Maple Pecan Pie

This is what got me in trouble this Thanksgiving. I had at least one piece every day until it was gone!

My usual strategy for eating healthy/keeping my weight stable on Thanksgiving is:

1. To eat somewhere else. 🙂
2. If I’m going to host, to send all the treats home with the guests.

I couldn’t do that this time, because not only was I hosting, but my kids, their husbands, and my grandchild were all staying here with us and would be eating all that food for days!

Sigh, I have no willpower. None.

The good thing is, since Monday, I’ve been back to my usual healthy, more lean way of eating. My pants should be back to loose in no time.

Maple Pecan Pie

For the crust, I used the King Arthur Flour recipe for Gluten-Free Pie Crust with a few changes. I made half of their suggested flour mix: Combine 3 cups (16 ounces) brown rice flour, 1 cup (5.5 ounces) potato starch, and 1/2 cup (2 ounces) tapioca starch in lidded container. Mix well. Use as flour mix for gluten-free pie crust. This makes 4 single pie crusts.

(If you use a frozen pie crust, by the time the oven is preheated, this pie can be ready to go into the oven.)

Make one pie crust:

1 1/4 cups or 5 3/4 ounces flour mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Whisk together flour mix, sugar, xanthan gum and salt in large bowl. Pour out into a mound onto a large board or counter for rolling.

2. Cube cold butter – cut bar into 4 long sticks, then cut into cubes. Sprinkle cubes over flour mound tossing to coat all cubes. Using a rolling pin, start rolling cubes into flour. Keep tossing flour and cubes to rearrange while repeatedly rolling them flat. Using bench scraper, scrape mixture back up and deposit back into large bowl.

3. Whisk egg and lemon juice together in a small bowl until foamy. Sprinkle over flour/butter mixture in bowl. Stir with spoon until mixture holds together. You can add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of cold water if necessary. (I added one.) Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour or until the next day.

4. When ready to use, allow the dough to rest at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling. Roll out on a floured piece of parchment paper until diameter is 1 inch large than pie pan. Slide bench scraper under dough to make sure it’s not sticking. Invert paper and crust onto pie pan. Peel off paper. (Or you could do what I did, and just center rolling pin on pie crust, fold crust over top of rolling pin, then lift it all onto pie pan and unfold.) Flute edges.

I dare anyone to guess that this crust is not made with regular all-purpose flour. It was flaky, tender, had really good flavor and was not difficult to work with at all.

Maple Pecan Filling

2 cups pecan halves

4 eggs
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour mix (recipe above)

1. Arrange pecan halves in prepared pie crust. (This gives a beautiful presentation, but I like to break mine up because it makes for easier cutting of pie pieces later.)

2. Blend remaining ingredients in blender or in bowl with stick blender.

3. Pour over pecans in prepared pie crust. Gently press all pecans to submerge under liquid.

4. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.

I make this pie once a year – if you try it, you’ll see why. 😉

If you like maple and pecan together, you might want to try:

Vegan Maple Pecan Pie Smoothie

Maple Pecan Bites

Maple Pecan Pie Bars (vegan)

Pumpkin Oat Scones with Cranberries and Pecans

If you would like to receive this blog directly to your email, you’re welcome to enter your email address as directed on the right. Coming soon – homemade butternut squash soup, chocolate chip banana circles, and i-never-thought-it-could-taste-so-good tofu!

Lately, I’ve been wanting to bake with apples or pumpkin. Pumpkin won. 🙂

I’ve been making these scones for many years. The original recipe came from this cookbook published in 1979. Wow – I was single then and not even dating my future husband! I’ve made these with raisins, apples and blueberries, but this time I worked pumpkin, cranberries and toasted pecans into them. Mmmm…

I like the uniqueness of scones. When I eat a scone, I have certain expectations. I want it to be rich and a bit crumbly, not dense. I want to feel the complex texture – the bits of oats, nuts and fruit that I put into it. I don’t want it to be smooth like a biscuit that’s more of a side item. A go-with. A scone is the main fare! It should look earthy. Wholesome. Hearty. And it shouldn’t be too sweet, like a dessert. Just slightly sweet, like I’m eating one of the original scones from Ireland of old where flour and sugar were precious commodities. These scones are whole grain, can be gluten free, and celebrate the coming of Fall!

The ingredients in this are like those in all of my recipes – examined for nutritional content and processed as little as possible. Recipes abound that are rich and sweet that do not do your body one bit of good! I can’t, in good conscience, give you those.

I feel a strong sense of responsibility to give you what will nourish your body  toward good health. Some people really have no idea that nutrition is a science, proven to affect health. Food intolerance, too much protein, too many processed foods, too much bad fat and sugar, too few nutrients – all of these can cause health issues that people go to the doctor for, and then are put on medication. For instance, the CDC estimates that 2.7 million children in the U.S. are currently taking medication for ADHD. Many of these children can be treated by a high-nutrient diet and avoid the side effects of medication.

If you have parents who were aware of the benefits of whole natural foods and passed that on to you, be grateful for it! That’s where I’m blessed – my mom is a retired registered nurse and learned early  about nutrition. She actually introduced me to it when I was a teenager, and my interest in it stuck. Thanks, Mom!

We can learn and affect the next generation. 🙂 That’s what I want to do. How about you?

So as far as I can know, the recipes I use for my family combine good flavor, natural ingredients, and solid nutrition. This is what I offer to you!

On to the scones…

You may remember from here that I am new to a gluten-free diet, which I became committed to after experiencing relief from my long term joint pain. I’m experimenting with all of my old recipes, adjusting them to fit my new nutritional focus. I keep a jar of gluten free flour mix ready in my pantry for when I want to bake. I learned from the master, Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl (this page will give you all the details), how to make a whole grain flour blend. Below is the recipe I used for my GF flour mix that I used in these scones. I’ve written the scone recipe as a regular recipe that anyone can use – just know that for the gluten-free version, you are to substitute GF oats (if you’re extremely sensitive to gluten) and GF flour mix for the whole wheat or white flour.

GF Flour Mix:

18 ounces brown rice flour

7 ounces millet flour

10 ounces potato starch


Whisk or sift all ingredients together till thoroughly combined. Store in mason jar in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Oat Scones with Cranberries and Pecans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

When preheated, toast 1/3 cup pecans for 3-4 minutes. No more! They burn easily. (I only burned one batch this time.)

Dry ingredients:

1 1/4 c oats (GF if necessary)

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (or GF flour mix)

1 T baking powder

1/2 t cream of tartar

1/2 t salt

2 t cinnamon

1 t ginger

1/2 t allspice

1/4 t nutmeg

1/3 c toasted pecans, broken with fingers

1 T milled flaxseed or chia seeds (optional)

1/3 c dried cranberries, fruit-juice sweetened

Wet ingredients:

6 T melted butter, Earth Balance or extra virgin coconut oil

1/3 c pure maple syrup

1/4 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 egg


1. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.

2. Whisk wet ingredients together in small bowl.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix with rubber scraper until moistened.

You can form scones in different ways. One was is to turn dough out onto floured pastry board. Form a log, pat down into a rectangle, then cut into about 12 triangles.

Alternately, you could turn it out onto floured pastry board, pat into one or two circles, then cut into 8 “pie wedge” type triangles, separating slightly.

OR you could just drop 8-12 spoonfuls of dough directly onto oiled baking sheet just like drop biscuits. (see “drop” scones above)

Using pancake turner, move to oiled baking sheet. For a nice touch and some added sweetness, you could paint these with milk and then sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. I did that on some of these in the pictures. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Enjoy the fragrance permeating your house. Candle businesses spend a fortune trying to fabricate what you’re creating with natural ingredients! 🙂

Remove from pan immediately. As with most baked goods, they are best while still warm (or briefly warmed up). Brew hot drink of your choice. Put feet up. Enjoy!