I’ll admit when I first read through this recipe, it didn’t really appeal to me – it has two ingredients which I’m really not that keen on – pecan nuts and maple syrup. Knowing that my husband loves maple syrup I did at least know that he’d eat it if nobody else did.
Although this recipe has a pastry base it is in fact under the Hot ‘Puddings & Pies’ section in the book. I seem to be getting braver with making pastry and am actuallynow enjoying it and find myself looking more frequently at pastry recipes. The pastry base for this pudding was a sweet shortcrust pastry.
Into my mixing bowl I weighed out 175g plain flour, 15g icing sugar and 75g diced butter. The butter was rubbed into the mixture until it resembled fine breadcrumbs. Next, in went one egg yolk (I saved the white for another recipe) together with 1tbsp water. Using a round bladed knife I mixed it all together and then brought it together with my fingertips. Once it had formed a firm dough it was wrapped in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 180°C.
After 30 minutes the dough was rolled out on a lightly floured surface and used to line the base and sides of a 23cm (9″) loose bottom fluted flan tin. I’m sure you all know by now I don’t have a 23cm tin, so for some reason I opted to use the next size up. Looking back I now realise this was a silly idea, why I didn’t use a smaller tin and make a little individual pecan pie as well, I don’t know. Instead the dough was rolled out slightly bigger and because of this, it was also slightly thinner! The bottom of the pastry was pricked all over with a fork, lined with some crumpled parchment and filled with baking beans. It was baked blind in the oven for about 15 minutes. After this time the baking beans and parchment were removed and it was popped back into the oven for another 5 minutes. It was now a pale golden brown and dried out. It was removed from the oven and the oven was reduced in temperature to Fan 160°C.
It was time to make the filling! Into another bowl went 25g softened butter and 175g light muscovado sugar. These were beaten together. 3 large eggs, 200ml maple syrup and 1tsp vanilla extract were added and again the mixture was beaten well.
The flan tin was put onto a baking tray and 150g pecan halves (flat side down) were arranged over the bottom – it was at this stage that I noticed a slight hole in the pastry on the fluted side. I wasn’t too sure what to do, so in the end I stood one of the pecan nuts up against it and just prayed that it wouldn’t leak! The filling was poured over the top of the pecan nuts and the pie was put into the oven for 30-35 minutes.
I admit after about 10 minutes I had to have a peak – the pie had leaked slightly. Thank goodness it was on a baking tray otherwise it would have made a mess of my oven. I also noticed at this point that my pie seemed to be lopsided – I realised that when I had cleaned the oven the other day I hadn’t put the shelf back in horizontally, I had put one side in slightly higher than the other – oops. I quickly levelled the shelf and put the pie back into the oven. I had luckily caught the pie before it had set and the pie did level itself out – phew!!
Once baked the pie was removed from the oven and left to cool in the tin. I did have a bit of difficulty getting it out of the tin as it had obviously leaked a little bit due to the split in my pastry.
My husband loved the pie and I was very surprised to find that I liked it as well. It tasted very good indeed. The children weren’t too keen on it, which didn’t surprise me as they aren’t too keen on maple syrup or pecan nuts either.
Next time I make it (and I’m sure I will make it again) I’ll bake it in a smaller tin or the correct sized tin (if I buy one) and I’ll make sure my oven shelves are level before I put the pie in to bake!
Apologies for the picture, it’s not very good, it was taken late in the evening!