My friend and co-blogger Muriel has written one of her ever-sparkling pieces on our shared blog, Salmagundi, about teaching her wine-maker pal Dean how to make a pecan pie. Now, I haven't tasted this pie, but if it's Muriel's, it's bound to be toothsome, because she's a fine cook. (Okay, that's enough mutual backslapping for today.)
Muriel has asked me to post the recipe here, and this is what she has to say about it:
'I’ve always loved pecan pie, but it’s always seemed to me to be one of those exotic desserts you could never conjure up at home. (A Chinese friend recalls how Three Cup Chicken seemed ‘a restaurant dish’, and was astonished when she learnt – at school – how easy it was to make; this is my Western version of that.) But then pecan season came around and there were loads of fresh pecans in the local co-op, and I thought I should at least give it a try. I looked for several recipes but none came out how I remembered pecan pie from when I was a teenager (which was the first time I had it). Through a bit of trial and error (all the results were edible, although some didn’t look so good), we came up with this one. It’s fabulously decadent, fun and easy to make (someone can help you while dinner is on), and so successful that now we make two at a time: one isn’t enough.'
Muriel's Pecan Pie
For the pastry:
1 cup (250 ml)cake flour
a pinch of salt
100 g cold butter
2 t (10 ml) caster sugar
4 t (20 ml) ice-cold wter
1 t (5 ml) lemon juice
a little fresh lemon zest (optional)
For the filling:
130 g pecan nuts
about 60 g butter, melted
200 ml (just under a cup) brown sugar (treacle sugar if you’re feeling particularly decadent)
3 eggs, beaten
100 ml golden syrup
5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
1. Sift the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour, then rub it in with cold fingertips until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, water, lemon juice and zest. Add to the flour and butter and mix quickly and lightly into a dough (the less you handle it, the better). Wrap in clingwrap and put in the fridge for about 30 mins. Take it out, roll it quickly and lightly into a circle, and use it to line a pie dish. Bake the case at 200 C for about 10 minutes (don’t let the edges brown).
2. Take the pastry case out of the oven and arrange the pecans over it in a single dense layer.
3. Beat the melted butter, sugar and beaten eggs together until foamy. Continue beating while adding the syrup. Add the vanilla essence.
4. Pour the syrup mixture carefully over the nuts (they will float to the top). Bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes. When you take the pie out the oven, it will still look runny – leave it for about 20 minutes to set.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.