A divine vegan Pumpkin Praline Tart with a cookie-like almond flour crust and a pecan praline topping that’s out of this world. This recipe has no added fats, and it’s gluten-free and soy-free.
In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed something strange happening to my family. I’ve been trying to get my sugar-loving son and my dessert-loving husband to eat more desserts that are naturally sweetened, or made with very little or no fat. A lot of this food has also been gluten-free, not because I’m consciously trying to avoid gluten, but because I’ve really been enjoying baking desserts with almond and coconut flours.
I’ve surprised myself with the great results I’ve got. But what has surprised me even more is that both Jay and Desi have actually been loving these sweets. A lot.
Grain-free, naturally sweetened chocolate chip cookies? Gone in 60 seconds. Breakfast chia seed muffins? Mom, can you make more soon?
So while coming up with ideas for great vegan Thanksgiving desserts, I’ve been trying to incorporate more grain-free, gluten-free ingredients. The Pumpkin Praline Tart I have for you today is going to the top of my dessert list.
This is a delicious tart, and it probably has way fewer calories than you’d find in your average tart, not least because it’s made with absolutely no added fat. That’s right. There’s no added fat in the crust, or the filling, or the topping.
The crust is a cookie-like almond flour crust sweetened slightly with maple syrup. For the pumpkin filling, I went a little overboard and roasted and pureed up a kabocha squash. A kabocha squash, if you’re not familiar with it, is a rotund, green-blue beauty that works perfectly for desserts, because of its naturally sweet flesh.
Of course, you can also just use a regular pumpkin, or canned pumpkin puree.
The praline topping is made up of pecans, of course, and lightly sweetened. Together, all of these layers add up to a divine dessert that’ll leave you licking your fork.
One of the things I love about this tart is that everything comes together in the food processor. Separately, so you do have to rinse out your processor bowl a couple of times, but it’s still quite a convenience.
One thing I would do a little differently the next time I make this tart is to spray the sides of my tart pan with some cooking spray. I found that the almond crust was a little hard to release from the sides, although the bottom came off without any problem.
On to the recipe now. Hope you try it — and love it — as much as we did!
Vegan Pumpkin Praline Tart, gluten-free and with no added fats
For the almond cookie crust:
- 2 cups superfine almond flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
For the pumpkin filling:
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned) If using kabocha squash, bake the whole gourd for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. Remove seeds, cut into 16 wedges lengthwise, and spread on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil, skin side down. Bake 45 more minutes or until tender enough for a fork to go through. Separate the skin from the flesh, and puree the flesh.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (can sub unrefined sugar like turbinado)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup almond or cashew milk
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
For the praline topping:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the almond cookie crust:
Place all ingredients for the crust in a food processor and add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together.
Dump the almond cookie dough into an 8-inch tart pan and press down with the heel of your hand to form an even layer. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers until the entire pan is covered. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork and refrigerate until you make the filling.
Make the filling:
Place all ingredients for the filling in the food processor and process until smooth. Pour into the tart shell. Use a knife or spatula to spread it evenly.
Make the praline:
Place all ingredients for the praline in the food processor and process until the nuts are chopped into fairly small pieces. You can stop earlier, if you prefer larger pieces of pecans.
Spread the praline evenly over the top of the filling.
Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake 40 minutes or until the top feels firm.
Remove and let cool thoroughly. Chill for an hour before serving.
More Thanksgiving-worthy pies: