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From the tree: Pecan Pie
Do you know what these are?
Pecan trees from home! Welcome back. As promised, below is the recipe for Southern Pecan Pie. It’s so good, I’ve had marriage proposals over it.
This week I handed in my thesis. Three years culminated in one quick trip to David Hume Tower on a Monday afternoon.
To celebrate, I indulged myself in a retro-trip of nostalgia and baked pecan pies for the TFGE’s November theme ‘From the tree’. This recipe is close to me for several reasons. 1. I grew up with a pecan orchard on the property, so my grandmother, and subsequently my mom and I, found ways to incorporate pecans into just about everything. 2. I made pies for my friends the year I lived in Oxford and was proposed two twice in one night. 3. Pecan pie makes everything better. Fact.
To get in the mood of baking, I played some music from home: Ludacris. (Yes, the South is one of the homes of rap music, and yes, I wear cowboy boots and a flowery apron while singing and dancing to it in the kitchen).
The one thing that makes this pie decadent, and what I daresay might be missing from most pecan pies here in the UK, is the use of Karo Corn Syrup. There are two types of Karo Corn Syrup: Light and Dark, but don’t let the names fool you, ‘Light’ doesn’t mean less calories, it means that the syrup is clear in colour and is made with real vanilla for a more delicate flavour than the standard ‘dark’ syrup, which is made with refiners’ syrup, which is a type of molasses.
The Karo Syrup is the one thing that you will have to make a trip to a specialty shop to source. I happen to know that Lupe Pinto’s over in Tollcross carries both types, and I suspect that Harvey Nichol’s food shop does as well. Either way, it is a necessary component.
To make the pies melt 115 grams of butter and mix with a cup of sugar. (NOTE: You can switch out the sugar depending on whether you use dark or light Karo. If you use light syrup, use dark sugar. If you use the dark syrup, use white sugar.) Once you have mixed the sugar and butter, add in the vanilla extract, followed by the 2 cups (or 1 whole 16oz. bottle) of Karo Corn Syrup. Now add in the 6 eggs and mix till smooth. This is a very liquid mix, don’t worry.
I now have to admit that I don’t make pastry. I never have, though I would love to change this in the near future. But for this recipe, let’s say that you already have 2 deep pastry cases (either slightly sweetened or plain) that have been blind baked and cooled.
Pour 1 cup of whole pecans into the base of the pie shells. Spread the pecans, adding in a few extra to cover the bottom of the pastry. Gently pour the pie mix over the pecans and fill almost to the edge.
Carefully move the pies to the pre-heated oven and bake at 180˚C for 1 hour, or until the middle of the pie is firm to the touch.
Let the pies cool some before you cut into them. Since there is no flour, the insides can be bit gooey if you cut it too soon. As an extra bonus, I always have either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on hand to serve with the pie.
Believe me when I say that this pie is a winner. There isn’t a holiday in my family that doesn’t come served with at least 2 whole pies, often 4.
Makes 2 pies
6 Large Eggs, Beaten
2 Cups Karo Corn Syrup (light or dark)
200 Grams Brown (Dark/light or a mixture) Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
115 Grams Butter, Melted
2 Cups Pecans, Whole
2 Pie Shells
Pre-heat oven to 180˚C
Place one cup of pecans in each, uncooked, pie shell. Spread them out to evenly cover the bottom.
Mix together all other ingredients. Pour mixture into each pie shell, dividing evenly.
Bake pies for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch.
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