Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Great Blogger Bake Off: Week 5 - Pecan Pie

If you don't like pies, I don't want to be your friend. 

I would rather have a wedding pie than a wedding cake, so I was so excited to get pie making. 

Now pecan pie is actually a large part of my childhood. Mum used to buy a pecan danish from the supermarket and it was my favourite dessert, but then they stopped making them and I haven't had one since, so anything remotely close to it has nostalgia in every mouthful. 

It's a classic, and is surprising easy to make (I'm pretty rubbish at dough) and the spelt flour gives the base a light, digestivy taste. 

This pecan pie is soooo bad for you, but is brilliant for a special occasion where you can justify having a naughty treat. 

225g spelt flour
75g golden caster sugar
125g unsalted butter chilled and diced
1 medium egg separated
200g pecan nutsw
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
300g golden syrup
3 medium eggs plus 2 egg yolks
300ml double cream
pinch of sea salt
icing sugar for dusting (optional) 

1) Place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick burst at high speed to reduce it to a crumb-like consistency. 

2) Add the egg yolk and then, with the motor running, trickle in just enough milk for the dough to cling together in lumps (a teaspoon or two should do it). Bring the dough together into a ball using your hands, then pat into a flattened patty. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. 

3) Have ready a loose-bottom tart tin about 23cm x 5cm (9in x 2in ). Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas 6. 

4) Lightly dust a work surface with spelt flour, knead the pastry until it is pliable, then roll it out thinly. Line the base and sides of the tin by slipping the base under the rolled pastry and then into the tin, gently pressing it in. 

5) Trim the edges and reserve trimmings. Line the case with foil and baking beans, securing the sides to the tin. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, brush the case with the egg white, patch any cracks with the trimmings and cook for another 10 minutes until evenly golden. 

6)Turn the oven down to 170C/ 150C fan / gas 3. Thinly slice two thirds of the nuts. Whisk the lemon juice and zest into the syrup in a large bowl, then whisk in the eggs and the egg yolks and finally the cream. Fold in the sliced nuts and salt. Pour the mixture into the the precooked pie case and arrange the remaining pecans flat-side down over the surface. 

7) Bake for 60 minutes until lightly golden and puffy at the edges  (if you move the tart around it should wobble without showing any signs of being liquid). 

8) Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of hours. 

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