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This Crustless Pecan Pie in a Bowl was a feat of triumph. I’ve toyed with the idea of a single-serve pecan pie recipe for awhile now but honestly didn’t think I’d get this close to the real deal, especially with these easy ingredients and steps! It’s not EXACTLY like sugary pecan pie, but it has all the caramely flavors and a lot of the texture. Enjoy it in a THM S / low-carb setting!
WHY CRUSTLESS? Because it’s easier and this pie really didn’t need any more calories. I know we don’t count calories on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, and I’m super glad for that, but it IS smart to be calorie conscious. This pecan pie is undeniably rich – a special treat. You probably shouldn’t eat the whole thing after a big ol’ heavy S meal very often. Use it as a special meal or snack on its own (it has plenty of protein to stand alone! but don’t forget your veggies…) or split it with someone as a dessert. (Or eat half and save the rest in the fridge for later.)
SPEAKING OF PROTEIN, the collagen in this recipe helps with the “caramel” texture and is essential to the recipe. I don’t recommend substituting anything for it or leaving it out. The whole recipe is really a delicate balance of ingredients; substitute at your own risk. I can only vouch for it as written. Using a less concentrated sweetener shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t have the THM Super Sweet Blend I used, but other than that I wouldn’t change anything. Usually you can substitute glucomannan for xanthan gum in recipes, but it doesn’t always work for caramel so that may or may not work here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Molasses is approved on the THM plan in small amounts (up to ¼ teaspoon per serving) for flavor. I used it in this recipe because it adds a nice caramely flavor and color that caramel or maple extract just can’t quite give you. I don’t recommend leaving it out! I prefer Grandma’s molasses from Walmart or my local grocery store because it has a great flavor and it’s what my mom always used. I believe blackstrap molasses is preferred because it contains more nutrients, but it smells (and dare I say tastes?) like a tarry ointment we used on our horses when they got thrush in their feet and the nutritional info really isn’t that much different from Grandma’s molasses. 😛 In such small quantities, I personally don’t think it’s going to make much difference nutritionally. Use blackstrap if you prefer.
The detailed recipe instructions below probably make this single-serve pecan pie look more complicated than it actually is. 😉 I have a bit of a problem with wordiness…but I also have to answer a boatload of questions if things aren’t spelled out ex-act-ly, so cut me some slack. 😛 Basically you
- use one bowl,
- melt some butter,
- add some other ingredients and microwave to make a caramel,
- add an egg yolk and some pecans,
- and microwave again to make a pie. Don’t overbake it!!
Top the warm pie with some sugar-free vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgent treat.
Don’t want to use a microwave? Check out the NOTES section of the recipe for suggestions on how to make the pie without one. I haven’t tried the stovetop/oven method so I’d love to hear how it turns out if you experiment with this method!
The caramel part of the recipe would probably actually make a nice little sauce on its own to use on other things. Maybe cook it for an extra minute or two in the microwave (whisking occasionally) to bring it to your desired color.
This recipe wasn’t designed to be made into a multi-serving pie, although I may experiment with that technique in the future. (I’m intrigued by the effect of the collagen in the caramel sauce.) Perhaps multiplying the recipe and baking it in a 9” pie plate would result in a pecan custard of sorts? If you experiment with it, let me know how it turns out!
COMING RIGHT UP!
Stay tuned for a delicious chipotle chili soup recipe as well as a Special Occasion Baked Oatmeal recipe – a THM crossover with an amazing texture that will be perfect for special weekend breakfasts for the whole family or feeding to company!
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As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission (but your price doesn’t change).
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- 2 teaspoons salted butter
- ¼ cup half and half (substitute at your own risk)
- 2 ½ teaspoons THM Super Sweet Blend (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon molasses
- Dash salt
- ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 tablespoons collagen (no substitutes)
- 1 medium egg yolk
- ⅓ cup pecan halves and pieces
- Melt the butter in a small ceramic bowl in the microwave.
- Add the second set of ingredients to the melted butter in the bowl and whisk.
- Add the xanthan gum a little at a time while whisking so it doesn’t clump, then add the collagen and whisk again. The collagen will probably be a bit clumpy but the clumps will dissolve when you whisk the mixture after heating it.
- Microwave for 1 minute, then whisk the “caramel” smooth. Microwave for another minute or until the caramel is a golden color (not super dark or thick). Whisk again.
- Let the caramel cool off for a minute or two.
- Add the egg yolk and whisk smooth. Stir in the pecans (chopped fine or left in halves and pieces according to your preference). It’s best if the pecans aren’t frozen.
- Microwave for 50 seconds or until nearly set all the way through but still a bit wet on top in the center. Keep an eye on it and don’t overcook – better underdone than overdone in this case! My microwave is on the weak side so you may want to check it at 30 seconds and keep close tabs on it from there.
- I recommend eating this warm with low-carb ice cream or a dab of Reddi-wip! It’s not bad cold, either.
- Since this pecan pie contains protein of its own you can use it as a meal or snack (don't forget your veggies!), but it is pretty calorie dense so I don't recommend eating the whole thing as dessert after a heavy S meal. Share with someone or put half in the fridge for later.
-Using a large egg yolk will result in a more custardy pie. Using a farm fresh egg yolk will give you a bright yellow color!
-Don’t want to use a microwave? You could try adapting this by making the caramel part on the stovetop and baking the finished pie in the oven at 350* until it’s nearly set all the way through but still a bit wet on top in the center. I haven’t tried this so I’d love to hear how it turns out if you experiment with this method!
-The caramel part would probably actually make a nice little sauce on its own to use on other things. Maybe cook it for an extra minute or two in the microwave (whisking occasionally) to bring it to your desired color.
-Nutrition and allergy info for pie only, not toppings.
Gluten free (use non-contaminated ingredients)
Here are some of the products used in this recipe: