I’ve been on an oat bar kick lately: They’re versatile, naturally Gluten-Free, and way easier to make than a dang pie! And, at the end of the day, they’re really just some kind of differently-shaped hand pie without the labor-intensive crust.
Since it’s Thanksgiving time and fall season, I went with a pecan version as a pie substitute (my aunt already does a pie, so I needed to come with something just a bit different). Call this another one-hit wonder, because this pecan not-pie was an instant success! The family will be happy with it, I’m sure.
Bourbon is optional here. It can get pricey… And I don’t know about y’all, but bourbon isn’t one of my staples. It goes great with the pecans, however, and you get to play with fire while flambéing; what’s better than that??
Ingredients: (Yield: 6-12 bars)
— “Pie” Filling —
- 3 whole eggs
- ¼ C maple syrup
- 1 C bourbon (optional)
- ½ C molasses (or corn syrup, if you must)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ¾ C dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs vanilla (extract or bean)
- ¼ C unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ C raw pecans, roughly chopped
— Oat “Crust” —
- ⅓ C coconut oil, melted
- 1 ½ C oats (rolled or quick)
- 1 ½ C oat flour (or any GF substitute)
- ⅓ C maple syrup (or honey/agave nectar)
- ⅓ C granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
- ⅔ Tsp baking powder
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the inside of two 8×8 baking pan (or similarly sized bakeware) and set aside.
- OAT CRUST: Combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- OAT CRUST: Add oil and syrup to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine until you have a soft, crumb-like texture that holds together when squeezed. Add additional oats, if it looks too soggy.
- OAT CRUST: Press and flatten the oat mixture into the bottom of your baking sheet(s).
- PIE FILLING: Whisk eggs together in a mixing bowl. Combine syrup, salt, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter with the eggs.
- PIE FILLING: In a saucepan, flambé the bourbon and reduce by half over medium heat. Let cool and combine with the molasses (if omitting bourbon, just add an extra ½ cup of molasses or another substitute in place of the bourbon).
- PIE FILLING: Add molasses mixture to the pie filling and whisk to combine.
- Roughly chop pecans and sprinkle evenly over top of the oat crust.
- Pour the pie filling on top of the pecans and gently shake pan(s) to ensure even coating of pie filling over the pecans.
- Place baking pan(s) in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pie filling has set with the pecans.
- Cut pecan bars into rectangles; the size is up to you (cutting into 9-12 bars usually work best, I’d say).
- Serve as is or with ice cream, whipped cream, or honey on top.