Ever since trying pecan nuts for the first time in the US many years ago, I’m addicted to them and they’re since then, my absolute favourite nuts. Crunchy and a little sweet, but still light as a feather, they almost melt in your mouth. Taste and look wise they remind of walnuts, but are a little darker and milder in taste. They native to the US and Mexico, and are hence easily available everywhere over there. Heavenly pecan pie is just one of the many delicious things you can do with pecan nuts, and is a much beloved dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Here in Germany, they are not as widely known yet, and mostly you can find them only in organic food stores or health food stores. They’re also little energy packets, packed with nutrients like healthy fats, minerals, proteins, fibre and B-vitamins.
I love to munch them just like that, or use them for baking and cooking. They also taste amazing in a fresh and crunchy salad.
Since several weeks, I was flirting with the idea to bake a kind of vegan pecan pie without gluten or refined sugar. That’s when this wonderful and yummy-tasting pecan-date tart was born. I only used dates as a sweetener, and a little coconut blossom sugar as well as oats for the crust. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this would make a perfect dessert for Christmas.
For the crust
- 200 grams ground oats (gluten free or regular)
- 50 grams corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp coconut blossom sugar
- 75 grams cold and solid coconut oil
- 6-7 tbsp cold water
For the filling
- 150 grams pecan nuts
- 200 grams dried pitted dates
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, ground
- 3 tbsp water
Soak the dates in hot water for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and oil a rectangular tart form with coconut oil.
For the crust mix ground oats, corn starch, salt and coconut blossom sugar in a bowl. With your fingers rub the cold coconut oil into the flour. Add the water and knead into a smooth dough. Roll into a ball. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Drain the dates and place in a food processor along with coconut milk and oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ground chia seeds and water. Process until you have a creamy and smooth consistency.
Press the dough into the tart form and poke several times with a fork. Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
Take out the tart form and spread the date cream evenly on top. Distribute the pecan nuts on top and bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Take out and leave to cool.
Note: The prep time doesn’t include the soaking time for the dates, so keep that in mind before getting started.