Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and relatives (and anyone else who may be celebrating today)! It was 2 years ago (and with a touch of trepidation), that I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time. Since then it has become a tradition for me to host a cosy crafting/seasonal eating event for my Stockholm besties around this time of year.
With lots to be thankful for, and still riding the wave of sugar-free inspiration after my latest round of the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Plan, I came up with these little treats yesterday. So far they’ve been much-appreciated by my vegan husband and food-loving kids, and I plan to defrost/warm through the pies I have frozen when the girls are around on Saturday for our annual pre-Christmas crafting day.
This pumpkin pie filling is creamy and has a lovely texture (non-vegans: you will not miss eggs, I promise) and, as it’s been a long time since I made my own pumpkin pie spice mix, I decided to wing it, adding a pinch of just about every spice I tend to use in baking at this time of year (with the exceptions of allspice and saffron).
I am so pleased with this recipe and I really do hope you’ll give these mini pies a go!
And back to gratitude…
Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, if you’d like to drop me a line and share what you are thankful for this year, it would be lovely to read about what is making you happy!
❤ MM xx
MINI PUMPKIN PECAN PIES
Makes 16-20 (depending on size*)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PIE CRUST
80 g almond flour
50 g pecans (blitzed in a food processor to a crumb consistency)
125 g desiccated/finely shredded coconut
45 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (juice from approx. half an orange)
Freshly grated zest of half an orange
A good pinch of organic vanilla powder
45 ml coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
150 g pure, unseasoned pumpkin puree (made from baked pumpkin)
1,5 tbsp rice malt syrup
A pinch each of cardamom, nutmeg, clove and ground ginger
2 tbsp raw, unsalted cashew nut butter (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
Approx. 20 pecan halves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (fan).
- Cut small squares of baking paper (mine were approximately 5 cm x 5 cm). Cut slits from each corner of each square almost to the middle of the square, but not quite. Place in a mini tart/pie tray (of the kind you might make Christmas mince pies in).
- In a food processor, blitz all dough ingredients until the dough comes together.
- Using a tablespoon (I used an actual measuring tablespoon for this) scoop out a tablespoon’s worth of mixture, shape it into a flat-ish round disc and place it on top of one of the baking parchment squares in a pie hole. Use the back of a teaspoon to shape the dough further and even out if necessary. Repeat until you have filled the tray.
- To make the filling, blitz (or mix vigorously with a fork, as I did) the filling ingredients until well-combined.
- Spoon just a tad more than 1 teaspoon of filling into each mini pie shell. Top each pie with a pecan half.
- Bake mini pies in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown and the filling looks just set.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving (they are delicious freshly baked and still warm).
* Using the above measurements and directions, I made 19 pies of equal size exactly.
**I suspect that these pies can be made in advance and frozen in, but I can confirm this on Saturday if my reheating experiment works!
***I have called this an “IQS-style” recipe as it is inspired by my recent experiences in doing the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program and it relies upon certain principles and key ingredients featured in many IQS recipes (rice malt syrup, coconut oil, nut flour/butter). When I talk about “sugar-free”, I mean it in the IQS sense of the term, which is essentially no/very low-fructose. Although oranges don’t feature in IQS-style food prep very often, I love the combination of the zest with pecan nuts and spices. For me, orange works perfectly in this flavour combination, but if you’d rather omit the juice, try replacing it with a couple of tablespoons of water and use only the zest. You can also try cutting the syrup in the filling by half, although the dough might rely on it too much for binding to be able to make a successful cut there.
****For a Paleo version, try using maple syrup or honey instead of rice malt syrup.