Classic Pecan Pie with Date Filling

We love Pecan Pie!  We wondered if this quintessential Holiday classic could be recreated swapping our caramely, sweet dates for the classic brown sugar based filling.  We succeeded!  This masterful rendition was created for us by Ellie O’Brien of Hungry by Nature.  She’s not only a talented recipe developer but makes delicious homemade granola and granola butter!


For the date puree:

  • 1 pound dates
  • 4 cups water

For the pie:

  • 3 cups date puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust


Make the Date Puree:

Cut the dates: Coat the blades of kitchen shears with a thin swipe of oil. Use the shears to finely “chop” the dates.

Simmer the dates: Place the dates and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool the mixture: Remove from the heat and cool for 30 minutes.

Purée the mixture: Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until very smooth, at least 1 minute. This should yield around 3 cups of date puree.

Make the pie filling:

Mix  eggs, date puree, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans.

Pour into unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees F on center rack of oven for 65-75 minutes, until center no longer giggles and is not sticky to the touch.

Cool for 2 hours before serving.

recipe and photo: Ellie O’Brien

9 replies on “Classic Pecan Pie with Date Filling

  • Ron DeVecchio

    In the “make the pie filling” step, the instructions say to mix date syrup, eggs, date paste, butter and vanilla. I didn’t see any reference to date paste or date syrup in the ingredients, or how to make either. Did you mean mix the date purée with eggs butter and vanilla?

    • Joan Smith

      Hi Ron,

      There is a step to make the date puree prior to the combination of the ingedients for the filling. Sorry for the confusion in the recipe. If you make the pie let us know, we’d love to hear how you like it!

    • Joan Smith

      Hi Ron, date syrup is liquified dates (simmered like a broth), strained of their solids, and reduced to a syrup like consistency. Date paste is finely ground dates, and are about the same consistency as whole dates, just finely ground. Puree would be like adding water to date paste over heat to achieve a smooth consistency (think apple sauce). Puree with lots more water, simmered for an hour, and then strained and reduced equals syrup. Hope this makes sense!

  • Laurie

    Joan, please look at the instructions above that states, “Make the pie filling: Mix date syrup, eggs, date paste, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans”. It does not mention using puree, as it was described at the beginning of the recipe. I guess we’re supposed to just use the puree. I wish the recipe was more clear on that point.

    • Joan Smith

      Hi Laurie! Thanks for the constructive comments, you are correct it was confusing. I fixed the recipe to be consistent on the use of the puree. Appreciate you bringing that to our attention!

  • Charlie

    Will any variety of dates work in this recipe? The recipe is indeed confusing; it provides instructions for making date puree and the ingredient list includes 3 cups of the puree, yet the cooking steps say to mix date syrup and paste with the eggs, vanilla, butter, etc., with no mention of the puree. My guess is that we don’t need the syrup and paste at all and the puree is what we’re using? Thanks.

    • Joan Smith

      Hi Charlie! My apologies for the confusion, I’ve updated the recipe to refer to puree throughout (you’re correct that puree and paste were meant to be the same thing), and hopefully it reads properly now. Thank you for letting me know! As for any variety, it was written for Medjools which are among the sweetest dates so I wouldn’t substitute Deglets for example and expect the same sweetness as they are a lower sugar variety. If you were to use Deglets I’d taste the puree before proceeding. Best, Joan

  • Brooke

    This recipe looks amazing!! I love dates and I really love pecan pie, so this is right up my alley. I will definitely be trying it this fall!


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