Pecan Pie I’m Not Afraid To Eat

My Grandma Walker was an expert pie maker. She made mince pies, fruit pies, cream pies, and my favorite, pecan pie. Although I have not eaten one of her pies in over 30 years, I still remember how they tasted – perfect! My own mom made very good pies, too, and I made her teach me how to make pie crust when I was a teen (from Crisco and white flour). She shared her pecan pie recipe with me, and I didn’t think twice about the fact that the main ingredient was dark corn syrup.

Holiday yummies - home made cranberry sauce

Holiday yummies – home made cranberry sauce

These days, I can’t quite bring myself to make a pie out of corn syrup. My teeth would not stand for it, for one thing! Years and years of too much sugar and other foods that convert quickly to sugar when eaten have left me much more sensitive to blood sugar ups and downs. I can manage all of that really well if I stick with a pretty good diet most of the time. But this time of year, it’s a challenge to include wonderful traditional foods in a healthier way. I think about that pecan pie for weeks! I don’t want to have to put it away after only a bite or two – I’d prefer to have a slice or two, wouldn’t you?


I have several ways to keep a lid on my holiday eating. I’m not trying to control my weight as much as I just want to feel well and come to January with a sort of clean slate – not an intense need to detox. If I can do that, I don’t have an issue with the weight, either. I’ve been working at it a bit each year for a while now, and last year, January was a pleasure.

One of the things I did this year was to develop a new pecan pie recipe for the holidays. I want to share it with you today. It’s not that this would make a great entree, but as a dessert, it’s delicious and still offers some good nourishment without a ton of sugar.

My new pecan pie!

My new pecan pie!

What you need for the filling:

1 cup “crispy” pecans (instructions below), plus more for decorating the top

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon grade B pure maple syrup

3/4 cup milk or milk alternative

5 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

What you do:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees (F). Over low heat, melt butter and coconut oil.  Beat together all ingredients except for milk and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Beat in milk (or alternative). Add pecans and mix gently. Pour in raw pie crust (Click here for gluten free recipe. I used this one, with ground flax seed and no egg white.) Arrange pecan halves on top.

Here’s how to make “crispy” nuts. (Sally Fallon Morrel gives instructions in her “Nourishing Traditions” book, and so do a few other folks.) Soak your nuts 12-24 hours in salted water. Drain off water and use it to water plants, if you like, but don’t drink it! This removes the phytic acid coating from your nuts, making them more digestible and preventing them from blocking absorption of other nutrients. Now, your nuts are quite soggy. To make them crisp, dehydrate them in a dehydrator for about 12-15 hours, or place them in a single layer on a baking tray in a barely warm oven (200 degrees or less) with the oven door left partly open. There you have it.

"crispy" pecans - you can do this with other nuts, as well.

“crispy” pecans – you can do this with other nuts, as well.

Bake pie at 425 for 10 minutes. Without opening oven, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 40 minutes, or until done. Pie is done when crust is slightly brown and center is puffed up a bit. Gently push in on center with the back of a spoon – it should give a little, but not be too jiggly. Let the pie cool for about half an hour before serving. Enjoy!



  1. I want to testify to the pie! It was great!! Of course it didn’t taste exactly like the traditional corn-syrup-tooth-rotting-early-death-pie, but it was a great alternative.

  2. Thanks Honey!

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