Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie on a Chocolate Grain Free Crust

So we're into December now and I feel good about getting some big ideas settled, doing yoga weekly and not having diet soda for at least two months now! We had a great Thanksgiving and long weekend and I'm really looking forward to a winter drive in the mountains some time soon. It's nice to be calm with the gray days, bundle up on the couch and wear boots with my skinny jeans. I made this pie a few weeks ago, then again last week, and I'm pretty sure I'm making it again for this weekend. It's really rich and sweet and a big crowd-pleaser. And a big me-pleaser.

For this delicious pie that is gluten, grain and almost totally refined sugar free, toasted pecans are nestled in a caramel made with honey, butter, palm sugar and vanilla on top of a grain free crust made with pure cocoa. Dark chocolate chips are melted and spread along the crust after baking- but you could omit this step if you'd like to keep this free of all refined sugar. You could also substitute the butter for coconut oil to make this dairy free and agave for honey to make this vegan. While you have to watch the filling to make sure you don't burn yourself with a scary sugar burn (it bubbles up on the stove and is super dangerous), this pie is really easy to make and takes little time to cook.  Just bake the crust, top with melted chocolate and the caramel pecan filling and then let it set at room temperature or in the fridge until the caramel has thickened up.

You may also like:
My recipe for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie on a Sweet Grain Free Crust (more chocolate and less filling)
Grain Free Pecan Pie from My Whole Food Life
Paleo Chocolate Caramels from Against All Grain
Double Chocolate Pecan Salted Caramel Brownies from the Food Intolerant Teen (she's 15!)
and The Paleo Chocolate Lovers' Cookbook by The Spunky Coconut's Kelly Brozyna

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie on a Chocolate Grain Free Crust
(Gluten and Grain Free Made with Almond Meal, Honey and Butter)
serves 8

Chocolate Crust
1 1/4 C almond meal
1/4 C cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 C melted butter
2 T honey
2 T palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Filling
2 C or 8 oz. bag of pecans (1 C chopped small, 1 C left in big pieces- optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter
1/2 C honey
1/4 C palm sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 C dark chocolate chips melted (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

Preheat the oven to 350
Mix the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, honey, palm sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth
Press into a pie dish (I use a ceramic dish) and press evenly from the center out to the sides, leaves extra to go up the sides
Poke a few times with a fork so it doesn't bubble up and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust looks dry but not burnt
Remove from the oven
Microwave the chocolate chips at 15 second intervals, stirring in between, and top the baked crust with half of the melted chocolate. Spread evenly with a spatula. Reserve the rest of the chocolate to drizzle on top (optional)
Prepare the pecans by chopping or blending 1 C and leaving the rest whole
Next (or while the pie crust is baking) combine the pecans, salt, butter, honey, palm sugar and vanilla on the stove top
Heat until boiling and boil for a couple of minutes- this is where you should be extremely careful!
Remove from the heat and pour on top of the chocolate covered chocolate crust- and also here, careful!
Gently spread the pecans as evenly as you can, and the rest of the caramel will spread evenly
Leave out until the pie dish cools to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until the caramel sets and is thick and gooey

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