Friday, February 25, 2011

Pecan Pie



This pie was a special request by my lovely friend Leslie who apparently hasn't enjoyed some good old pecan pie since being back in the states who knows when.  This was fun for me to do since I don't make nearly as many pies as I should, but I really enjoy them and I lurve me some pecan pie. 

My goal was to re-create the pecan pie from Phillipe's in Los Angeles.  If you haven't had their pecan pie, you ain't lived.  It's that good.  I don't know if I succeeded, but if I can manage to scrounge a few crumbs from Leslie I'll let you know.  It's pecan pie though, so no matter what the outcome, it can't be bad.


Update:  According to Leslie, the pie was "absolutely delicious, a more than perfect pecan pie!"


Pecan Pie


Filling:

5 Tablespoons (70g) Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
3/4 Cup Golden Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, lightly beaten


Crust: (recipe adapted from Teri's Kitchen)

1 1/2 Cups Flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening, chilled
1/4 Cup Butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons Cold Water, more or less if needed


Method:



To prepare the crust, combine flour, salt and sugar.  Add the shortening and butter and using a pastry cutter, forks, food processor or your hands, combine it until its coarse and mealy.  If using your hands, be careful not to melt the butter into the flour too much, chunks are your friend, it makes the crust flaky.


Add the cold water in one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and holds when you squeeze it.  Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge at least one hour.  Once chilled, roll it out to the desired size, press into pie pan, cover and return to the fridge until you're ready to use it.


Set your oven to 350F/175F.  Spread the pecans on a lined baking sheet and bake 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and roughly chop, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, syrup and salt.  Stir this until the sugars are melted down nicely, this will take about 5 minutes or so.  Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil for one minute, stirring continuously.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and nuts.  Let this cool for about five to ten minutes, stirring it every now and then.  It may seem like it's getting hard or goopy, that's okay.


Important note - Do not add your eggs to the sugar mix until its sufficiently cooled, you will get scrambled eggs!  Not cool!  If you can stick your finger in the sugar and it feels warm but not at all hot, you're good!


Stir you're beaten eggs into the sugar mixture and blend it very well until its smooth.  Fill your pie crust.


Bake 25 minutes, cover with a crust lid or aluminum foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.


Can be served warm or room temperature.


Makes one 9 inch pie.


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