Author: Christina Eleton
November 15, 2022

Paleo "Classic" Pecan Pie (Gluten, Dairy, & Refined Sugar-Free)

Gluten, dairy, & refined sugar-free pecan pie! The ''traditional" pecan pie has nothing on this Paleo version!

Growing up, my favorite Thanksgiving dessert was pecan pie. I would always choose it over pumpkin any day. There is just nothing like that decadent warm pecan filling that is so delicious and satisfying. A few years back I decided to recreate my own "healthy version" of this dessert. I really don't know what took me so long. I think I was intimidated by the filling, thinking I wouldn’t be able to copy it in a healthy form. Well, I thought to myself, "I at least have to try". I didn’t want to go my whole life not being able to enjoy one of my favorite desserts and also see if I could tackle this little challenge.

I'm thrilled to have put myself to the test. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. My family could not believe it was a healthier version. They even said it was better than the real thing. I am extremely thrilled and beyond excited. I have been tweaking this recipe for the last coupe of days now and I am so happy to share with you. Plus, I had a few requests for me to share a "healthy version" of this delicious Thanksgiving treat.

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Ingredients To Make This Pecan Pie

I love classic pecan pie, so I made sure this recipe would come as close to that traditional pecan pie taste and flavor, but with clean, good-for-you ingredients...totally free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and the usual, corn syrup sweetener. To make this pecan pie you will need:

  • almond flour
  • arrowroot flour
  • coconut flour
  • baking soda
  • palm shortening
  • maple syrup
  • apple cider vinegar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs
  • pecans
  • sea salt
Close up of healthy pecan pie with coconut cream on white plate

My first mission was to make sure to get the filling right. In my opinion, maple syrup and coconut sugar give this pie the perfect caramel sweetness and texture. These two natural sugars are great because they do not increase inflammation markers in the body like your traditional white sugar or corn syrup would. And on top of that, there are antioxidant benefits being that maple syrup is a source of essential minerals, including calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

Close up of healthy pecan pie with coconut cream on white plate

Traditionally in most recipes, corn syrup is used in pecan pie. Corn syrup, along with white sugar, brown sugar and artificial sweeteners are not natural and should be avoided at all costs. Here’s a great article by one of my favorite doctors, Dr. Josh Axe, for more on the importance of avoiding corn syrup and other unnatural sugars.

I must mention another important detail...the crust. Almond, arrowroot and coconut flour work great to achieve the best crust texture and and are three of my favorite gluten free flours, (keeping this dessert low carb, full of protein and fiber).   No matter what dessert I choose to make, I always use my favorite paleo gluten free flours, natural sugars and oils that I always have on hand. So, I'm usually prepared with ingredients whenever we have a dessert craving like this one.

Close up of healthy pecan pie with coconut cream on white plate

How To Make This Pecan Pie

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • To a food processor, add almond, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt.  Pulse a few times to mix.
  • Next add the eggs, palm shortening, vinegar and vanilla pulsing several times to combine.  Add the tablespoon of water a little at a time for the dough to come together.  You may not need the whole tablespoon.
  • On a parchment piece of paper, add a little arrowroot flour and start kneading the dough.  If dough is too sticky, sprinkle extra arrowroot flour.  Use as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Grease the pie plate with palm shortening and then place the dough into the dish.   Because this pie crust is not the "traditional" pie crust, it doesn’t hold together the same, but will come out perfectly fine.  Just gently press the crust up the sides with your fingers.  Crimp the edges with a fork if preferred.  Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, combine and whisk all the filling ingredients in a medium size bowl.  Chop the pecans with a knife or in a food processor to desired size.  Take the pie crust out of the oven and put the chopped pecans in the pie crust first. 
  • Next, pour the filling mixture over the pecans.  Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes.  Keep an eye on it to make sure the edges are not getting too brown...you may want to cover them with foil to prevent burning.  All ovens vary.  Start checking your pie at 30 to 35 minutes and bake longer if the center is still "liquidy".  Usually 40 minutes works for me.   
  • Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour or until the filling is set.  Serve warm or cold with coconut cream topping or ice cream!

A Few Tips For The Best Pecan Pie

  • Make sure your pecans are fresh for the best taste. When nuts are old, they are not as fresh and go rancid.
  • Also, make sure not to chop nuts too much but enough where they are not whole pieces. In my opinion, the pie just taste better this way and looks rustic and prettier to me.
  • Let pie cool at least an hour or two to set. You want that gooey texture and not for it to be runny.
  • This pie is always prettier served in a beautiful pie plate like this one. It just adds so much!

How to Serve Pecan Pie

Once baked, pecan pie should completely cool before serving. This gives the pie time to set up and not be runny...very important step if you want it to slice properly. And of course, coconut milk ice cream or whip topping would take this dessert over the top!

Close up of healthy pecan pie with coconut cream on white plate

Does Pecan Pie Have To Be Refrigerated?

This pie should be covered with plastic wrap or an airtight container and stored in the fridge. We think this dessert taste just as good served cold right out of the fridge, and of course it's even better when heated for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Can This Pie Be Stored In The Freezer?

Absolutely! Make sure to put the pie in an airtight container or gallon freezer bag before freezing. When ready to enjoy, pull the pie out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Close up of healthy pecan pie with coconut cream on white plate

Pecan Pie can be enjoyed all year round, not just during the Fall season. But it is for sure a MUST when Thanksgiving comes around! Let us know if you decide to try out my recipe...I absolutely LOVE all the feedback! And make sure to check out my Pecan Pie Bars...they are a MUST too especially if you need a quick and easy holiday dessert!

Paleo "Classic" Pecan Pie (Gluten, Dairy & Refined Sugar-Free)

Author: Christina Eleton
Paleo, gluten and dairy-free pecan pie! The "traditional" pecan pie has nothing on this Paleo version!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pie

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Pie Plate

Ingredients
  

For The Crust

For The Filling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • To a food processor, add almond, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt. Pulse a few times to mix.
  • Next add the eggs, palm shortening, vinegar and vanilla pulsing several times to combine. Add the tablespoon of water a little at a time for the dough to come together. You may not need the whole tablespoon. I usually use the whole tablespoon. You know it’s ready when the dough starts to come together and forms into a ball.
  • On a parchment piece of paper, add a little arrowroot flour and start kneading the dough. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle extra arrowroot flour. Use as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Grease the pie plate with palm shortening and then place the dough into the dish. Because this pie crust is not the "traditional" pie crust, it doesn’t hold together the same, but will come out perfectly fine. Just gently press the crust up the sides with your fingers. Crimp the edges with a fork if preferred. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, combine and whisk all the filling ingredients in a medium size bowl. Chop the pecans with a knife or in a food processor to desired size. Take the pie crust out of the oven and put the pecans in the pie crust first.
  • Next, pour the filling mixture over the pecans. Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the edges are not getting too brown...you may want to cover them with foil to prevent burning. All ovens vary. Start checking your pie at 30 to 35 minutes and bake longer if the center is still "liquidy". Usually 40 minutes works for me.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour or two, until the filling is set. Serve warm or cold with coconut cream topping or ice cream!

Notes

    • Make sure your pecans are fresh for the best taste. When nuts are old, they are not as fresh and go rancid.
    • Also, make sure not to chop nuts too much but enough where they are not whole pieces. In my opinion, the pie just taste better this way and looks rustic and prettier.
    • Let pie cool at least an hour or two to set. You want that gooey texture and not for it to be runny.
Keyword Healthy Desserts, Paleo, Pecan Pie
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