Indulge yourself without the guilt. With sweet dates for flavor and whole rolled oats for texture, this naturally gluten-free, vegan recipe allows you to skip the excessive processed sugars and butter of traditional recipes. So go ahead and have a slice — or even two!
Confession time: I’ve never actually had pecan pie.
I don’t know why, but it’s never really been one of those pies that appeals to me. Anytime pecan pie is served, it’s alongside a stone fruit or apple or pumpkin pie, and pecan pie is no match for any of those. Not to mention I’ve always been put off by the contents of pecan pie: Excessive amounts of sugar (usually in the form of corn syrup), butter, eggs, etc. So I set out to develop my own recipe that’s naturally vegan and gluten free and requires no baking time. I based the recipe on the opinions of those close to me who love the intensely rich pie and can vouch for this version’s similar flavor and texture. This pie is naturally sweetened and made with whole oats, and it is sure to be the star of your harvest feast.
If you aren’t a fan of pecans, you could substitute almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds for a similar end result. If you don’t have a rectangular tart pan, you can make this in a round tart pan or individual tartlet size, but if making an 8- or 9-inch round pie, you may have some dough left over. Thankfully, the leftover crust is delicious on its own, so cut it into bars and enjoy it on the go.
No-Bake Pecan Pie
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- Small pinch of fine sea salt
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- 6 to 8 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Lightly grease a 14-by-4-inch tart pan with oil; set aside.
2. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the rolled oats, pecan pieces and salt into a fine meal. Add the dates and process just until combined. Add the non-dairy milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, and process until the mixture becomes crumbly and a dough starts to form.
3. Transfer the tough to the prepared pan, and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Make sure you’re pressing firmly so the dough sticks together. This may take 4 to 5 minutes to get it just right. Set crust aside.
4. Wipe out your food processor (no need to clean it completely) and reassemble it. Add the dates (but not their soaking water), non-dairy milk, 1/2 cup pecan pieces, vanilla extract and cinnamon, and process for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times, but keep processing until a thick paste forms. Once processed, stir in the remaining 1 cup of pecan pieces, then transfer the filling to the pie crust. Level with the back of a spoon.
5. Sprinkle pie with pecans, if desired, then cover with plastic and transfer to the freezer to set for at least 4 hours. Pie will keep for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the freezer or up to 1 week covered with plastic.
Photo Credit: Ashlae Warner