Ania
Kallie:
I wonder if this would work well as mini tarts - I used to make mini pecan pies before I was vegan.... they look so cute with one little pecan decorating each one.....I have been too nervous to make them since our change of diet, not sure why. But I may give it a go.... tricky bit will be estimating the bake time I reckon...
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Kallie,I don't see why not, I reckon about 20-30 minutes (+ blind baking) should do the job. x Ania
Kathryn Khoury:
Hi, can this pie be made the day ahead? If so I think it needs to go in the fridge what do you think? If you really think I shouldn’t make it a day ahead, I won’t because it’s for Thanksgiving and I wanted to be really great. Thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    This pie actually benefits from being made a day ahead (if you can make it the evening ahead) as it should be properly cooled down before cutting. I did not find it necessary to keep it in the fridge but you are welcome to - it would be best to lock it in an air-tight container (after it cools) before putting in the fridge so that it doesn't dry out. Hope that helps! Ania
Polina:
Hello! Could you help me - what can I use instead of white flour? Is almond/tapioca/corn/oat flour OK for that? Did you try something of that? And maybe I can swap xantham gum with something? How many days can I keep it in refrigerator?Thenk you so much!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Polina,I have tried with GF all purpose flour mix, but you do need xantham gum or else the dough gets too crumbly. You definitely don't want to use just one of these flours on their own, but a nice mix of say oat, almond and some starch (like tapioca or cornflour) should work. I think your best bet is to look up homemade GF flour mix online and I am sure someone has written extensive blog posts about how to make your own GF flour mix. Hope that helps! x Ania
Millican Pecan:
Thank you for this recipe. We have a daughter that is 99% vegan. She is also gluten intolerant so I am thinking about swapping out the all purpose flour with pecan meal/flour to create a gluten-free option. I have had good luck with that in the past.
    Ania
    Ania:
    You are welcome! I hope that both you and your daughter like it! x Ania
Beverley James:
I’ve just made this and it smells wonderful ! Can I freeze it do you think ?
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so glad to hear that! Yes, I don't see why not! Ania
Jacey E:
This recipe is amazing! Has a really great pecan pie texture. I added mini chocolate chips and it was so delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Jacey! And thank you so much for taking the time to leave this rating and review! Much appreciated! Ania
Heather Sullivan:
Do u have dairy/soy free option
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Heather,This recipe is dairy-free and no, I don't have a soy-free option, I'm afraid, but I believe you could substitute silken tofu with cooked millet or perhaps coconut cream, but that's just a hunch. Ania
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