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.
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.
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.