Oh yes, I did. This thing is the bomb. And it’s seriously easy. And very low in processed sugar. And vegan. And gluten-free. And full of chocolate, pecans, and bourbon. I don’t, however, recommend eating a slice for breakfast the first thing in the morning. Not that I did. Or felt at all woozy. Sheesh.
Last June I attended the BlogHer Food conference, where I met the folks from American Heritage Chocolate, a division of Mars. I’ll be telling you more about the chocolate during Friday’s giveaway, as they have put together a fantastic little gift basket for you. American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic chocolate recipe that was consumed during Colonial times, and includes an intriguing mix of spices that include anise, annatto, red pepper, and orange. If you’ve had Mexican hot chocolate, it’s somewhat similar. It’s sold online and at historic heritage sites like Colonial Williamsburg. Since I’m also a museum consultant, it was fascinating to meet them at a food bloggers conference.
After receiving some of their chocolate, I wanted to develop a recipe for a chocolate pecan pie that is vegan and gluten-free, and needs no apologies at the holiday table. You don’t even have to tell anybody it’s Special. I did a half recipe taste-test and took it to some friends, who scarfed it down, declaring it delicious and “just the right amount of boozy.” The espresso powder adds an incredible richness to the chocolate. It’s a tip I picked up from Joy the Baker.
I wanted to develop a new pie crust recipe that didn’t use xanthan gum, as some people are sensitive to it. The crust is very tasty, more like shortbread, flaky and buttery, and uses psyllium husk powder to help bind the flour in place of the xanthan gum. It didn’t hold together terribly well during the transfer from the waxed paper to the pie dish, so I recommend you press it in by hand. Or you can use my regular gluten-free pie crust recipe. If you want more healthy Thanksgiving ideas, please check out the Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge hosted by What Would Cathy Eat?
All of our recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with plant-based ingredients to help you build a healthy life. We support Meatless Monday. Look for midweek essays and Friday how-to and giveaways (when available).
Can’t find espresso powder? Here it is:
- 1/4 cup potato starch (48 g)
- 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour (45 g) or Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Mix
- 1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour (45 g)
- 1/3 cup oat flour (gluten-free) (40 g)
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil canola oil, coconut oil
- 1/4 cup milk soy, rice, hemp, hazelnut
- 4 tbsp flax seeds (ground)
- 1/2 cup water (filtered or spring)
- 2 cups pecans (240 g)
- 1 cup dark chocolate (semi-sweet) chopped (145 g)
- 1 cup dates fresh
- 3/4 cup coconut milk carton, not canned, or other non-dairy milk
- 6 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tbsp espresso powder optional
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sea salt (omit for low-sodium diet)
- 62 pecans halves, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/gas mark 5.
- Sift and measure each of the flours into a medium-sized bowl. Add the psyllium husks and stir with a whisk until evenly combined. Add the oil and milk and stir with a fork until just combined. My mom always said, "Should be streaky."
- Cut two pieces of waxed paper the size of your pie dish. Put the pie crust in between the sheets of waxed paper, rolling out into a circle that's a little bigger than the bottom of the dish. Peel off the top piece of paper and turn the crust into the pie dish, peeling off the bottom piece evenly.
- Use your fingers to press the pie crust evenly into the dish and up the sides, and then create a rolled edge just a bit below the rim of the dish. Do your best to get the crust even.
- Put the ground flax seeds in a bowl with the water and let sit about five minutes.
- Add the pecans, chocolate, dates, coconut milk, bourbon, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt to the bowl of your food processor. Add in the flax seed mixture. Process about 5 minutes, until it's a fairly smooth consistency and all the dates are incorporated. It's fine to have a few chocolate chunks remaining (and you can add the chocolate towards the end if you'd like more melty chocolate pockets in the pie).
- Spread the filling in the crust with a spatula, smoothing the top. Decorate the top with pecans. Choose pecans that are roughly the same size, and have them facing the same direction as you place them. You can do just one circle around the edge, or cover the top as I did. Think of it as a mindfulness meditation.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the center is firm. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before cutting.
- 530 calories
- 36 g fat
- 7 g saturated fat
- 1 g monounsaturated fat
- 4 g polyunsaturated fat
- 0 g trans fat
- 0 g cholesterol
- 193 mg sodium (5 mg sodium with salt omitted)
- 82 mg potassium
- 44 g carbohydrate
- 4 g fiber
- 11 g sugars
- 6 g protein
- 14 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Traditional chocolate-pecan pie from David Lebovitz
Healthy chocolate pecan pie from Chocolate Covered Katie Required FTC disclosure: The chocolate and pie dish were provided by American Heritage Chocolate. I was not paid to write this post.