Would you ever guess this chocolate pecan pie is dairy free? Even the tender, flaky crust is vegan (no butter, no lard – two of my pie crust staples)! The secret is plant-butter.
Pecan pie is such a classic recipe and one of my husband’s all-time favorites, so when I was sent a Holiday Baking Challenge to reimagine a family favorite dessert with dairy-free plant-butter, I knew instantly I’d bake this pie. The pie’s success depends on the crust (basically the canvas that allows the filling to shine) and the rich, nutty filling. Both crust and filling are full of butter, to swap it out was a bold move, but I’ve been adding plant-based ingredients into my diet and recipes recently, so this was an exciting challenge. The Country Crock Plant Butter that I used is made with avocado oil, comes in sticks (way easier for baking), and can be swapped for dairy butter without any changes to the recipe. There is no better pursuit than recreating my husband’s childhood memory of pecan pie because there are few things more delicious than nostalgia. The pressure was high and this pie delivered!
I made the most tender and flaky pie crust with the Country Crock baking sticks, which make measuring and using in the recipe just as easy as dairy butter. Then I toasted the pecans in a bunch of plant butter on the stove before adding them to the pie. Toasting the nuts in the plant butter imparts a richness and depth of flavor you can’t get when toasting in the oven. It also browns the plant butter, giving the pie an even more nutty flavor.
The combination with the bittersweet chocolate is a winner and no one in my family guessed it was made with plant-based and not dairy butter. The idea of eating more plant based baked goods is super intriguing, but the flavor has to come first and this pie is absolutely delicious!
You will need a deep-dish pie plate for this recipe. This is the Emile Henry pie plate I used!
- 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust Recipe Here (you can use Plant Butter sticks in this recipe)
- 8 oz (226g) pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup (113g) butter or plant butter I used Country Crock Plant Butter baking sticks with avocado oil
- 4 eggs to make vegan see note*
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup (328g) corn syrup Try Lyle's Golden Syrup as an alternative
- 2 tsp vanilla extract homemade vanilla extract recipe
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca flour for gluten free
- 6 oz (170g) bittersweet chocolate chopped (see note**)
- 8 oz pecan halves for top of pie
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes, until pale, but dry. I didn’t do this the first time I made the pie and wished I had; the bottom crust wasn’t as crisp as I’d like.
- In a skillet melt the butter over medium heat, add the pecan pieces and cook until the nuts are toasty and the butter caramel color. Strain the nuts from the butter. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, bourbon, and flour together.
- Sprinkle the butter-toasted nuts and chocolate over the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the filling over the top and then arrange the pecan halves over the filling to create a spiral pattern.
- Bake for about an hour, you may need to tent the crust if it starts to get dark before the pie is set. Let it cool completely before cutting.
If you love this chocolate pecan pie, check out my other pie recipes!