Makes 10 servings

In southern kitchens, sorghum syrup is the main ingredient in this pie. The other traditional ingredients are brown sugar, dark corn syrup, or molasses; lard or shortening; butter or margarine; and eggs. This more healthful version sacrifices none of the luscious texture or sweet taste. You can substitute Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix for pastry flours, if desired.

Single Crust Pastry with Glaze:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white pastry flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup high-heat oil (Spectrum brand)
¼ cup water
Glaze: 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Filling:

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1½ cups water
3 tablespoons agar sea vegetable flakes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1¼ cups brown rice syrup (Lundberg brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons thickener (arrowroot powder or kuzu root starch)
2 tablespoons cool water
2 cups pecans, toasted (15 minutes at 300°)

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast about 15 minutes to enhance their flavor. Transfer to cooling rack.

2. Increase oven temperature to 400°. To prepare pie dough, mix flours and salt. Drizzle in oil and stir until texture resembles pebbles. Add water to form a smooth pliable dough. Roll out between sheets of floured waxed paper. Transfer pastry to oiled pie pan and flute edges. Roll out extra dough and cut with seasonal cookie cutter like an autumn leaf. Transfer cutouts to a small baking pan to bake along with pastry for 15 minutes. Mix glaze ingredients and brush on both rim of pastry and pastry cutout. Return to oven until done, 5 minutes more.

3. To make filling, in a 2-quart saucepan bring to boil maple syrup, water, agar, cinnamon and salt. Simmer until agar dissolves, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Check to be sure agar is dissolved by dipping in a tablespoon to see if any flakes remain on spoon.) Whisk in brown rice syrup and vanilla. Dissolve thickener (arrowroot or kuzu) in cool water and add to pot. Over medium heat, whisk until simmering resumes. Let mixture cool somewhat, about 15 minutes, then stir in pecans, and transfer to pre-baked pie crust. Place pastry cutout on top. Filling sets in 1½ hours refrigerated.

Variation: Five-Nut Tart: Prepare pastry in tart pan. Substitute a combination of hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts for all pecans. Toast nuts at 300° on separate pans as baking times vary from 8 minutes for pine nuts to 20 minutes for hazelnuts.

For 12 servings, per serving:
Calories: 372   Protein: 4gm   Saturated Fat: 1gm   Fiber: 4gm   Carbohydrates: 51gm   Fat: 17gm  Cholesterol: 0   Sodium: 58mg
Calories from Protein: 4%     Calories from Fats: 41%     Calories from Carbohydrates: 55%