Faux Pecan Pie

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This is a fun recipe to feed people. At first glance, it looks like a pecan pie and folks usually don’t take a second glance before digging in for a bite and telling you how good it is. My husband’s exact words were “That is the BEST pecan pie I’ve ever tasted!”. Then I got to tell him it didn’t have any pecans in it…

 

A similar situation happened at my kid’s school when I took a few of these up there. One of the teachers came into the office talking about how good the pecan pie was and the secretary said “You mean the pecan less pecan pie?” she replied “Oh no, I got the one that had pecans in it…” ~snickers~ Of course, I hadn’t taken anything with pecans in it to the school.

This is a fabulous pie for those with nut allergies but that isn’t why I developed it, I actually didn’t even think about that until someone asked for the recipe, stating that they had a friend with allergies who would be excited to get pecan pie again! I developed it as a way of saving money. Have you seen the cost of pecans lately?

Right about now, making this pie with my recipe instead of pecans will save anywhere from five to seven dollars, depending on where you shop. Most folks I know can cook an entire supper for that amount of money!

So I guess there is a double bonus involved, but in hindsight having a faux pecan pie for those with nut allergies is a much greater purpose.

I have seen some varying recipes for faux pecan pie around the web. The most common one utilizing pinto beans in place of pecans. I have that on my list to try someday and I’ll probably do it around about the time I try raw oysters, but I couldn’t bring myself to suggest you put pintos in your pie so I set about developing my own faux pecan pie.

I started with my Mother’s No Fail Pecan Pie recipe and then blended it a bit with that crust of my Strawberry Pretzel Salad (which is in my cookbook, but not on SouthernPlate.com). Everyone is always surprised that the crust isn’t made of pecans, so what a great inspiration to add to my pie! It took about seven pies to get the proportions and cooking time just right, because this pie really needs to be made as a deep dish but I’m finally ready to bring it to you today in it’s final form.

I’m gonna start this post out with a disclaimer that I’m sure is obvious to just about everyone reading this: Pecan pie is not a health food. It’s not supposed to be. A good pecan pie is gonna contain butter, sometimes lots of it. It will also have sugar in various forms, usually granulated and corn syrup. A good pecan pie is not for the faint of heart but it is the golden nugget of pies. Rich, buttery, delicious. Unlike any other. This Faux Pecan Pie lives up to all of those expectations.

If you’re on a diet, just have one or two bites and make sure you savor them, then be sure and make it again when you’re not on a diet anymore. If you have a family member or friend with a nut allergy, this would be a welcome treat for them at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner! But I suggest not telling anyone it doesn’t have pecans until they eat it, mainly because it is fun seeing the look on their face :).

 

 

You’ll need: A Deep Dish Pie Crust, Light Corn Syrup, Butter, Pretzels, Sugar, Eggs, and Vanilla.

I recommend unsalted, real butter in this recipe.

I also recommend not spelling “recommend” unless you have to because it is one of those annoying words to spell. I really think it needs two “c” ‘s but Websters never listens to me. ~sigh~

Note: If all you have is margarine or you just can’t afford butter, go for it. Trust me, I’ve been there! The pie will taste slightly different but t’ain’t nobody here gonna judge because we were raised better than that. ~Grin~

 

Following my recipe below, place the butter for the pie filling in a large bowl and microwave it until melted. Allow to cool.

 

You ever hear the saying “Do as I say, don’t do as I do?” Well that applies here. Normally you could just dump all of your other filling ingredients in and give them a stir but I don’t really have time to allow my butter to cool so I’m gonna stir in my sugar real good to cool it down a bit before I add everything else.

If I just dumped everything in with hot butter, it would cook my eggs a bit, leaving me with thin ribbons of cooked egg mixed in with the custard of my pie and that isn’t very fun!

So at this point you can add in all of your other ingredients and give it a good stir until well combined.

But if you’re impatient like me, add your sugar first and stir that up a bit until your butter is cooler. 

Like this.

Now add all of the other filling ingredients and give it another good stir.

I’ve had a few questions about my flat whisk pictured here. I bought this when my friend Maralee McKee told me about it. It came from Williams Sonoma and is the only thing I have ever bought from that store, lol. I go in there from time to time just to look around and really enjoy it, but I find that specialized tools and pots aren’t a good use of my money when standard things I have around my kitchen will do just fine and I don’t have to find the storage space for them. I can just see my great grandmother staring at a wall of peculiar utensils and asking “Now what do ya need all them thangs for?”

You can also find these whisks on Amazon by searching for “flat whisk”. They really do work well and I prefer it over a traditional whisk.

 

Here is our pie filling all mixed up. Ready for an action shot now?

Isn’t that pretty? I’ve learned how to do a lot of things left handed since having to venture into the wonderful world of food photography.

Whoops, I was being a bit sarcastic there when I said “wonderful”. Food photography is actually the one thing I don’t really enjoy that much about blogging. Food is very uncooperative. I have yet to ask any item of food to pose pretty and not been met with a blank and vacant stare.

It doesn’t help that I’m not one to be more impressed with a piece of say, banana bread, just because it is encased in a soft focus vignette. I find banana bread on an old corelle plate, presented as is, has more heart. ~sighs~ I know, but I have to at least attempt pretty food pictures. I put a wee bit of my heart into it from time to time.

But if you ever think some of my food isn’t pretty, just imagine a sweet granny standing behind it, handing it to you with a loving expression.

That is how I picture all of my food, and it makes it quite beautiful. Tricks of the camera or photo shop can’t add an effect like that.

 

Oops, got sidetracked. Okay so here is your filling in the crust. :)

I know it looks yellow now but it will be that beautiful golden color once baked.

Now we need to crush our pretzels.

I’m using my heirloom rolling pin that my great grandmother bought for my mother with green stamps when Mama was just thirteen years old.

At thirteen, her parents divorced and she went to live with her father to take care of him. She cooked all of the meals and kept house until he remarried a few years later.

At thirteen, I was listening to bad eighties music, hanging out at the mall, and spending my spare time becoming proficient with aqua net hair styling techniques.

Never hurts to contrast your life with others in order to see how good you got it. 

Place your pretzels in a gallon zipper bag and crush those puppies. They don’t have to be pulverized, just broke up kinda good.

I took this rollin pin with me when I went to film at Paula Deen’s house and we used it on the show. I told her all about it and we talked green stamps for quite a while. That show airs this Saturday for the first time. November 5, 2011. Check the Food Network for times in your area and click here to rsvp on my Facebook page if you plan on watching and read a few behind the scenes stories I’ve posted.

 

Melt your butter for the topping (see recipe) and add in your tiny amount of sugar.

Add in pretzels and stir until coated well.

Sprinkle evenly over the top of your pie.

I know it will seem like a lot of pretzels but they sink down a bit as we cook, which is why I made this a deep dish pie. The first pie I tried wasn’t deep dish and it seemed like there was hardly any filling when the pretzels sunk down a little bit. This will come out in perfect proportions to the top crust and the filling.

Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for one hour, covering with foil after the first thirty minutes to prevent over browning.

Allow to cool completely before serving. 

This is a piece of pie posing on a Jewel Tea, Autumn Leaf plate.

This is a closer shot that shows the filling a little better (because I couldn’t pick which one I liked the most)

This post is dedicated to my sweet friend, Alyssa, who has a nut allergy.

I got to meet her yesterday when I had a book signing at a local elementary to support their book fair.

I mentioned today’s post and she was so excited for a nut free pecan pie!

Special thanks to everyone who invited me and were so kind yesterday.

I enjoyed getting to meet you all and what an honor it was to see a table filled with food from my cookbook!

Notice one piece of the pie is unaccounted for. ~looks innocent~

I hope you get to make this soon and enjoy your faux pecan pie!

Don’t forget to add this pie to your holiday menu!

If you’re coming to my Holiday Cooking Show on November 10th (see poster below this recipe), this is one of the many recipes I’ll be serving the entire audience!

Advance ticket purchase is recommended but you can also pay at the door. 

Faux Pecan Pie
 
Ingredients
Filling
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Deep Dish Pie Shell, unbaked
Topping
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 2 T sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For Filling:Place first five ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix with wire whisk until well combined.
  3. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Combine all topping ingredients in medium bowl and stir well with a spoon to coat pretzels.
  5. Sprinkle topping evenly over pie.
  6. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour, covering with foil after 30 minutes to prevent over browning.
  7. Allow to cool completely before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in refrigerator.
Copyright 2011, Christy Jordan All rights reserved.

Sara submitted a great quote on our Give A Penny Page that I think really puts you in the right frame of mind for dealing with life sometimes. We can’t just go out meekly with a weak smile and hope for a good day, we have to do it with Gusto!

“Tackle the world with a smile, and the world will tackle you back with more than one.”

Thank you Sara! Submit your quote by clicking here. 

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Comments

  1. a says

    Same questions as before: salted or un salted pretzels? measured before or after? I measured after. I baked for 1 hour and 10 minutes covered with foil at 30 minute mark and pie was very runny. No, I didn’t place in the fridge, as other baking sites state not to place pecan pies in fridge, I thought this would pertain to this.
    I did poke some holes on bottom of crust prior to baking, could this have affected the baking?

    • says

      Salted, measured after :). we have always put pecan pies in the fridge and I don’t poke holes but I don’t think that’s a problem. Did you let it cool completely (a couple of hours)? Oven temp may be a variance as well. Hope you liked it either way!

  2. Jessica says

    Man oh man, do I LOVE this pie! I’ve made it numerous times over the last 2 years since seeing this post, it always comes out great! I do love pecan pie, however my son has nut allergies and I don’t like to have something we can enjoy and he can’t. I love that he can now know the flavor of a pecan pie and be safe at the same time. Planning my list for Thanksgiving now and this will ALWAYS be a part of our home. Thank you SO much!

  3. Nancy McAuliffe says

    This was AWESOME! I have never had pecan pie because of a nut allergy, but my husband has and he said this pie was great. I used salted butter (only because I don’t like unsalted) and salted thin pretzel sticks. Also used my Pampered Chef hand chopper to make it easier.

    All I can say is this is a pie that will be made year after year.

    Thanks

  4. Carl C. says

    Wow! I’m excited to try this recipe this weekend. I have been making pecan and derby pies for years! Unfortunately, I have a set of family friends who are allergic to nuts BUT love pretzels. So, they never got to try my *nutty* pies. LOL! They invited me this weekend for lunch so I hope to bring this great option. Thanks!

  5. Jon says

    I have this cooling right now! Very excited because I’ve always wanted pecan pie, but I am allergic to nuts! Thanks for the recipe! About how long will it store for and do you put it in the fridge?

  6. Judy Sage says

    Always a lover of pecan pie myself…but learned that many families stick to fruit pies for their family traditions so I don’t spend “pecan money’ to take pecan pie to gatherings anymore….but sure as heck want to make one at home now and then.

    This recipe is A new favorite and perfect for retirees….can I freeze individual slices since I live alone? I don’t know how to make mini pecan faux pies out of your recipe but freezing a few slices sounds good to me!! Thank God for microwaves, huh?

  7. LaVanda says

    When I’ve made Pecan Pie in the past, it seems like I mixed the pecans in with the pit mixture before pouring into the pie shell. Do you not recommend that with the pretzels, and why. I have two kids who are allergic to tree nuts and peanuts, and I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • says

      Hey LaVanda!! First of all, I hope you love this!! It is so great to be able to have a favorite that you haven’t been able to have for a while and as a Mama I know you avoid those nuts because you don’t want anything like that near your babies!
      Pecans and Pretzels taste surprisingly the same in this and have the same texture in the finished product, but they are still very different going in. While Pecans will float to the top, pretzels are more likely to absorb more and sink to the bottom, so we want to sprinkle those on rather than treat them like pecans at the onset, and then we get the pecan like results we want at the end. Coating them in that little bit of butter and sugar helps us to ensure that. Hope this helps!

  8. Lara says

    I made this pie 2 years ago and took leftovers to work. One of the guys that had a piece came up to me and thanked me so much for making it – he didn’t get ANY pecan pie at Thanksgiving and he really wanted some! He was shocked when I told him it was Faux-can Pie! Amazing stuff!

    Anyway – I’m making mini pies this year. Any advice on how long to cook them? (Using a muffin tin.) Thank you!

  9. Melissa says

    Made this pie for Thanksgiving this year for a friend who doesn’t like pecans. It was a HUGE hit. Like, huge. It disappeared faster than the pumpkin pie, which has never happened. Thank you so much!! After I ruined the mashed potatoes and stuffing, I needed a win. lol

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