Every Sunday like clock work my husband asks for his favorite, pecan pie. He grew up in Georgia, so obviously pecans were a staple in the desserts of his hometown. Normally (since it’s a cheat day for him) I make my regular corn-syrup laden, wheat flour crusted, diabetic-inducing-coma traditional southern pecan pie. When I used to work as a baker we used to make 20-65 pecan pies a day, depending on the season of course. So basically, I can make them in my sleep.
I wanted to try something different this time. I want our cheat days to be unprocessed/paleo/healthy as possible. Still sweet & decadent…just not the spawn of the sugar Satan.
So I changed it up a bit. Instead of corn syrup and refined brown sugar, I have organic maple syrup and wild flower honey (I’m sure any honey will do). Replacing the pecan, I opted for hazelnuts-since finding these in Germany is much easier and much more affordable.
I made my crust in a french ring mold, it was kind of a pain in my butt. I would definitely recommend just using a regular 8″ or 9″ pie plate. It will make your life so much easier…and I’m sure more of you have one of those lying around than a metal ring mold.
In the end, my husband loved it! He loved the hazelnuts, and the recipe can be subbed for pecans if you are really craving them. It was not as it’s sweet as a traditional counterpart-but I loved it even more for that reason. After a pretty big slice, I didn’t feel like my veins were crystallizing into rock candy. In fact, I’m thinking about getting another slice right now…
- 2 cups blanched almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Combine all ingredients and work together to form a dough with your hands.
- Place the dough into a 8″ deep dish or 9″ pie plate. Pat and push the dough to fully line the pie plate. Make a nice edge.
- Bake crust for 15 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven.
Ingredients (pie filling):
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup organic maple syrup
- 6 Tbsp unsalted organic butter or ghee
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk (leftover from making your crust!)
- 2 cups chopped hazelnuts
- 1-1 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts for the top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 5-8 minutes (you can do this while your pie crust is cooking), until fragrant (the hazelnut pieces take about 5 minutes, and the whole hazelnuts take a little longer).
- Once the hazelnuts and pie crust are out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350F.
- Heat honey and maple syrup in a small saucepot over medium-high heat until it comes to a rapid simmer.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs and egg yolk together. Temper the eggs then add the eggs to honey and remove from the heat.
- Stir in the vanilla, salt, and butter (or other fat of choice), and chopped hazelnuts. Pour into pie crust.
- Arrange whole hazelnuts 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).
- Let the pie cool completely before serving. Enjoy!