Paleo Pecan Pie
WOOHOO! We’re having pie again! Aren’t you happy?
Seriously, it’s been like dessert galore around here lately. I’m giving you two dessert recipes in a row, and I still have another one up the pipe for ya. What can I say? I did quite a bit of baking over the Holidays…
Today’s offering is something that I’d been wanting to try my hands at for a very long time now: Paleo Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie has always been one of my favorites and I’d been dreaming of making a paleo friendly version but I had no idea how to pull it off. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how to recreate that sweet and creamy filling that so lovingly surrounds and engulfs the nuts. Not that it was that complicated, honestly, but I guess that up until now, my craving hadn’t been strong enough for me to seriously look into it. But shortly before Christmas, I got a REAL craving for the baked treat, you know, the kind where you can literally taste the food you’re craving just by thinking about it? Something HAD to be done…
So I looked at a few of my old “traditional” recipes and quickly decided on a combination of date paste and maple syrup, plus the obligatory eggs, of course.
It worked like a charm, even better than I’d hoped it would. Honestly, I think that this filling is even better than the stuff I remembered. For starters, it’s not quite AS sweet and offers much more depth and complexity as far as flavor is concerned. The texture, for its part, is pleasantly smooth and silky but also has a certain density to it that’s not disagreeable at all.
This also means that the pie will hold its shape extremely well after it’s been sliced, and that is something truly appreciate. Personally, I really don’t dig pie mush… I’m all for nice, clean slices.
Honestly, if I was to make this pie again, I wouldn’t change a single thing to the recipe. Not a single thing.
As always when making baked goods, we need to preheat the oven. This time, we want to set that knob to 375°F.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s add some date paste and maple syrup to a fairly large mixing bowl and stir that delicately with a large whisk until well combined.
Then, we’ll need to throw in 3 large eggs, a quarter of a cup of melted ghee, a splash of vanilla and a generous pinch of salt
Resume whisking, a little more vigorously this time, until all the ingredients are well combined. Set that aside for now.
Grease a 9″ deep dish pie plate with ghee and line with bottom pastry.
The reason why you want to grease your pie dish is because it’ll help prevent your pie from sticking to the plate, and also too, it’ll make the pastry all beautiful and golden for you. Try it, you’ll see!
Spread the pecans at the bottom of the pie. No need to get fancy with it really. Just dump and spread all the way to the sides.
Now pour the reserved date paste / egg mixture over those pecans.
Gently tap the sides of the pie dish and delicately bang it on the counter a few times to remove any potential air bubbles.
This will also help the nuts float back to the top.
Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden and the filling is set.
Arrange pecan halves around the perimeter and center of the pie to make it extra pretty.
Serve warm or chilled.
Personally, I like mine just slightly warm with a generous amount of heavy cream drizzled all over the top.
It doesn’t get much more decadent than this!
Paleo Pecan Pie
- 1/2 lb raw pecans
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup date paste
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup ghee, melted (plus more, unmelted, to grease the pie dish)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 pie shell, from paleo pie crust recipe
- 20 - 24 pecan halves, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Add date paste and maple syrup to a mixing bowl and stir delicately with a large whisk until well combined. Throw in eggs, melted ghee, vanilla extract and salt and resume whisking, a little more vigorously this time, until well combined. Set aside.
- Grease a 9" deep dish pie plate with ghee and line with bottom pastry.
- Spread pecans at the bottom of the pie and then pour reserved date paste mixture over the pecans. Gently tap the sides of the pie dish and delicately bang it on the counter a few times to remove any potential air bubbles.
- Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden and the filling has set.
- Arrange pecan halves around the perimeter and center of the pie to make it extra pretty.
- Serve warm or chilled.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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94 Comments on “Paleo Pecan Pie”
This looks lovely. How do you make date paste?
Click the link in the recipe, it’ll take you to the instructions!
That looks delicious! Love the use of dates, they are perfect for a sticky sweet pie like this 🙂
I’ve never really been a huge fan of pecan pie, but this looks pretty amazing!
This looks amazing! Thank you for doing the experimentation and crafting a delicious paleo treat. When I used to make pecan pie (the kind with brown sugar and corn syrup!) it called for lightly toasting the pecans to bring out the flavour, and I wonder if it’s essential to use the pecans raw?
Not at all, Leslie. If you want to toast the pecans first, go right ahead. That will also contribute to toning down the sweetness even more!
I’m baaaaack! Oh Sonia how I have missed you and your creations. For whatever reason, my email keeps unsubscribing me. Booooo. So now I am spending hours catching up 😉
Confession. I don’t care for pie. :O I’d much prefer an oatmeal raisin cookie or cheesecake. I think it’s the mushy fruit pies that tend to be served. I’m a sucker for texture. BUT. For this pie I think I could change my ways. My only problem with pecan pie is the sickly sweetness. So I pie with crunch and less sweetness overload? Yeah I can get on board with that!
JORDAN!!!!! How I’ve missed you too! So happy to see you again. That is really strange about you not getting my email updates. I will be switching to MailChimp soon, so that hopefully will solve the problem.
I’m not really a sucker for pie either. Even in my “bad” days, it’s not something that I would eat all that often, especially not the fruit varieties. My favorites have always been sugar, walnuts, pecan and lemon meringue. Now that has me thinking… I need to come up with a paleo version of my lemon meringue pie. Why o why do I like baking so much? If only I had someone to eat all the baked goods afterwards. Think I could do what the kids do and sell ’em by the curbside? Set up a little table and put a little sign that says “Pie for sale, $1 / slice”. 😉
I’d buy a slice! 🙂 This looks soooo delicious! Pecan pie was always my favorite at the holidays as I remember my Dad baking it but I no longer indulge in the sickly sweet stuff (mostly because I would eat the whole pie!) I think this is perfect for next Christmas! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
What an indulgent looking slice of pie! I made a paleo pecan pie for Thanksgiving but didn’t use date paste–I’m intrigued, and will have to try it out next time!
Having this paleo dessert is heaven! I love the creativity of this pie! I’m going to try this later!
Hope you like it as much as I did, Michelle!
Hi! Do I change anything if I’m using a ready made pie crust? (not paleo I know but I get home late :D)
Nope! No need to change anything, Stephanie!
I can’t wait to make this, I already know I want to add more pecans than the recipe calls for…which I believe is 2 cups. Did anyone add more?
Honestly, Heather, you really don’t need to use more… besides, if you did, you’d have to use a bigger pie shell! 😉
You’re greasing the pie pan with a 1/4 cup ghee? Or is the ghee supposed to go somewhere else?
No, the ghee gets added in step 2, Amy.
I added a note in the ingredients list, I hope it makes things clearer! 🙂
Thank you so much! I read the instructions a couple of times and missed the butter part. Finally caught it on my third way through! I made two of these pies last night and they look SERIOUSLY amazing! Can’t wait to try them out!!
Awesome!!! I sure hope the pies satisfy! 🙂
Has anyone tried substituting the ghee for coconut oil? Wondering if it will turn out/taste the same and what quantities should be used.
Just use the same quantity, Kayla; it would turn out pretty much the same, only the taste will be slightly different…
Can you make this ahead of time, say the day before Thanksgiving?
I was thinking of making pecan pie bites in muffin tins. Do you think this would work well like that? How many do you think it might make?
I’ve no doubt that it would work, Stephanie. Of course, you’d have to adjust cooking time slightly, though. As for how many it would make, I’m guessing 14 to 18…
Let me know how they turn out if you end up doing it!
Can I sub ghee with palm shortening? I’m dairy free :-/ I have coconut oil as an option but I know it will add a little taste to the pie.
I’ve never really worked with palm shortening, Lina, so I can’t tell for sure. I really wouldn’t see why not,though…
Thanks Sonia! I ended subbing with coconut oil and added a tsp of kahlua (my secret weapon!) it turned out great! Thanks for this recipe!
Happy to hear, Lina. And whoa! Kahlua in pecan pie? I’m a fan! I must try! Must! 😀
This really is the bomb of a recipe. I was working on modifying it as a holiday gift for friends and neighbors, and just keep coming back to the original. Just outstanding.
I did come up with an interestingly sinful version of it though. When making the date paste substitute bourbon for water and then use that paste to make the pie. A nice maple bourbon flavor.
Oooooh, sinful indeed, but how amazing does that sound? I’ll be sure to give that a go over the Holidays. Hey, it’s Christmas, so boozy date paste is allowed, right?
Thank you so much for the inspiration, and for your kind words, Will. I am honored to hear you like the pie that much! 🙂
So I did actually make about 2 dozen of these pies for holiday gifts and I have to say that the “custard” of the bourbon version actually sets better than the non bourbon version. It is a little silkier with less cracks on top. Also it cooks 5-10 mins faster than just the base recipe so I think there is something about the alcohol burning off at a lower temp that is improving this ever so slightly. Food science fun. Thanks again for the terrific recipe. All versions got rave reviews.
Interesting… so booze does make this pie better, apparently. I might have to try it for myself, now! Thanks for the great feedback, and for sharing that interesting info! 🙂
Did you substitute equal amounts for the bourbon vs water? I liked to try this but wasn’t sure if I sub with equal amounts. 3/4 cups of bourbon seems like a lot, but I don’t have experience cooking with alcohol.
Wow just happened to hop on here to get this recipe again and saw this comment from a couple days ago.
Yes I used 3/4 cup bourbon in the date paste. Her date past recipe makes about 2 cups, and you are using 3/4 c of the paste here. So you only get about 1/3 c bourbon per pie.
Just sitting here watching my pie being baked in the oven… I am too excited to see how the bourbon infused date pecan pie comes out!!!
Hope it turned out amazing, Steph! 🙂
Your latest blog post has led me here and girl…I am so going to try to make your pecan pie! I’m not a fan of pie mush either lol 🙂 And I also worked my way around to your pie crust recipe (but I’ll just use my bobs red mill pie crust mix for this pie since I already have an opened bag) and saw your tattoo! I love it! I have 2 myself. One I love and one I got on my ankle when I was in Florida that’s pretty meaningless lol (sun with a half moon in the middle).
Aww, thank you Nikki! Glad you’re liking the ink and thanks for the compliment.
I hope the pecan pie turns out great. Make sure you let me know how it was if you do make it. 🙂
What’s the tattoo that you love, by the way? You only described your less favorite one. I sure would like to know!
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! I have another in the oven right now for Christmas. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!!
You are very welcome, Jamie! Happy to hear that you enjoy the pie that much, and thanks a bunch for taking the time to let me know. I greatly appreciate it! 🙂
I made this for my husband this weekend, and like Will, I used some bourbon in my date paste (about 50/50 bourbon and water) and holy yum was it good! We are testing it on my grandparents this weekend, and they are pecan pie connoisseurs so we’ll see how it goes!
I really hope it passes the test, Tori… I’m almost nervous now. Please let me know what your grandparents had to say about it!
Loved the idea of date paste! Great recipe! I was craving pecan pie but was dreading the sugar. Dates apparently have lots of health benefits too. I cheated making the date paste by soaking the dates in boiling water for an hour.
Good call, Cat! Hope the pie was to your liking and hit the spot for ya! 🙂
I have been craving pecan pie for a while, and came across your recipe. I just made it for the first time for Thanksgiving yesterday. It was INCREDIBLE!!! I made some vanilla ice cream to go with it. It was simply amazing! I think that I am going to have to freeze the rest of the pie, though. I don’t trust myself not to eat the whole thing. 🙂 Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
I am so very happy to hear that you and yours truly enjoyed the pie, Katie; and I’m really flattered to have been a part of your Thanksgiving menu! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this awesome feedback, too! I honestly, sincerely appreciate it! ????
I forgot to mention that the pie crust was awesome too! I think that I could have happily eaten just that. I don’t have lard, so I substituted ghee. YUM!
I’ll admit, I was sceptical about the idea of the “date paste” as a true substitute for the traditional pecan pie filling. WOW was I amazed and completely surprised! This was the best pie I’ve ever had. My partner hasn’t stopped raving (or eating) for 3 days!
So very happy to hear you and yours liked the pie so much, Michaela! I can’t thank you enough for this awesome feedback, I truly, greatly appreciate it! 🙂
Made it last night and ate it today! Only thing i changed was that i roasted the pecans. It was delicious and not sickly sweet. Will definately make again! Thanks 😀
Glad to hear the pie was to your liking, Kat. LOVE the idea of roasting the pecans first! Absolutely NEED to try!!!! 😀
This pie was a crowd pleaser at Thanksgiving. The dates and maple syrup are much better options than corn syrup and sugar. Thank you for sharing!
This pie was amazing! I made this for Thanksgiving and no one could tell it wasn’t a traditional Pecan Pie! Everyone LOVED it! I will definitely make this again! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Awesome!!! That is music to my ears, Alissa. Thanks a bunch for the kind words, I sincerely appreciate them! 🙂
Can you substitute sugar free maple syrup? Will it come out the same?
Sugar free maple syrup? What exactly is sugar free maple syrup?
this was a big winner at Thanksgiving this year! thanks for the recipe. I will now go on a quest for All the Things to do with date paste!!!
Haha! Happy to hear the pie was to your liking, and I hope you find many more recipes on here to make good use of your date paste!
Can’t wait to bake this YUM
1 question, does the base need to be pre baked?
Nope! No pre-baking required, Shelley.
Would the consistency be the same if I use grass-fed butter?
It would be absolutely fine!
This is my go to pecan pie recipe now. I’m making it today because my daughter requested it as her birthday dessert. I add a layer of chocolate chips on the bottom.
That’s absolutely awesome, Kathleen, I am so very honored to hear that!!! Thank you so much for letting me know, you totally made my day! 🙂
Any way this can be made without the eggs? I’ve made it before as is and love it but I want to make it for my mil who can’t have eggs
I’m not sure honestly Elana, I never tried it, so I wouldn’t be able to tell for sure. Maybe you could try flax eggs? It’s the only thing I can think of…
I made your pecan pie for last Thanksgiving and my husband’s birthday and it was a hit at both occasions. Thank you so much for putting it out to the pie loving universe!!
I made this, and the liquid was quite watery after being in the oven for 30 minutes. What did I do wrong?
Perhaps you didn’t use pure maple syrup? It’s the only thing I could think of…
I also made this recipe for my third year, the first year it times out amazing! These last two years mine came out liquidy as well, I keep reading the recipe over and over, to see if I missed something. I’m so bummed.
The only thing I could think of would be the maple syrup. Did you use pure maple syrup all 3 times?
OMG! I tried this recipe and my boys and I were licking the plate. So delish!! Thank you for sharing, Sonia!
I’m wondering what would be a good dairy free substitute for the ghee. I would love to make this for a dinner party to impress my friends lol- but a few are dairy free.
Would love your thoughts…. thanks!!
Well technically, while ghee is a “dairy” product, it’s 99.9% dairy free because all the lactose and casein contained in the milk solids are completely removed during production. All that’s left behind is pure fat, which makes ghee very easily digestible even by those who are dairy intolerant.
If that still wasn’t an option, I would totally go the coconut oil route…
Hope this helps, and you are very welcome!! I’m real happy that the recipe was to your and your boys’ liking! Or wait, is that licking? 😉
I cannot wait to try this recipe! One question though, do you think it would be possible to substitute honey for the maple syrup? I didn’t know if substituting honey would alter the consistency……. Thanks for any insight you have!
I really wouldn’t see why not, Christy…
Are the nutrition facts given for a whole pie or a portion?
That would be per slice…
Newbie baker – do you need to pre-bake the pie crust? Thanks!
No, you don’t
If you like pecan pie, this recipe is a winner!! I have served it to family and friends and they rave about it. It is a little less sweet than traditional pecan pie but everyone seems to like this better and it is healthier! I have two pies in the oven right now and they smell so good. I was a little leery the first time I made the date paste but I soaked the dates overnight and then put them in my Ninja and it magically turned into a delicious date paste. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe!
Wow! Thank you so much for this amazing feedback, Jules! I sincerely appreciate it! Glad to hear the recipe was a success for you! 🙂
Thank you for this recipe.
I will make it again.
I used medjool dates as they have the best flavor. I found deglet noor dates to have a slightly acidic or sour note. The pie turned out almost fluffy, not gooey and dense, with a scrumptious pecan flavor. The filling amount was just barely enough for a standard 9″ pie tin. It was superbly rich, but almost cloyingly sweet. I love that your recipe uses dates: brilliant! The maple flavor is a really nice change from the standard of vanilla or rum. I love that it doesn’t use corn syrup: hooray! Is there any way to make it less sweet? If I were to reduce the syrup, is there a way to still have a yummy pie?
This was delicious!
I just made it for Thanksgiving and it really does taste better than a “regular” pecan pie.
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. 🙂
YAY! Real happy to hear. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know, and for the awesome rating, too! I sincerely appreciate that! 🙂
THANK YOU for such an amazing recipe! So happy to find a pecan pie recipe without horrible corn syrup. I made almond flour pie crust using the recipe I found at https://elanaspantry.com/paleo-pie-crust/ . I doubled your recipe and the pie crust recipe to make a large pie in an Emile Henry quiche dish; added to that were the Valley Pecans from TX. All this affirms that there is life after eliminating gluten and corn, and we will have our happy family tradition of pecan pie on Xmas Eve, thanks to you.
BTW — I found that 30 minutes resulted in a soupy pie filling. I experimented and found that 1 hour + 15 min or so worked much better. We’re at 5300′ in Reno NV, so the cooking time was changed for altitude, but overall, I think the baking time should be at least double.
Real happy to hear that the pie was to your liking, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your experience and feedback, it’s greatly appreciated! Happy Holidays to you and yours! 🙂
Hi again! I have to amend my prior comment (from today!). Not only did I increase the baking time to about 1 hr., 15 minutes, but I reduced the oven temp to 350F.
Made this for Christmas Day and it was delicious- thank you. I used 3/4 cup of Agave syrup rather than a whole cup of maple syrup, because I though it might be too sweet. Now having more for breakfast!
Real happy to hear, Gill. And good to know that agave syrup works, too! Thanks for sharing your experience!
I’m not a fan of dates. What is a good substitute and amount to use for the date paste?
I love this recipe. I use about 2 – 2 1/2 cups of pecans.