This delicious pie is similar to pumpkin pie but it is made with sweet potatoes (or yams) instead of pumpkin. The filling is sweetened with dates, thickened with a little oat flour, and the Pecan-Date Crust is just like a sweet, crumbly cookie!
Note: As mentioned above, this pie can be made with yellow-brown sweet potatoes or garnet or jewel yams (for an explanation of the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, see this post). There are two recipes below: one for the crust and one for the filling, with photos to follow on how to roll out the crust and assemble the pie. If you’re looking for a Pumpkin Pie recipe (including a video showing how to make the below crust), click here.
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- 2 ounces pecan halves (about ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2½ ounces dates (5 Medjool or 10 Deglet Noor), pitted and quartered
- 1½ tablespoons nondairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with the oven rack in the middle position. Set out a standard 8-inch pie pan.
- Place the oats, pecans, and cinnamon into the food processor and blend until ground (about 30 seconds). Add the dates and process for about 1 minute more, until the mixture starts to clump. Add the nondairy milk, and process for 5 to 10 seconds until the mixture balls up into a dough, which happens quickly.
- Roll the dough into one big ball and place it onto a large piece of parchment paper placed on a cutting board or smooth countertop (or use a thin flexible cutting mat under the dough). Place another piece of large parchment paper over the top of the dough, and flatten it with your hand.
- With the top parchment paper still in place, roll the dough into a circle (using a rolling pin) until it’s about an eighth of an inch thick and slightly bigger than the top edge of the pie pan (set the pan on top to get an idea). If the circle is irregular, simply slice pieces of dough from bigger edges and press them along any edges that are lacking.
- Once the correct crust shape has been reached, peel the top piece of parchment paper off and gently lay the crust on top of the pie pan. Peel off the parchment paper (or mat) that was under the dough.
- Ease the crust into the contours of the pie pan gently and lightly press it into place. Trim away any hanging edges (and don’t wrap the crust over the edge since this will make it difficult to slice after baking). You do not need to poke this crust with a knife or weigh it down.
- Place the pan on a metal cookie sheet or pizza pan. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the entire crust and gently tuck down the edges so that none of the crust is very exposed. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Above: Here is the pie made with a jewel yam, so it has a darker color and looks more like pumpkin pie. The photo at the top of this page is made with a yellow sweet potato, so it’s not as dark in color.
- 1½ cups (packed) cooked sweet potato or yam (about 1 pound uncooked)
- 4 ounces dates (about 8 Medjool or 16 Deglet Noor), pitted and quartered
- ¾ cup nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ to ½ cup rolled oats, ground into flour (½ cup will result in a firmer filling)
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ cup pecan halves, chopped (for the center of the pie), plus 15 to 20 pecan halves to decorate the outside edge.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. To bake the sweet potato or yam, place it onto a baking sheet and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until very soft when pierced with a knife (this can be baked ahead to save time).
- Place the dates, nondairy milk, and vanilla extract into a blender (making sure to grind your oats first), and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).
- In a medium bowl, add the oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, and clove, and mix thoroughly with a fork.
- Blend the dates, nondairy milk, and vanilla in a blender on high speed until smooth. Blend in the dry ingredients followed by the baked sweet potato or yam until the filling is very smooth, scraping down the sides a couple times. This will be thick, so use your blender’s tamper if it has one. (If you don’t have a powerful blender, you can also use a food processer.)
- Scrape into a pre-baked pie crust and smooth out evenly.
- Arrange the pecan halves around the outside and the chopped pecans in the middle (see photo).
- Gently wrap a few strips of foil around the top edge of the pie (trying not to touch it on the filling) so the crust does not get overcooked. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil strips, and let cool before slicing. This pie can be made the day before as well.
Above: Flip the pie pan, the crust and the parchment paper (or mat) over, and peel away the top parchment paper (or the cutting mat, which I used here; I’m using a spatula on the underside to loosen the crust from the mat).
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please share a comment below or on my Facebook page. If you’d like to print this recipe, use the green “Print” button near the top-right of the recipe. Learn more about the Straight Up Food Cookbook here. Thank you!