Liberty (1 of 1)

Autumn Pecan Pie

Liberty (1 of 1)

As written for the Westender Magazine. Photography by Gregor Reid

Some things just shouldn’t be mixed, like apple pie and peas or your Aunt Matilda and Eminem. On the other hand, some things were meant to be together like pecans, brown sugar, and BOURBON. Pecan pie is an American Creole staple of autumn- its rich nuttiness and caramel sweetness is just “heaven on a plate darlin’”, as my mother would say. But, if a regular pecan pie just doesn’t cut it when trying to impress your guests, I have just the thing – homemade hard caramel to decorate that will take you less than 3 minutes, promise. So, this weekend, bundle up, put on a cup of tea (with a shot of whiskey) and go to town on this pecan pie making extravaganza.

* Should you wish to buy the pastry crust pre-made, I promise not to tell anyone.

Ingredients:

  • 200 g flour ( 1 2/3c)
  • 100 g cold butter, cut into pieces (1 stick)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 Tbs icing sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 330g light brown sugar (2 C)
  • 115g butter  ( 1 stick)
  • 100g caster sugar (1/2 C)
  • 65g chopped pecans (1/2 c)
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 5 tsp bourbon
  • 150g pecan halves (2 c)

For the caramel:

  • 100g caster sugar (1/2c)

To prepare:

  1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Rub in the cold butter until it resembles coarse sand.
  3. Add the egg and water and mix well with hands.
  4. Roll into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. After this, roll it out and place in a pie pan. Blind bake for 20 minutes (line the dough with aluminum foil filled with rice, beans, or baking balls, inside to stop the crust from rising).
  5. Remove from oven and discard the aluminum foil and rice.
  6.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Heat sugars, butter, and milk over low heat until combined.
  7. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  8. Remove from heat and add the eggs. Mix well. Lastly add the bourbon, and chopped pecans.
  9.  When the crust is done baking, pour pie filling into the half baked crust and top with the pecan halves. Sprinkle a bit of caster sugar on top of the pecans. Bake at 350 degrees F (165 C) for 50 minutes.
  10.  While the pie is baking, prepare the caramel. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat, spread the sugar out evenly and wait. Don’t stir! It will begin to caramelise and you can gently move the sugar around with a spatula. When it is a fully caramelized liquid, carefully pour it out onto a sheet of aluminum foil making swirly shapes. Let cool.
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