Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sugar-Free, Low-Glycemic Pecan Pie



My daughter requested a pecan pie as a special reward for all of the hard work she'd been doing for school. I have a recipe from Cook's Illustrated which calls for maple syrup instead of corn syrup - super delicious! And having made it for her, once again I found myself feeling a little sad about how I was never going to get to eat that delicious item again.... or was I?

I started thinking about yacon syrup, a nutritious, super low-glycemic syrup made from a South American tuber. Yacon syrup has been shown to have amazing properties as a product for folks with diabetes and metabolic disorders. I've been eating it in the divine chocolates created by Coracao Confections for several years now, and it has recently become the darling of Dr. Oz. Yacon syrup is dark, thick, sweet, but at the same time tangy. It reminds me a bit of maple syrup, but even more so of tamarind. I decided that it could be the perfect substitute for corn syrup or maple syrup in a pecan pie. But first I had to get my hands on some... I have yet to see it on grocer's shelves - even health food stores. My friends at Coracao turned me on to Raw Food World, which they have been doing business with for some time. That took care of that issue, and it was on to recipe creation.

You know, sometimes when I try a recipe the first time, it's just a complete fail. Sometimes it needs some tweaking. And sometimes, rarely, it's fantastic the very first time. That's the story with this pie, my friends. Go forth and enjoy the yumminess once more!


Sugar-Free, Low-Glycemic Pecan Pie

1 batch of whole grain Foodier Than Thou pie crust  and a 9" regular (shallow) pie dish OR
1 batch of Foodier Than Thou almond meal crust (skip the almond extract) and a tart pan


1/4 cup coconut palm sugar OR an additional 1/4 cup of sugar substitute
1/4 cup of your favorite sugar substitute: Swerve, Lakanto, Splenda OR erythritol
1-2 tsp stevia powder - to taste. (You may want the higher amount if you use erythritol, which is less sweet than the other sweeteners.)


1 cup yacon syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream

4 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp salt 

6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 F.

2.  In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, sugar substitutes and stevia powder until well combined. Add the yacon syrup and heavy cream, place over medium heat, and stir occasionally, until the solids have dissolved, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 5 minutes. Add the butter and salt and whisk until incorporated. Then whisk in egg yolks until well incorporated.

4. Put pie crust into pan and crimp the edges. If using the almond meal crust in a tart pan, press the crust well into the pan with your hands and/or a wooden spoon. If using the almond meal crust and tart pan, you will have some extra crust and filling. If so, use them to make some small ramekins of pie.

5. Sprinkle the chopped, toasted nuts into the bottom of the crust. Carefully pour the liquid filling over the top. Use a rubber spatula to get all of the yummy stuff into the pan.


6. Carefully place the pie onto a baking sheet and place on the central rack of the hot oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 325 F. Bake until the filling is set and the center jiggles only slightly when the pie is gently shaken, 45-60 minutes.

7. Remove pie from oven and cool on a rack for at least an hour. Then refrigerate until set, at least another hour, and up to one day, or just cool on the rack for several more hours. If you rush to cut it, it will not be solid! (It's hard to resist; believe me, I know!) Bring to room temperature before serving.

8. Serve small wedges, with optional Bourbon Whipped Cream - which really adds a lot to the party!


Bourbon Whipped Cream
(Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)


1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TB bourbon

2 TB coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.  Serve with pecan pie. Yum!



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