As soon as Southern USA was requested by a reader to be my featured cuisine for a month, I immediately knew I had a prime excuse to make pecan pie! I love pecans, but sadly they're so expensive that I don't get to use them very often in my cooking. But now I had an excuse - so I went out and loaded up on expensive delicious pecans! Nuts are also very festive, so pecan pie is a perfect Christmas dessert.
This pecan pie is a bit of an "adult" version - laden with rich sticky molasses instead of sweeter alternatives such as maple syrup. I did this because I love molasses and because blackstrap molasses is so good for you that I can almost convince myself that it's something healthy!
Pecan & Molasses Pie
100g plain biscuits
10 dates, soaked
1/4 cup date soaking water
2 cups almond meal
1 cup flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
250g raw pecans
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
2 tbsp arrowroot
1/2 cup soy milk
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blend until reduced to crumbs. Remove and set aside.
3. Place the dates in the processor and puree until they form a smooth paste. You can add some of the soaking water in to help the process. Add the almond meal, flaxseed meal, cinnamon and biscuit crumbs and pulse a few times to combine. Then add the 1/4 cup of date soaking water and process until it comes together.
4. Grease a 22cm springform cake pan (or pie dish if you prefer) well and line the bottom with baking paper. Press the crust mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. You don't need to go very far up the sides, as it is only a shallow pie. Even it out by pressing firmly with your fist or with the bottom of a tumbler.
5. Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside while you prepare the filling.
6. Spread the pecans out on a tray and lightly toast them in the oven - should take about 7-10 minutes (this varies, depending on how hot your oven is!).
7. Whisk together then soy milk, vanilla, salt and ground flaxseeds and set aside. Place the molasses and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring often, until melted. Sprinkle the arrowroot over the top and whisk it into the hot molasses. Remove from the heat and whisk in the soy milk.
8. Transfer the pecans to a bowl and stir through the molasses mixture. Spread this over your crust and bake again for about 20 minutes. It'll be bubbling hot when you take it out of the oven, so allow it to cool completely before you add your pumpkin whipped cream (otherwise the cream will melt all over it).
Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream
1 can coconut cream, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
3 tbsp pureed cooked pumpkin, cold
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. When you open the tin of coconut cream you will notice that the top is a very solid thick cream. Scoop out all of the solid thick cream on top (you can reserve the liquid to use in another meal – like a curry or a smoothie).
2. Put the thick cream into a bowl and mix well using a hand held electric mixer. Move the beaters up and down to try and get as much air into the cream as possible. Add the cold cooked pumpkin, vanilla and the spices and continue to beat until it forms a thick cream.
This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Southern USA!
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