My Dad doesn’t have the sweetest of teeth, unlike the rest of us at home! He would usually prefer a packet of chips to a bowl of ice cream, but there are a few desserts that he always says yes to. In fact, they can be counted on just two fingers – carrot cake and pecan pie. With his birthday last weekend, I wanted to make one of his favourites. I can also disclose that this is the second pecan pie I’ve made in as many months. Since the one I made in Perth for Easter lunch disappeared faster than I could snap a photo of it, here is my chance to finally share it with you!
The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s ‘Baking From My Home to Yours’ which has to be one of my most beloved cookbooks, the one I always turn to for classic cakes and pies. I loved the addition of chocolate and the hint of coffee. The original recipe didn’t call for any booze, but it’s my personal belief that no pecan pie is complete without a liberal splash of bourbon. I will concede that Cointreau also works nicely.
I also added some grated orange zest, since the kumquats I’d used once before worked so well, but aren’t in season yet. I’ve had some hits and misses with this pastry recipe when I’ve tried to take shortcuts, so ensure that you follow it as closely as you can for wonderful, flaky, not too sweet pastry that is truly “good for almost anything.”
In other exciting news, I’ve had a couple of mentions in the press lately. This clipping came from Chocolate Treats, where Spicyicecream was featured in their “Cyber Snacks” section.
I’ve already shared this news on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m also the SBS Featured Foodie for June! Click here to read their interview with me. Thanks so much to Aisha and Tony for thinking of me!!
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Adapted from ‘Baking From My Home to Yours’ by Dorie Greenspan
• 1 ½ cups plain flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 180g unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
• About ½ cup ice water
• ¾ cup light corn syrup
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons bourbon or Cointreau
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Zest of 1 orange
• 1 ½ cups pecan halves
• 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse to just combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and pulse only until cut into the flour, with some pieces of butter still visible.
Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons or the water until the dough comes together. Add more water a tablespoon at a time if necessary. Gather the dough into a ball on a bench top and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.
Have a prepared 22cm (9-inch) pie plate at hand. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper. Slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes. Fit the circle of dough into the pie plate, allowing the excess to hang over. Trim to a 1cm overhag, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge.
Refrigerate the crust while you preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and filled with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press is down gently with the back of a spoon. Place back into the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.
To make the filling, whisk the corn syrup and brown sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until you have a smooth, foamy mixture. Add the espresso powder, vanilla, bourbon or Cointeau, cinnamon, salt and orange zest and give the batter a good mix. Stir in the pecans and chocolate and pour the filling into the crust.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make a foil shield for the crust by cutting a 9-inch circle out of the center of a piece of foil. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F). Place the foil shielf on top of the pie crust. The filling will be exposed but the crust will be covered by foil. Bake the pie for another 15-20 minutes or until it has puffed and is beautifully browned and no longer jiggles when tapped. Transfer the pie plate to a rack, remove the shielf and cool to room temperature.