It’s Thanksgiving time again, so it’s time to get out the American recipes and have another go at them! Here’s my take on the classic pecan pie. This version includes maple syrup, which complements the pecans beautifully. It also offers some more muted tones alongside the bright sweetness of the traditional toffee-like filling. Cut yourself a small slice to start, this pie is very rich!
- PASTRY CASE:
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, cold
- 1 large egg, ideally cold from the fridge.
- 1 tbsp cold milk
- PIE FILLING:
- 250g pecans
- 125g unsalted butter
- 125ml maple syrup
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g light soft brown sugar
- 50ml milk
- 25g plain flour
- 1tsp sea salt flakes
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
Place the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of the food processor, fitted with a large ’S’ blade. Pulse a few times to distribute the salt and sugar.
Open the packet of butter, and using a sharp knife, cut the block several times in both directions. Separate the batons of butter, and add them to the food processor. Pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Crack the egg into a small jug, and whisk lightly. Turn the food processor on, and pour the eggs slowly but steadily down the feeding tube. Add the milk little by little - you may not need all of it. When the dough starts to clump together, turn off the food processor and dump everything out onto the work surface. Press everything together, and if there are any dry patches of flour, give it a quick knead to incorporate.
For the dough into a flat disc, then wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.
Roll the dough out into a circle just larger than your pie dish, about 3mm thick. Transfer the pastry to the pie dish, and press into all the corners.
Trim loosely around the edge of the dish, and fold the excess pastry underneath itself. Crimp the pastry all the way around with your thumbs and forefinger.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190c / 175c fan.
Line the pastry with ovenproof clingfilm, and fill with uncooked rice. Fold the loose ends of cling film back over into itself.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the cling film and rice and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the pastry is all dried out and golden brown.
Allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 180c / 160c fan
Place the pecan nuts on a baking tray, and toast for 8 minutes.
In a large saucepan, measure out all of the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the eggs. Put the saucepan on a medium high heat, and bring to a rolling boil, whisking continuously. As soon as the mixture boils, remove from the heat, and set aside for 10 minutes to cool down.
Scatter the toasted pecan nuts into your pastry shell.
In a large bowl, crack the 3 eggs, and whisk together thoroughly.
Whisking continuously, begin to drizzle in the warm sugar mixture, a little at a time.
Once fully combined, pour into the pie dish.
Push the pecans down into the liquid if not fully submerged.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the middle is completely set.
Remove and allow to cool completely before eating.
For a more decorative look, toast more pecans and toss in some maple syrup.
Arrange over the top in an attractive pattern.