Pleasing Pecan Pie—Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan

It’s day 4 of SSS—Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts! When I shared My First Raw Pie I mentioned that one of the other recipes I planned to make later was the raw pecan pie. I like pecan pie a lot. It can be a bit intense though—a jolt of sweetness–so it’s not a pie that I make very often. I did make a crustless version for Thanksgiving that my family loved and a few gfe readers have really enjoyed as well. This raw pecan pie appealed to me because it’s naturally gluten free and dairy free. Plus, it takes its sweetness from dates, and honey, if used, which also makes it refined sugar free. If no sweetener or agave nectar is added, this pie will also be vegan.

Like the first raw pie I made, this one has a great taste. It really pretty much tastes like what you expect a pecan pie to taste like … just not over-the-top sweet. Instead, it’s just sweet enough for my taste. And, once again, I was impressed that I could actually cut this raw pie into slices like a traditional baked pie. A small piece is more than enough, because this pie is delightfully dense and filling, although it doesn’t taste “heavy” in any way. I would have a hard time choosing between this raw version and crustless, baked pecan pie. This pie is healthy enough to eat for breakfast and that’s just what I am going to do! (Incidentally, offering a piece for breakfast may be a way to get your raw food skeptics to give it a try.)

Pleasing Pecan Pie—Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan
  • 1 cup pecans, frozen
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (liquefied)
  • 1 tsp honey (optional; agave nectar or coconut nectar may be used. I did not use either and using agave nectar does make this pie non-raw I believe.)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ½ cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional; agave nectar or coconut nectar may be used; but either sweetener is optional. I did not add either and using agave nectar does make this pie non-raw I believe.)
  • A few dashes of ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup water (may use less if dates are very juicy)
For crust:
  1. Place 1 cup of frozen pecans in food processor; process 15 to 30 seconds, until mostly ground. (Should not be finely ground, should have a few small pieces still.)
  2. Add coconut oil and honey (or other sweetener, if used). Process a few more seconds until the pecans and coconut oil are blended.
  3. Press into 5-inch pie plate (or similar serving dish).
For filling:
  1. Soak medjool dates in ⅓ cup of water for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
  2. Add dates, pecans, and water (after the 10 minutes have passed) to food processor.
  3. Process 15 to 30 seconds or so, slowly adding honey (if used).
  4. Pour filling into crust. Garnish with pecan halves, etc., if desired. Serves 4.
Freezing the pecans is supposed to make them bind better with the shortening to make a more viable crust. I’m not sure if that’s really necessary. I froze my pecan halves fairly quickly by spreading them out on an uncovered cookie sheet in the freezer. However, you can try them without freezing and just process with the coconut oil a shorter amount of time.

I liquefied my coconut oil just by having the small amount in a bowl on top of my stove while I baked something else. Melted butter (dairy or non-dairy) can be used instead of coconut oil. (Of course, with the addition of dairy butter, this pie would neither be dairy free nor vegan.)

In the filling, ½ cup of raisins and ½ cup pecans can be added instead of 1 cup of pecans. [br
]Finally, I used sliced raw almonds and dried cranberries for garnish.

Pie crust adapted from recipe from Filling adapted from a recipe included in newspaper article attributed to Beth Wood,

Enjoy your day off from baking! Be sure to check out previous Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts entries:

~Surprise Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

~Cinnamon-Sugar Crusted Almond Popovers

~Perfect Pound Cake

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This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix–PecansFriday Foodie Fix–Honey, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Raw Foods Thursdays, and Wellness Weekends.

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36 Responses to “Pleasing Pecan Pie—Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan”

  1. Lauren on February 11th, 2010 11:20 am

    This looks like heaven! I love that you’ve been playing with these raw pies – they are such fun =D.

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 8:35 pm

      Hey Lauren,

      It’s pretty gooood! I might add a smidge of honey next go round. It’s very much a pie form of the raw, healthy truffles like you made. ;-) It is fun to make these little gems. I am always very surprised at just how great raw pies taste!



  2. Mandy on February 11th, 2010 1:36 pm

    Wow! A gluten-free and “kosher” pecan pie! Who would’ve though? Must share this one, for sure!

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 8:42 pm

      Hi Mandy–Thanks so much for stopping by gfe—welcome! It is indeed a surprise, but a good one. ;-)

      Thanks again! :-)


  3. Alta on February 11th, 2010 1:38 pm

    Looks wonderful! I suppose this isn’t much of a stretch – Lara Bar makes a pecan pie with dates as the sweetener, so why not make an actual pie? Might have to try this!

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 8:46 pm

      Hi Alta–Thanks! I’ve had the pecan pie flavor of Lara bars. This pie does have a similar taste, but not as sweet perhaps. Next time I want to make it with an almond flour crust and add a tiny bit of honey. I just want to play around and get some different flavors going. ;-) I’m surprised at how easy these raw pies are to make. I don’t think you can go wrong with these pies and one can come up with all kinds of flavors. :-)


  4. Iris on February 11th, 2010 2:42 pm

    This sounds great! I do love traditional pecan pie, but it is a bit too sweet sometimes. This would be a great version that I wouldn’t have to feel so bad about. :)

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 8:52 pm

      Hi Iris!–Thanks! :-) No, you wouldn’t have to feel badly about eating this pie at all. I’m going to change the serving info in the recipe, because a very small piece is all that’s needed. This small pie will actually serve more like 6 to 8, I think. So how could one feel badly about eating a small piece like that? It’s amazing how satisfying that small piece is, too. :-)


  5. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free on February 11th, 2010 3:57 pm

    I agree with everyone else – yum!! I used to love Pecan Pie….haven’t had one in years. Like you said, the sweetness can be a little much. Your version looks so much better – and healthier.

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 8:59 pm

      Hey Amy–I’m finding my need for sweetness to be lessening, and that’s a good thing! :-) But, I might add a tiny bit—maybe a drizzle—of honey next time around as the recipe allows … mostly to add a slightly different flavor to this pie. Still it would be far, far less sweet than a traditional pecan pie. When I eat a small piece of this pie, I don’t immediately think, I’d like another piece please … which has been the case with traditional pecan pie in the past.


  6. Pam on February 11th, 2010 5:50 pm

    Very nice…I really like your pie dish Shirley…so cute!


    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 10:14 pm

      Thanks, Pam. :-) The dish was a gift from one of Son’s former girlfriends a long time ago. It came filled with homemade goodies. I love bringing it out each winter. :-)


  7. Alisa - Frugal Foodie on February 11th, 2010 8:58 pm

    I was just thinking about making some pecan pie bars! I think a smidge of vanilla might send it over the top for me :)

    • Shirley on February 11th, 2010 10:35 pm

      Alisa–Great to see you and wonderful idea on the vanilla! :-) Thanks for mentioning it … might have to make an adjustment to the recipe. ;-)


  8. Jenn/CinnamonQuill on February 12th, 2010 11:18 am

    You can do anything–vegan, raw, gluten-free…no sweat for GFE! Ahhh, the store was out of the local farm eggs I buy, so I’m trying a different store today…because I must, must, must make your pound cake…today! :)

    • Shirley on February 12th, 2010 10:47 pm

      Awww, Jenn, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you!! :-) It’s no fun to be out of good eggs … I’m hoping for a great report on your pound cake project. ;-)


  9. Sarah on February 12th, 2010 3:03 pm

    I love recipe. I am making a brunch for Sunday and this will be a perfect recipe for it. Thanks :)

    • Shirley on February 12th, 2010 11:30 pm

      Hi Sarah–Welcome to gfe! I’m so glad you love this recipe. I had the last piece for breakfast this morning and I truly enjoyed it. Hope you’ll report back after you make it. ;-)

      Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day brunch! Oh, love the name of your blog–Healthy Mom on the Run. :-)


  10. Emily on February 12th, 2010 7:42 pm

    Mmmm raw pies are delicious. I remember when I was a raw-food vegan and made my first pie I was shocked at how wonderful it tasted!! But I must admit, there is still nothing like warm gooey baked apple pie :-) Love your snow plates, very fitting! Happy Vday!!!!

    • Shirley on February 12th, 2010 11:37 pm

      Hi Emily–Well, you make a great point there … the raw and the warm gooey pies both have their place! ;-)

      Thanks for the comment about the “snowware.” I just heard on the news that 49 of 50 states have measurable snow on the ground (I’m not making this up … even FL’s panhandle got snow), so it’s fitting indeed. Wow, huh?

      Happy V Day to you, too, dear! :-)


  11. christina on February 27th, 2010 2:38 am

    This looks really good! I’m loving dates right now. My brother -in -law makes a pecan pie with maple syrup and burbon. I’ll have to check and see if it’s GF because the flavor is so good. If I try it I’ll let you know.

    BTW, I keep trying to make the Sparkling Chocolate Cookies. I measure out the 8 oz of chocolate and then get busy, but by the time I get back, the chocolate is not 8 oz and I have to start over!

    • Shirley on February 27th, 2010 10:13 am

      Hi christina–Happy Saturday, dear! Dates are amazing, aren’t they? I spent all my life steering clear of them. Silly me. Your BIL’s pie sounds pretty fantastic. If it’s not gluten free, it sure sounds like one that should be converted to gf immediately. ;-) And, that reminds me that I used to make a Kahlua pecan pie, too. Might have to convert that one, too. LOL

      Too funny on the Sparkling Chocolate Cookies. Too funny because as they say I resemble that remark. I actually made some of them yesterday so Son could have some. I was short on the regular choc chips for the very reason you describe and had to supplement with mini-chocolate chips that I had for another recipe. Worked great though and Son enjoyed them and took some with him for his female, chocolate-loving friends. I hope you get to make them eventually … they’re pretty special. :-)


  12. Erica on March 13th, 2010 6:55 pm

    This looks AWESOME! I’m not usually a huge pecan pie fan because it all seems so…fake and overly sugary! I’d love to give this version a go

    • Shirley on March 13th, 2010 11:53 pm

      I think you’d absolutely love this raw pecan pie, Erica. As soon as I get some dates, I plan to make it again … perhaps a slightly different version. I absolutely loved eating it for breakfast. So healthy and you only need a little piece to satisfy because of its nutritional density. :-)


  13. Lee on November 7th, 2011 4:43 pm

    Hi Shirley,
    Can you recommend a brand of pecans that are gf. All of the nuts in my local store warn of cross contamination. I guess I could shell my own, but with all I have to do for the holidays, I’d rather buy them already shelled.

    • Shirley on November 9th, 2011 12:39 am

      Hi Lee–Well, Nuts Online has gf nuts and other products. They can be a bit pricey compared to what I usually pay though. I use Diamond Nuts of California and Fisher most often. Both do say that they can be made on shared equipment. I have not reacted to either (and have to some other nut companies’ products), but that is not a true indicator of satefy as I’m sure you know. Years ago, we rented a house with a pecan tree. Now that was a great guarantee for gf pecans. :-) (But they were not shelled.)

      Hope you find some that you feel safe eating!

  14. Lee on November 9th, 2011 8:56 am

    Thanks for the input. I just saw that Walmart has Fisher pecans on sale, so I guess I’ll give them a try.
    Thanks again,

    • Shirley on November 9th, 2011 2:15 pm

      Best of luck with those, Lee! :-) I think the quality of their pecans is excellent. I think that most manufacturers do clean the lines between production of items with different allergens, but I sure wish we had more assurance in that area. Incidentally, the statement about being made on shared lines or in a shared facility are voluntary on the manufacturers’ parts (no FDA requirement at this time), so if we see a package that does not have those statments, it doesn’t meant that “sharing” is not occurring. Just FYI.


  15. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on July 11th, 2013 6:34 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad that you linked up this pie today! What a perfect recipe! You were playing with raw desserts even before I heard of them! Love pecan pie, and I look forward to making this one!

    • Shirley on July 12th, 2013 9:12 am

      Hey Heather–Thanks so much, dear! I do love this pie. ;-) Just thinking about it makes me “taste” it all over again. I had another raw recipe in mind for this week, but ran out of time. Hopefully, I’ll get to it for next week. :-) And, honey, you have quickly become a raw foods guru! I agree with Amber (I believe Amber said it) that we’ll be eagerly awaiting your raw foods cookbook or other enterprise in the near future!


  16. Linda on July 12th, 2013 11:38 am

    I don’t remember seeing this one before, but it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing it at Raw Foods Thursdays.

    • Shirley on July 12th, 2013 11:23 pm

      Thanks, Linda! I think you would enjoy it, and it’s super easy to make. :-)


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