Maple-Pecan Pie With Sorghum/Brown Rice Crust
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Happy holidays, everyone! Hope you are enjoying some good times and delicious edibles:) I can’t wait to hear about all the treats and goodies and scrumptious meals you prepared. I think my best effort this year was a pecan pie. Not being an experienced pie baker, I decided to follow the masters. I adapted Carol Fenster’s basic pie crust to have more whole-grain and less refined flours and tried making a reduced-sugar version of pecan filling from my Best Recipe cookbook. I used real maple syrup in the filling along with brown rice syrup, but no cane sugar. I cut the amount of sweetener in half, and though the sweeteners are slightly lower-glycemic, it is not sugar-free. I did also use some butter in the crust and filling, so this version is not completely dairy-free but if you want to do a totally dairy-free vegan version, I would suggest substituting coconut butter or non-dairy vegetable spread in the filling. I would not, however, replace the butter in the crust with coconut oil. I learned that the hard way (no pun intended) when I tried doing that and then after refrigerating the dough discovered it was solid as a rock. Also, using a good extra-virgin coconut oil helps. More refined oil tends to harden more when cool.
Sorghum-Brown Rice Pie Crust
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp xylitol
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
1 T butter or vegetable spread
2 T rice milk or nut milk
Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add the coconut oil and butter and process until coarse. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the rice milk; stir until the dough forms a ball. Flatten the ball into a 1-inch thick disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. Now it is ready to roll.
I was always frightened of making pie crusts because my mother made them when I was young and they were always so messy and seemed like a lot of work. But here’s the trick (and I learned this from Carol Fenster): place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it out that way. When it is evenly spread to about 10 inches in diameter, remove the top sheet and then invert it over a lightly-greased 9-inch pie pan. That’s what they call easy as pie. It may tear slightly in the process, but all you have to do is patch it together and press it into the pan. Even out the side edges and press with the tines of a fork (prick a few holes in the bottom as well). Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes; remove from oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.
Maple-Pecan Pie Filling
Most of the traditional pecan pie recipes I looked at called for at least 1 and a half cups of sugar and/or corn syrup. That is a LOT of sugar, and refined sugar at that. I cut the amount of sweetener in half and divided that into maple syrup and brown rice syrup, omitting the cane sugar completely. It tasted perfectly sweet to me, and my parents (who have a real sweet tooth) really enjoyed it. Yet it did not give me a sugar buzz so I think the fiber in the pecans helped to aid the absorption of what sugar it did contain.
1/4 cup butter (or coconut butter or vegetable spread)
1/3 cup dark maple syrup
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups pecan pieces
In a double-boiler (or a metal bowl atop a saucepan of simmering water), melt the butter. Add the brown rice syrup and salt, stir, and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add them to the butter-syrup mixture and stir well. Add the maple syrup and return to heat, stirring well. Toss in the pecans and pour everything into the pie shell. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 60 minutes. It should have a firmness similar to gelatin. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.
Have a FABULOUS New Year! Here’s hoping 2010 is a better year for all of us!
May you all find peace & prosperity ~