If you only make one pie this holiday season, let it be this eggless pecan pie. It's bursting with flavor from maple syrup, brown sugar, and a hint of bourbon.
Just like my pecan cheesecake and pecan pie cupcakes, it makes the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving and the holidays.
🔪 What To Expect From This Recipe
- Sweet and buttery flavor. The maple caramel filling is sticky and sweet, which pairs so well with the flaky buttery crust.
- Crunchy and sticky texture. With a delicious crunch from caramelized pecans, it reminds me of maple pecan danishes or sticky buns, in pie form!
- Great for special occasions. It can be made in advance, ideal for gatherings around the holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and just fall in general.
📝 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this vegan pecan pie recipe from scratch:
Notes about the ingredients
- Soft brown sugar. This is more acidic than regular granulated sugar, which gives a delicious caramelized flavor.
- Pure maple syrup. Maple and pecans are a match made in heaven, and the maple flavor in the caramel pie filling really shines through.
- Cornstarch. Also known as cornflour, this thickens the filling. You can also use arrowroot powder in its place.
- Vegan butter. This forms the base of the caramel filling. It also gives a delicious butter pecan flavor to the pie.
- You'll also need a batch of homemade pie crust, which you can prep in advance if you want to save time on the day of baking the pie!
🥣 How To Make Vegan Pecan Pie
Find the full list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Prepare the pie crust
The base of this pecan pie is made with my vegan pie crust recipe. Just like for my sweet potato pie you need to blind-bake it before you add the filling.
(1) Blind-bake the pie crust using pastry weights until lightly golden brown.
(2) Toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted, for 3-4 minutes.
(3) Chop half of the pecans into small chunks, and leave the rest of the pecans whole for the topping.
How to make vegan pecan pie filling
(4) Whisk together the maple syrup and cornstarch in a saucepan until it's completely smooth without lumps.
(5) Stir in the vegan butter and brown sugar and keep over medium heat until the butter has melted.
(6) Simmer for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened, then remove it from the heat.
(7) Whisk in the coconut cream, Bourbon (or non-dairy milk), vanilla extract, and sea salt, and set aside to cool.
Assembling and baking pecan pie
(8) Add the chopped pecans to the base of the pie dish.
(9) Pour the caramel mixture on top, ensure not to overfill the crust, and leave at least a centimeter for the topping.
(10) Arrange the whole pecans on top of the pie, and drizzle any remaining caramel on top of them.
(11) Make a pie crust shield (aka. foil tent). Take a sheet of foil that's as long as the circumference of the dish and fold it in half. Carefully place it around the pie dish so that you can turn it in to cover the visible pastry.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
- Blind-bake your crust! I would not recommend trying this recipe without par-baking the pie crust. This is the best way to avoid soggy pie crust, which no one wants!
- Don't skip the foil tent. This will prevent the pastry from browning too quickly. Otherwise, it will cook before the pie filling is ready.
- Take your pecan pie to the next level by adding a big scoop of homemade non-dairy ice cream, or a dollop of whipped coconut cream before serving.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and no! Once at room temperature, you should store pecan pie in the fridge if you're not serving it the same day. Preferably in an airtight container or covered with foil, but a cake dome also works.
Because this particular pecan pie is made without eggs or dairy, it's fine to leave it out at room temperature for 4 hours or so.
I'm often asked whether vegan block butter or coconut milk can be replaced in recipes and the answer is, sometimes!
When it comes to this non-dairy pecan pie though, it's important to stick to the exact ingredients.
As you can see from the image below:
Test 1 used vegan butter only which caused the filling to separate. Test 2 used coconut milk only which looked good, but tasted a little too acidic. Test 3 used a combination of both butter and coconut milk, and with a little tweaking turned into the perfect pecan pie filling.
🥧 More Vegan Pies
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- ½ batch vegan pie crust
- 250 g (2 ½ cups) pecans
- 125 ml (½ cup) pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour), or ground arrowroot
- 70 g (2.5 oz) vegan butter, *see notes
- 110 g (½ cup) soft brown sugar, *see notes
- 100 g (3.5 oz) coconut cream, or. thick canned coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons bourbon, whiskey or rum, or non-dairy milk for alcohol-free version
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Make the pie crust: Prepare a half batch of this pie crust recipe through to step 3, and shape it into 1 large disc. Wrap the pastry disc in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 210°C (410°F). Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling it out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a circumference wider than your pie dish. Carefully lift the pastry into the tart tin using your rolling pin.
- Very lightly grease the base and sides of a 9" pie dish or tart tin with a little oil or vegan butter. Gently press the dough into the base and sides of the tin, being careful not to stretch it. Use a knife to trim off the excess pastry around the edges of the tin. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.
- Blind bake the crust: Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the pie. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with baking beads (or dried beans, rice, or lentils). Blind bake in the oven at 210°C (410°F) for 20 minutes. Remove the baking beads/dried beans, turn down the oven temperature to 175°C (347°F) and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden. Place the pie dish on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Toast the pecans: Toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted, for 3-4 minutes.Once cool enough to handle, chop roughly half of the pecans into small chunks, and leave the rest of the pecans whole for the topping.
- Make the filling: Add the maple syrup and cornstarch to a saucepan and whisk until smooth without lumps. Add the butter and brown sugar and melt over medium heat until the butter has melted. Whisk and simmer for 2 minutes.Remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in the coconut cream, Bourbon, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Set aside to cool slightly for 15 minutes.
- Arrange the tart: Add the chopped pecans to the base of the pie dish. Pour the caramel mixture on top, ensure not to overfill the crust, and leave at least a centimeter for the topping.Arrange the whole pecans on top of the pie, and drizzle any remaining caramel on top of them.
- Create a pie crust shield (foil tent): To prevent the pastry from baking too fast. Take a sheet of foil that's as long as the circumference of the dish and fold it in half. Carefully place it around the pie dish so that you can turn it in to cover the visible pastry. (image in the blog post)
- Bake: Bake at 175°C (347°F) for 35-45 minutes, until the filling is set with a slight jiggle to it. The caramel will appear sticky and bubbling - don't touch it as it will be piping hot!
- Serving: Allow the pie to cool to room temperature for at least an hour. Serve topped with homemade vanilla vegan ice cream, or whipped vegan cream.
- Storage: Store covered or in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
- Vegan butter: Take this out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to 1 hour. Make sure you use vegan block butter NOT spreadable butter from a tub. I use flora plant butter which is nut-free, coconut-free, and gluten-free.
- Some sugar in the US is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
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