Pecan Pie

December 30, 2013 in Categories: by

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Paleo Pecan Pie | The Paleo Mom I’ve always enjoyed pecan pie although also have always found it to be overly sweet, more like eating candy than eating a pie.  Probably because it’s traditionally made with corn syrup, and a lot of it.  In the olden days, the sickeningly sweet characteristic of this pie was a feature but that’s not the case for me anymore.

This fall, I decided I would try to make a paleo-friendly version, dial the sweetness way way down, increase the pecans, add some healthy fats…. make a pie that, while still a treat, was something I didn’t feel guilty serving my family and our friends for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner.

It took quite a bit of tinkering, both with the crust (I have now been on a two-year long pursuit of the perfect paleo pie crust and this is definitely the best crust I’ve ever tried) and to get the consistency of the sugar custard just right.  I finally found just the right balance of sweet enough to feel like pecan pie and just the right gooey texture, and truly highlighting the flavor of the pecans.  So, here is my version of pecan pie!

 Serves 8-10

Paleo Pecan Pie | The Paleo Mom

Ingredients (crust):

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine all ingredients and work together to form a dough with your hands.
  3. Place the dough into a 8″ deep dish or 9″ pie plate.  Channel your inner playdough-loving child, and pat and push the dough to fully line the pie plate (this is a type of pie crust called a push crust, because you “push” it into place rather than rolling it out).  Make a nice edge.
  4. Bake crust for 15 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.  Remove from the oven.

Ingredients (pie filling):

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet for 5-8 minutes (you can do this while your pie crust is cooking), until fragrant (the pecan pieces take about 5 minutes, and the pecan halves take a little longer).
  2. Once the pecans and pie crust are out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350F.
  3. Heat honey and maple syrup in a small saucepot over medium-high heat until it comes to a rapid simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and egg yolk together.  Temper the eggs (which means adding a little bit of the very hot honey and syrup to the eggs while you stir them quickly) then add the eggs to honey and remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and ghee (or other fat of choice), and chopped pecans.  Pour into pie crust.
  6. Arrange pecan halves to cover the top of the pie.  Place pie in the oven and back for 20-25 minutes, until set (you’ll know it’s set when you jiggle the pie a little and the middle doesn’t wobble like jello–how long this takes depends a bit on whether your crust or filling cooled a bit before getting it into the oven and just how hot your honey got when you brought it to a simmer, so it could take as long as 30 minutes).
  7. Let the pie cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!


I can not have sugar! Do you think I could use condensed coconut milk , sweetened with *Swerve*?Thank you!

I don’t know. Sarah has not prepared this recipe using coconut oil, and it is not mentioned as one the fats she recommends to use for this dish. But if you do try the recipe with coconut oil, please leave another comment and let us know how it turns out. You can read more about the various fats used in Paleo baking here: — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I was curious if you played around with using dates for the pudding, and your success with those? Looks amazing!

Yes, dates can be used to both sweeten and give texture to puddings, though I haven’t tried them in this one to be able to tell you how to do it. If you try it, let us know how it goes! – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

My father is diabetic, so maple syrup and honey are not options. Can agave nectar be used? If so, amount equal to maple syrup and honey combined? Thx!

Hi Christina,

This does answer the question for diabetic people who even have to avoid natural sugars. It’s great otherwise but diabetics have a greater challenge if they want to keep there blood glucose down without an overuse of insulin.


Paleolithic people did not have access to blanched almond flour, which is as processed as refined white flour. They certainly didn’t have vanilla extract, as that is HIGHLY processed. They did not have processed maple syrup.

You people who think that “Paleo” is somehow better or healthier need to educate yourselves. Your diet isn’t Paleolithic in the least, and it is nothing more than a hipster fad only followed by people of lower IQ.

couldn’t have said it better myself Breed7… my militant friends on FB are certainly not of a lower IQ, most higher i think, and that is what worries me.. they are all so lockstep, like lemmings…..

Why would you go out of your way to comment on this if you have an objection to this way of eating? If you don’t like it, eat however you want and leave others alone. The paleo diet has helped a lot of people and this is a place where people can share their stories and help each other. Your negativity is unnecessary.

I have allergies that drive my use of the Paleo diet: wheat, legumes, soy, corn, dairy. That lines up directly with the Paleo “hipster fad”. Believe me, I’d rather just eat in traditional, healthy way, but it is just not an option for me.

On the holidays, these recipes allow me to enjoy special treats. The rest of the time, it’s low to no sugar (of any type) for me. Seems to help with all my other allergies too.

Lots of people who follow paleo have issues similar to mine. There is nothing hipster about our choices – it is a choice to be ill all the time, or to live a healthy, sane life.

I follow a paleolithic diet because of food intolerances and not because I believe in all of the science behind it. I don’t believe in evolution so some of the reasonings behind why one would eat paleo I don’t agree with. However, saying that it’s a hipster fad only followed by people of lower IQ was just plain mean. You were just being hateful. If you don’t like this way of eating then don’t eat that way. No one’s forcing you to be here so just leave the site and go else where if it’s so bothersome to you. I often wonder why people (anymore) have to always make comments with insults in them when they don’t agree with something. I think it’s because people don’t have self control anymore. They don’t know how to be civil and just be kind and they give in to every fleeting feeling. You know, there is a way of disagreeing with class.

Well said. I feel for those that are unable to eat certain foods that I listed. I’m able to partake of them while my husband has issues when he does. It’s probably nothing new to y’all but what I’ve read is paleo is a good diet to follow short term while you heal but ultimately it shows that your body does still need some repair by perhaps following GAPS or something similar. Once GAPS has done its job then most people can consume gluten, dairy and so forth again when they’re high-quality and prepared properly (raw dairy, sprouted gluten, etc).

I follow a traditional diet and don’t really feel either that Paleo is very similar to how people would have eaten long ago. I also don’t think it’s the most nutritious diet out there (well, depending on how you do it – it’s probably not wise to consume too many of the baked goods/nuts) but to me there’s no question that it’s far superior to the standard american diet. Yes, vanilla, maple syrup and almond flour have some processing involved but I don’t really see how you can say they’re remotely the same as regular flour or sugar. Those are way more processed with all nutrients stripped from them. Almond flour is basically almonds ground fine. Vanilla is vanilla beans that are, yes, soaked in alcohol but you use such a small amount. Maple syrup is boiled down but it still has minerals and most everything still present but with liquid removed. That seems like a world of difference to me. My main thought though is these are items that are supposed to be consumed as treats. Paleo and traditional diets mainly involve high-quality meats, good fats, lots of veggies, no chemicals, and so on. I much prefer traditional (consuming the skin/fat with the meat and choosing sprouted grains – instead of conventional grains or subs like nuts – sums up some of what traditional is) over paleo personally because it has been around so long and those that have followed it have really good health. Plus, I’m not going to complain about consuming whole, clean, raw milk, real butter, chicken with the skin and so on! No low-fat for me! 🙂 By the way, I’m not overweight…actually the opposite.

Any thought oh how much dark chocolate to add to make the perfect chocolate pecan pie? If I’m going to be decadent, why not add chocolate and make it a bit more decadent?

I’ve made pecan pie before with just a bit of high quality dark chocolate pressed into the crust before adding the filling. Delicious, yet subtle. I also add a drizzle of chocolate over the top once plated. Mmmm

Would love to make the pie. 1 of my 2 sons favorites. But have a grandson who highly allergic to honey. Any alternatives? Also would love to have a cocoanut cream pie recipe. Thanks.

Can anyone help me clear up the confusion if butter is allowed in Paleo? So many no’s from my friends, but this recipe calls for it…?

How about switching the butter to ghee, which is allowed? You can get it fairly inexpensively at Trader Joes 🙂 Hope that helps.

Had a really annoying time with this recipe. First off their wasn’t 1/2 as much dough as I needed so had to more then double it. Then the pie never set even after 40 min! The crust just burned and the pie never set. Basically Thanksgiving was ruined by this recipe.

Crossing my fingers this works out as I’m planning on bringing it to a small group tonight. Don’t like bringing untried recipes, but I was in a pecan pie mood and this looks perfect–even if I did cheat and use a gluten-free pie crust from Whole Foods. 🙂

This pie was absolutely delicious!! Thank you for the recipe ; ) First time ever making a pie crust and came out perfect.

Wow! I’m so in love with this pie (and especially the crust)! I made it for Easter dessert and am so glad to have a great pie recipe! I think the crust is awesome and can be used for pretty much any pie! I’ll definitely be trying it out! I’m already planning on making another pie soon! Thanks, PaleoMom!!

I made this Christmas Eve (yes, last night!) using a 9-inch tart pan. The pie crust was just enough for the pan, but had extra filling to fill a ramekin. So I used the ramekin-sized one to taste test. SOOOO GOOOOD!!!! Even my sons loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

I did deviate from the prepping of pecans, since I have been making the “Crispy Pecans” using the instructions from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (I have been enjoying pecans this way for three years now). That involves soaking pecans in saltwater for at least 8 hours then dehydrating for about 12 hours at 145ºF (although I did 135º for this batch). The soaking is supposed to remove the phytates from the nuts, which act as anti-nutrients. So with this prepped pecans, I proceeded with your instructions without having to toast the pecans. This will be absolutely my pecan pie paleo treat for Holidays. Thank you so much!

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