Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving - Pecan pie

Thursday was American thanksgiving, and though I was born and brought up in England and live in Canada, I don't see that as any reason not to celebrate it.  Luckily I have several American friends, one of whom invites us every year to a wonderful turkey feast.  Everyone brings something, and as it is a traditional holiday and we are traditional people we always bring the same things.  My mission is to bring pies.  Usually I make Pumpkin pie.  (for some of us it is not thanksgiving with out pumpkin pie) and at least one other for non pumpkin pie eaters.

This year I am making pecan pie, and apple blueberry pie.  It was going to be apple pie, but I had less apples than I thought and there were some blueberries in the freezer. The pastry for the apple blueberry pie was the same as for the apple pie I made earlier in the fall, I just mixed some frozen blueberries with the apples and tossed in about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken some of the juices.  Any way it turned out well and Dov a good friend declared it the best blueberry apple pie he had ever had (I suspect it was the only blueberry apple pie he had ever had but thank you any way) He said he usually found blueberry pie to sweet and sickly and the apples helped cut the sweetness.

Blueberry apple pie
For the pecan pie I used a traditional french pastry Pate Sucre (sugar pastry) this is rich with butter and cuts almost like a shortbread cookie and I think it goes well with Pecan pie.

Pate Sucre

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
Mix the first 3 ingredients together then add the cut up butter.  Traditionally this would be unsalted butter, but since I rarely have that in my fridge I used regular butter and it was just fine.

Ready to rub in
Rub all the ingredients together either with your hands (it helps if you have cold hands) or with a pastry cutter, until it is like course breadcrumbs.

Then using a fork stir in the egg until it all comes together to form a dough, you might want to turn it out on to the counter near the end and use your hands to bring together, but do not handle it too much or it will toughen the dough.

Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour, this makes the dough much easier to deal with.

After resting, roll the dough out until it is slightly bigger than the pie plate. Very carefully rolling it over the rolling pin drop into the pie plate, if you get a tear and you probably will just mend it with a piece of dough pressed over the tear, see below.

Patched pie crust
Let this rest while you make the filling.

Pecan Pie filling. (enough for a 9 or 11 inch pie plate)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of dark syrup
  • 2 cups of pecans
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
Beat the eggs until they are mixed then add all the other ingredients and pour into the pie shell. (it couldn't be any easier than that)

Ready for the oven
Bake in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling set. (or as was the case with mine leaked out on to the cookie sheet that I wisely placed it on) Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.

Finished pie
Though a lot of the filling had in fact leaked out, everyone seemed to like it any way and it all went, so maybe next time I will cut the amount of filling I make.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhh... can I please come over? It'll only take about 36 hours of flying to get there...

    Sweet pies are very rare in Australia, and I'm scared of making pastry myself. I want that whole pecan pie! Heart healthy nuts, after all ;)