A sweet and salty pie made from one of American’s favorite whole grain snacks.
It’s a little-known fact that October is the official month for celebrating all things popcorn. Back in 1999, the then Secretary of Agriculture proclaimed October National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, and ever since, those in the popcorn know have used this month to celebrate the wondrous whole grain that was discovered in the Americans thousands of year ago. Peanut Pecan Popcorn Pie is my nod to National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. It’s a sweet and salty treat that tastes like a cross between caramel coated popcorn (i.e. Cracker Jacks) and Rice Krispies Treats, minus the artificial ingredients and refined sweeteners.
For best result use homemade popcorn for this recipe but if you’re short on time and want to purchase it look for a brand that is air popped and very lightly salted. There are some nice brands available at mainstream grocery stores nowadays that market themselves as healthy alternatives to traditional mass produced popcorn, which is typically processed with refined oil and laden with excessive amounts salt. One thing I would NOT recommend is microwaving popcorn in a brown paper bag. I’ve seen this suggestion floating around a lot lately on-line and even in cookbooks. I suspected it might not be as safe as was being portrayed so I did a little research and found out that unless you are using “food grade” paper you should not use a paper bag to make microwave popcorn because plain and recycled paper are often made from unknown materials that should never come in contact with food when heated.
Peanut Pecan Popcorn Pie would be great for a Halloween party but keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics says you should refrain from giving popcorn to infants or toddlers as the kernels pose a choking hazzard.
Almond butter and maple syrup form the basis for the popcorn, peanut, pecan coating and act as the glue that holds everything together. It’s not necessary to refrigerate Peanut Pecan Popcorn Pie but doing so keeps it firm so that when sliced the pieces stay intact.
Anyone who has a sweet tooth will appreciate Peanut Pecan Popcorn Pie, and while this fun and unique treat is not nut-free, it IS gluten-free, diary-free, and vegan. Enjoy!
- 7 cups/2 ounces popcorn, preferably homemade
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup/4 ounces unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup/4 ounces unsalted pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Brush the bottom and sides of a 10-inch spring form pan with removable bottom with the coconut oil.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth and syrupy.
- In a large bowl toss together the popcorn, peanuts, and pecans. Drizzle the syrup/almond butter mixture over the popcorn and toss with a rubber spatula to coat thoroughly.
- Transfer the mixture to the springform pan. Press and pat the mixture down into the pan in one even layer.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into slices.
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