Because I picked arguably the worst possible month to not eat sugar, it stands to reason that on Day 1 of No Sugar November I was attending Kseniya’s annual Friendsgiving feast. Since I’d already consumed a peanut butter Snickers after midnight in a drunken Halloween stupor, I wanted to make sure I successfully sugar-freed my way through this party.
As a result, I spent most of my post-Halloween hangover crafting this gorgeous little vegan no-sugar-added pecan pie with coconut cream to distract myself from the rest of the dessert table.
You’ll notice throughout this month that I’ll refer to recipes as “no sugar added” instead of “sugar free”. This is an important designation because an item free of added sugars isn’t necessarily free of all sugars. This pie, for example, has plenty of sugar from the dates used in the filling. The point of this challenge isn’t to never eat sugar again because in that case you wouldn’t even be apple to eat an apple. Instead, it’s about retraining the body to get excited about the sweetness found in sugars naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. So while decadent in its own right, this fruit-sugary pie still fits the bill.
Vegan No Sugar Added Pecan Pie with Coconut Cream
- 1 vegan pie crust (store bought or here)
- 2 cups medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water
- 2 cups chopped pecans (reserve about 30 whole pecans for garnish, optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut cream (reserve the rest of the can for topping)
- remaining coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- optional sweetener: combine 2 pitted dates with 1/4 cup water in a blender and process until a frothy liquid forms; slowly add sweetened liquid 1 tablespoon at a time while whipping coconut cream to sweeten
- Remove date pits and soak in water for at least two hours. Fill a bowl with enough water to cover all dates and let sit on the counter or in the fridge.
- Prepare pie crust. I confess I used a store-bought crust so all I had to do was bake it for 10 minutes. Here is a no-sugar-added vegan crust recipe if you want to be ambitious and make it yourself.
- Make pecan filling. Drain all but about 1/4 cup water from dates and place them in a blender with spices and 1/4 cup coconut cream. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick, slowly add a little more reserved date water or unsweetened nondairy milk 1 tablespoon at a time until a smooth caramel-like paste forms. Stir in pecans and spread filling into prepared pie crust.
- Make coconut cream topping. In bowl combine remaining can of full-fat coconut cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip until light and airy. Optional: add sweetened date water. Top pie with coconut whipped cream and garnish with whole pecans.
- Freeze for at least two hours before serving or store overnight in the refrigerator. Pie should be stored in the refrigerator and is best served cold.
I confess I made this up as I went along so the measurements aren’t an exact science, but that’s also kind of the beauty of it. I was really nervous this wouldn’t go over well against the other more traditional desserts, but it was a hit. It’s also worth pointing out that it is excellent the next morning with a cup of coffee, but you didn’t hear that from me.