Sunday, December 15, 2013

An NDD holiday special: semi-healthy pecan pie with maple, caramel, and peanut butter

 - by New Deal democrat

My mom made a  terrific pecan pie.  Unfortunately, most pecan pie recipes basically consist of corn syrup, sugar, and pecans, and they taste that way.  They may as well be obesity and diabetes on a plate.   So I experimented to come up with a recipe that is relatively healthy, has less calories, and is more flavorful. Here is my own, original, recipe for pecan pie that you can  enjoy several times during the holiday season without guilt.

Start with either a store-bought or homemade 9 inch pie crust.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take about 12-16 caramel candies, and put in a measuring cup.

Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add 3 tablespoons of Splenda.

You want the total to equal 3/4 cup.  You may need to add or subtract one or two of the candies so that you wind up with the right amount.

Put in a saucepan over low heat.  Add:

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) peanut butter
3/4 cup real maple syrup (dark is better than light)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest (or orange juice)

Stir as necessary. Keep the mixture over the heat just long enough so that the caramel and peanut butter completely melt.  Then set aside.

In a separate bowl, add 1/4 cup light whipping cream
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
Stir the eggs and whipping cream until thoroughly mixed.

Add the eggs and whipping cream to the saucepan, folding in till mixed thoroughly.

Take 1 and 1/2 cup chopped pecans, sprinkle over the pie crust in the shell.

Add the mixture from the saucepan.

Place in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes,  until the pie has jelled.  The pie filling will inflate some while it cooks, so you might want to put some aluminum foil underneath to catch any overflow!

The result is a pecan pie that is lighter, more flavorful, has fewer calories, and has at least a passing resemblance to nutritional value.  The challenge will be waiting until it has cooled off some before digging in.  Enjoy!