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chocolate pecan pie + saying yes


Totally last minute Thanksgiving dessert post! Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve featured quite a few chocolate treats lately. I mean, it’s kind of an accident, but the reality is that I love the stuff big time. It can go healthy or super rich, either way (and every single, humanly possible way) it’s amazing to me. This pie is remarkably healthy considering the general corn syrup-laden nature of pecan pie. The taste is so not lacking though. Like not even a bit. Rich, chocolaty, nutty, creamy-sweet gooeyness all bundled up in a hearty crust. Yes!

Holiday meals and little indulgences go hand in hand, it’s really wonderful. I love gathering around food and everything that comes with it so much. When I sit down to a meal, I usually feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to tuck in. There’s so much effort, experience and years of wisdom tied up in what’s placed before you. A dollop of mashed potatoes, a slice of pie, a piece of gratin… they’re all brimming with moments and human experience. Like never-ending stories that nourish every little part of us. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

With that observation in mind (harsh transition): I don’t care if I eat white flour most of the time. I have a background in nutrition and generally go about my life in a wholesome way, but I never ever refuse something because it may contain some refined flour/sugar, a dab of butter, you get the idea. It’s an offering made by someone I care about. That’s all I need to know. I like to say yes and keep that exchange going. There’s so much value in that simple act, to you and especially to the other. So all of this is to say that yes, I’ve used some white flour in this recipe. It’s not a big deal, right? Didn’t think so. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, American friends.

chocolate pecan pie
lightly adapted from here and here
serves: makes a 9 inch pie
notes: I find grinding flaxseeds right before you need them to be more effective with the whole binding thing (rather than using pre-ground). The pie has a slight banana tang since you’re using it as an egg/binder. If bananas aren’t your jam, you could replace it with an equivalent amount of mashed up tofu maybe? Or 2 beaten eggs if you eat them.

crust:
1 cup whole spelt flour (or whole wheat, kamut etc)
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/4 cup natural sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

pie filling:
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 small banana, chopped up rough
3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, all chopped except for about 1/4 cup
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the crust: combine the flours, salt, sugar and ground flaxseeds in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low to combine. Add coconut oil and non-dairy milk. Mix on medium until just combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface (no resting!). Roll dough with a floured pin evenly until you have a circle that is about an inch larger than your pie plate.

Gather dough by rolling it onto your rolling pin. Gently roll the dough back over your pie dish. Carefully tuck the dough into the dish with your hands. Prick the bottom crust with the tines of a fork a few times. Lay a sheet of parchment paper or tin foil onto the crust and place dry beans or pie weights in. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Raise the temperature to 425 degrees F.

Make the filling: Combine the milk, arrowroot and banana in a blender or food processor. Blend until all banana and arrowroot lumps are gone. Add to a medium bowl along with the chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, chopped pecan halves (reserving the whole ones), cinnamon and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour filling into pie shell and arrange remaining pecan halves on the top. Cover the edges of the pie with tinfoil and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling in the center of the pie seems firm. Let the pie cool at room temperature for about an hour. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.

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Anna26/11/2011 - 12:52 am

Great pecan pie version! My choco pecan pie needs a little twist. Gets boring over time…Thanks for sharing this post!

mouth-watering recipe! and i love love love your description of life moments through food! i too try to avoid all that bad for you stuff, but at a social gathering my clean-eating gets a little dirty, and i cherish every moment of it. : )

Kelsey (Happyolks)28/11/2011 - 11:49 pm

Love this. truly. When I was traveling through Africa and Asia last year I made an up-front decision to say yes. Food is love, and turning down hospitality (especially where food is not abundant to begin with) is so disrespectful. I said yes to more than I’d like to remember, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My preferences for whole grain, mostly plant diet are put on hold when honoring the person I’m sharing a meal with is more important.

You’re great. Period. And I would so say yes to this pie.

[...] The First Mess – With a focus on wholesome ingredients and accessibility, this blog is as practical as it is lovely. Plus the name of the blog comes from an M.F.K. Fisher quote, so you know she’s legit. Recommended recipe: Chocolate Pecan Pie [...]

shelley22/11/2012 - 8:43 am

can I use cornstarch here instead of arrowroot?

[…] I really wanted to re-create it somehow for our newly vegan Thanksgiving dinner.  This is where Laura at The First Mess came to the rescue! At this time, I was not an avid food blog reader, but searched on Taste […]

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