I guess thetime has come for me to bake my first pecan pie.
The reason for my delay has todo with the over sweetness this pie usually implies. The only way then, is tomake it at home.
I remembergiving a recipe for traditional corn syrup pecan pie to a friend of a friend years ago. Every once ina while I run into her, and she never forgets to remind me of the great recipeI gave her, and how she makes it all the time. I have no idea which recipe Igave out, since I myself don’t have a favourite one. It figures, since I nevermade one. Duh.
Through theyears, I found a very interesting addition to this pie. Bourbon. What doesn’tget better with bourbon in the kitchen? So an exciting pie was taking shape inmy mind, where the sweetness was cut through with splashes of bourbon, takespecial note in the s at the end of splash.
Now we weretalking about a pie that could very well find it’s way into my kitchen and bewelcomed by my appointed receivers of my baked goodies, now that I don’t havethe coffee shop anymore, which was the perfect place to get rid of all theunfinished cakes and pies and sweet stuff that was lying around my house afterthey were posted.
You see,there are flavours that people in this city sometimes don’t understand, like acardamom cake with rosewater or a spiced pumpkin bundt cake, the cloves are toblame for the latter.
So, believeit or not, sometimes it’s hard to give out cake. Ridiculous but true. Hey, we’retalking about cake after all. Or pie.
In myjourney through many cookbooks another idea appeared involving a sort ofcustard and butter, browned in this case which really makes everything better, thusleaving out the corn syrup. I wish I had maple syrup which is extremely hard tofind here. That would be the ultimate pecan pie with bourbon and maple syrup.But it will have to wait until I find a bottle of that smoky, golden stuff.
The piedough I use is very simple. Doesn’t even need salt, though I sometimes add apinch.
I like very unassuming doughs when it comes to flavour when using sweetfillings. So this is the one I use for savoury quiches also.
One word about piedough: the butter and water need to be ice cold, as in water with ice cubes andvery cold butter. I put mine in the freezer while preparing the rest of theingredients. If you don’t have cold ingredients I might suggest you don’tbother making homemade pie dough.
In the meantime,let’s dig into a browned butter pecan pie with enough bourbon to earn the firstplace in the title. Oh this is good. And thin so it’s not too much. Of course,I can’t stress this enough, I think the way to eat this is with ice cream. Nowthat is a fabulous dessert that deserves a place in the table next week.
Solet’s get to the recipe which is very easy once you have you pie shell. And easyis the way to go now, because there are lists and plans and things to take careof before the celebration begins.
BOURBON BROWN BUTTER PECAN PIE
adaptedfrom Room for Dessert, by David Lebovitz
1 prebaked9-inch pie shell (see recipe below)
¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoonvanilla extract
1 ¼ cupspecans, toasted
10 Tbs(140g) butter
Preheatoven to 375ºF / 190ºC
Forbrowning butter: put butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it meltand continue cooking it. It will make loud noises at first, like an angry cat,but suddenly it will stop. That´s when it will brown very quickly, so watch it.When it´s a deep amber color and has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and letthe bubbles subside. The browned bit will go to the bottom.
While thebutter is browning, put eggs, flour, sugar, bourbon and vanilla in a bowl. Addbrowned butter, leaving sediments behind in the saucepan. Do this a bit at atime so the hot butter doesn´t cook the eggs.
Put thetoasted pecans in the bottom of the prebaked pie shell.
Carefullyadd the butter mixture. I like to put theliquid in a measuring cup, put the pie in the oven and carefully add theliquid. That way I can fill it to the top without moving it.
Bake for 30minutes or until golden.
from TheVillage Baker’s Wife, by Gayle and Joe Ortiz
2 ½ cupsall purpose flour
1 cup(225g) very cold butter
Put ice 4or 5 ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill with cold water to about a cup.
In a foodprocessor put flour. Add cubed butter and pulse using on/off until the butteris the size of peas.
Add about ½cup of ice water and pulse a few times. Add ¼ cup more ice water and pulseuntil it barely comes together. Check the dough. Even though it´s crumbly anddry, if you take some and squeeze it with your hand, it should come together.If it doesn´t come together add a few more Tbs water.
Transferdough to a barely floured surface and gather it together into a ball. Don´tover work it or the dough will be tough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for anhour or up to 3 days.
When you´reready to use it, roll it on a lightly floured surface, starting from the middleand making sure the size is at least 1 inch bigger than the pan you´re using. Carefullyplace in the ungreased pie pan. Trim edges, prick the surface and refrigeratefor 1 hour or freeze for half an hour.
Preheatoven to 350ºF /180ºC
Put foiland weights (I use dried beans) covering the dough surface and bake for 10 to15 minutes. Lift foil and weights and continue baking for 10 more minutes, oruntil it´s dry and starting to color.