I’m not sure I trust someone who doesn’t like Pie, especially a Pie that is filled with Sugar and Nuts and Chocolate and Booze.
Pecan Pie is a well-loved and well-known dessert, when I decided to make my first one I had 3 cookbooks (Baked, The Boy who Bakes, Jamie’s America) in front of me, each recipe was very different. The one that really stood out for me was one from the Brooklyn bakery – Baked. I suspect what drew me to it was the layer of chocolate and the bourbon – I jumbled the three recipes together to make this resplendent pie.
I hope it will bring joy into your lives, especially if you are in my homeland and having to put up with this constant barrage of weather!
250g / 9oz unsalted butter, chilled & diced
400g / 14oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
6 – 10 tbsp iced water
200g / 7oz pecan halves
3 large eggs
340g / 12oz golden syrup
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
50g /1½ oz butter – melted
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp bourbon (I used Canadian Club whisky – very Don Draper of me)
90g / 3oz milk chocolate chunks
90g / 3oz dark chocolate chunks
Put the butter, flour and salt in a bowl and with your fingertips rub together till it resembles irregular breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of water at a time and with your hands work the mixture until it comes together.
Knead the dough gently and then wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour.
Once chilled, roll it out between two pieces of clingfilm or greaseproof paper, until it is about the thickness of a pound coin.
Line a 23cm / 9 inch pie dish with the pastry, trim off the excess – leaving about an inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging pastry under itself and using your fingers and thumb crimp the edges.
Be careful not to pull the pastry too much, as this may form cracks once baked, which will then allow the filling to leak and your pastry will get stuck to the dish. I speak from experience, please note the gap at the very top of my pie. I did try to patch this up after the blind bake but it was stubborn and yes, my pie got very stuck. Not that the eaters of my pie criticised me for this, but as a Virgo I am still kicking myself to this very day!
Once lined, chill the pastry case for up to 30 minutes and turn the oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas mark 3
Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans (or rice)
Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Then place to one side while you make the filling.
You want 75g / 2½ oz of broken pecans to go into your mixture and 125g / 4¼ oz of unbroken pecans to lay beautifully on top. Break the broken bits by hand into smaller pieces and set both aside.
Put the oven back on at 170°c / 325°f / gas mark 3
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and then add the golden syrup, both sets of sugars, butter, salt, vanilla and the bourbon. Whisk again until fully combined and stir in the broken pecans.
Sprinkle the two lots of chocolate chunks over the bottom of the baked pastry shell and pour the filling over the chocolate chunks.
Arrange the remaining (near perfect) pecans over the top – you could be super neat if you like and arrange them in even circles but I arranged them haphazardly and personally think it looked pretty good that way.
Bake for up to an hour, turning halfway through and covering the edges with foil if they are starting to look a bit too well done!
It will be ready when a knife poked in the centre comes out clean – if lumps of the filling come out give it 5 more minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.
Be warned that if you are serving it to many people they will ask you to list the ingredients as they try to pick out exactly what’s in it.
Serve with a whisky on the rocks and a Mad Men boxset.