Oh Pecan Pie.
I’ve never had one but many say it’s beyond delicious despite its freaky creepy looking nutty concoction appearances. I’ve actually grown fond of how it looks, very raw in an attractive way. The instant I mixed the corn syrup-sugar-more sugar-and more sugar-butter mixture together, I was smitten. The smell was ah-maaaazing.
I was warned by my sister that those classic Pecan Pies in America tastes like a pie filled with just sugar. I was slightly afraid cause I don’t want to get a toothache outta these. Also I keep spelling Pecan Pie as Pecal Pie. Slightly wonky fingers when I’ve just woken up and blogging’s the first thing I do in the morning.
I searched high and low (okay it wasn’t that difficult) for a recipe that sounded even better than the original kind and of course, a lot less sweet. Most recipes call for 1/3 cup of butter (yikes!), 1 1/2 cups of sugar (eeks!) and 1 cup of corn syrup (double eeks!). Until I stumbled across one of my favourite food blogs whose recipes are most of the time foolproof, delicious and not sickeningly overly sweet.
The first thing that caught my mind was her use of molasses in the batter. Slightly bitter and always lends a depth of flavour to anything, I thought this would compliment and bring out the very best of the Pecans. They are afterall the star of this dish. And the freshest of Pecans are so expensive they have to be able to shine through! And shone through they did.
I always look forward to making the pie crusts because I love how there are so many ways you can beautify it! From the standard fluting, to the lattice tops, braided edges or fork-crimping it down, they’re always so much fun! I did the standard fluting because it’s meant be to a classic Pecan Pie and nothing screams more classic than a classic fluted pie crust. I could be a poet.
Don’t forget to prick the bottom with a fork! I stupidly forgot, don’t be like me.
Dump in the chopped pecans.
Spread them out nice and evenly....
and then this is my favourite part.
Hello you sticky sweet filling. You make this pie almost the Mother of all Pies.
Let’s take a look at that once more. Up close and personal.
Pop it into a preheated oven of 170C fan oven for about 45 minutes though I’ve read that baking times for Pecan Pies vary pretty vastly.
Leave till cooled completely. Apparently Pecan Pies are best eaten at room temperature when it’s completely set. Some say they taste even better the next day!
This pie might make you cry. Daddy loved it. The Pie Crust recipe I got off the internet could use some improvements. My favourite is still my Pâte Brisée recipe as used in my French Apple Tart so just roll the dough out thicker and you can do all the fluting etc.
I've been baking too many American desserts lately. I don't know if it's because they tend to be so comforting and hearty that when the festive season approaches and the weather gets more chilly, they seem more appealing.
But one thing's for sure. I've been turning to these desserts also because I've been running low on inspiration to create a new and stunning pâtisserie. Although I did think of something last night and I'm feeling so excited to get back into the rhythm of French pastries again. After this few weeks of cake orders of course.
And while we're on the topic of French pastries and inspiration, I am thrilled to announce that I'll be back in Paris for the Christmas holidays and New Year's!! For sure I'll come back home with more inspiration and ideas so keep reading to see what's upcoming for the year 2014! Psyched.
Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, this might just be the pie for you to make ;) If you have never tried like (like me), take this opportunity to make one for yourself and your loved ones! This nutty sticky pie is gonna rock your world. This Thanksgiving I give thanks to the Nut & Pie Gods.
A Classic Pecan Pie:
(adapted from Simply Recipes)
Makes one 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
For the Pecan Filling:
pecans (coarsely chopped) – 1 3/4 cups
dark muscovado sugar – 1/4 cup
light corn syrup – 1 cup
molasses – 1 tablespoon
eggs – 2 no.
unsalted butter – 2 tablespoons
flour – 2 tablespoons
sea salt – heaping 1/4 teaspoon
vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
For the crust:
Mix the salt, sugar and water together and stir till dissolve and set aside.
Using your hands and working as fast as you can, rub the cold butter and flour against each other until it becomes a sandy consistency and there are no huge butter lumps.
Make a well and add in the yolk and the water mixture and using your hands and starting from the centre, gently incorporate in the flour and mix till it forms a dough. It should feel a bit dry.
// Note: you might not have to use all the water but just enough to bring the dough together. //
Once your dough has come together, you now have to ‘fraser’ the dough quickly without giving it elasticity and body.
Using a metal flat scraper, take a small portion of the dough, dragging, pulling it towards you and flattening it against your work space maximum three times. Set it aside and repeat with the rest of the dough. Form a ball with all the fraser-d dough and it should feel slightly damp and not too dry, but not sticky.
Once you have formed a ball, make an indentation with your finger. The dough should not bounce back. If it does it means you have worked the dough too much and is now elastic.
Divide into two equal rounds and film it to let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Taking as much dough as you need, roll it out evenly till a thickness of about half a centimetre with an excess of 1-inch hanging over the pie dish. Flute it or beautify it however you want, and prick holes using a fork on the base of the dough.
For the filling:
Preheat your oven to 170C with ventilation. Spread the chopped pecans along the bottom of the pie shell.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. (You can do this by hand) The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.
Bake at 170C for 40-45 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Serve at room temperature with a scoop of your favourite ice-cream and enjoy amongst family and friends.