- Yield : 1 pie
- Servings : 10
- Prep Time : 30m
- Cook Time : 1:20 h
- Ready In : 3:000 h
Despite pecans being a native tree of the southern states of the USA, and Pecan Pie being baked mainly for Thanksgiving in the USA, Pecan Pie was probably first baked by the French in New Orleans. As a French style shortcrust pastry is used in this recipe I have claimed it for France as this version was invented during the reign of Louis XVI.
This is definitely a pie for those with a sweet tooth. It has a sweet caramel filling with a wonderful nutty texture supplied by the soft pecans. The pastry recipe is included here or you can buy it ready made, but making your own is much more satisfying, although obviously time consuming.
- For the sweet crust pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 160g butter, diced
- 50ml milk, room temperature
- 5g salt
- 15g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk
- For the filling
- 35g unsalted butter, softened
- 280g light muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 270ml maple syrup
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g pecan halves
For the sweet crust pastry.
Using an electric mixer.
At a slow speed, mix the flour, butter, caster sugar and salt (takes about 50-60 seconds). Add the milk and egg yolk and mix (takes about 20-30 seconds). Be careful not to overwork it.
Rub the butter and flour together between your fingertips and mix together until it has a sandy texture.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the milk. Add the salt and caster sugar and dissolve them in the milk, stirring with your fingertips. Add the egg yolk.
Starting from the outside of the well, gradually mix the ingredients together until the liquid has disappeared. Work the pastry with both hands until it has an even consistency. Stop as soon as the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to overwork it.
Form the pastry into a rectangle about 3cm thick, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Chilling the pastry is necessary as it will be easier to roll and stops it from shrinking during cooking.
To line the tart tin (28cm loose-bottomed fluted tart/flan tin)
Sprinkle some flour on a work surface and on the top of the pastry.
Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm making sure that it will fit the tin.
Wrap the pastry around a rolling pin and then place over the tin. Gently push the pastry so that it covers the base of the tin and into the sides. Cut the excess pastry off by rolling the rolling pin over the top edges of the tin, or using a knife, and pull away the excess pastry. Roll some of the excess up in a ball, coat it with flour and use that to push the pastry a little more firmly against the sides and base of the tin.
Brush off any loose flour remaining on the surface of the pastry.
To blind bake the pastry case.
The pastry base needs to be blind baked or it will not cook sufficiently with the filling.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork to prevent the bottom rising during baking. Rest the pastry lined tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
Cover the pastry base and sides with baking paper and fill with ceramic baking beans or raw, uncooked rice or beans. Blind bake for 35-45 minutes.
Leave to cool for a few minutes and then remove the beans or rice with a spoon. Remove the baking paper. Put the pastry back into the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown, particularly the base as this part will be completely covered by the filling during the final bake and if not prepared correctly at this stage, may be raw in the finished pie.
For the filling.
In a bowl, beat the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract and beat again until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Put the flan tin on a baking tray. Arrange the pecan nuts over the pastry, flat side down, then gently pour in the filling. You may need to rearrange the pecans slightly so that they are evenly distributed around the tin. Bake at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 30-35 minutes, until set. Leave to cool in the tin. Serve with cream or ice cream.