Monday, 17 December 2012

Maple and pecan pie

Ironically, it's been raining at least once a day since I landed in Singapore. Today was one of those days, where the rain poured angrily and I felt like staying on my bed all Sunday, but no, Faye, you need to get your butt off the mattress and do something useful.



Because I'm doing so much baking, I'm making my portions smaller, so instead of the usual 9-inch wide pies, I did a 6-inch maple and pecan pie. There are variations of this with corn syrup, but I had maple syrup at home, so I went for it. Here are the ingredients, as well as the things you should and shouldn't do, which I probably did.

This recipe is for those of you who do not happen to own a 9-inch pie dish / has a parent who is concerned about the amount of space it would take up in a refrigerator or pantry / are afraid to screw it up and end up wasting those pecans and maple syrup.

Ingredients:

Pie shell:
  • 2 oz softened butter
  • 10 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold water (i just put a cup of water into the freezer for 15-30 minutes)
  • Tiny pinch of salt
Filling:
  • 1 1/2 eggs (I'm sorry. For the second egg, break it into a separate bowl and gently mix it, then use half of it)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted/softened butter (If you're in Singapore, just cube the butter and it should be soft in no time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 oz pecan pieces, roughly chopped (or you could keep them intact, and place them on the top, because they'll float up eventually anyway)
Like this. It's taken off wikipedia, so stop comparing.


Preparation:

Preheat oven to 175°C and place rack at lowest position.
For the shortcrust pastry shell, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, then add the butter. Using either a fork or your hands, mix the ingredients well. Do it for a really long time, some sort of dough should be forming. If it doesn't, add a tablespoon of cold water, and not more. Once there is a well-mixed dough, flatten it out on a 6-inch pie dish, making sure there are no thin parts, especially on the bottom, or else the filling will leak. Also be sure to bring the pastry up on the sides, to the level of the dish. Put this into the freezer for 30 minutes, (after that, remove and let it thaw for 5 minutes before filling it) whilst you make the filling.
In a large bowl (or one with an attached mixer), beat the eggs. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix well and stir in pecans. (or not, if you are planning to place them on top) Pour into prepared pie shell. (Now, if you want, you can perform your fancy pecan-decorating by carefully placing the pecan nuts on top of the filling) Carefully put it in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the filling is set.

If you peer inside the oven towards the end, and you see your filling puffing up like a raging balloon, and this is your first time baking this sort of thing, do not have a mini heart-attack, it will settle once you take it out of the oven. If you want to remove the pie from the dish, let it cool for about 20 minutes on a rack before attempting to remove.


Guys, bear in mind that this is a recipe of what I did in the kitchen this afternoon. There are some other recipes for the same dish out there with a lower risk factor, which I recommend you look up as well. Those are usually for 9-inch pie dishes, though. There are several tips such as blind-baking (baking the pie shell alone without filling) the pie shell for a while, and some recipes suggest cooking the filling first.


Look at how runny and gooey mine became. The taste was absolutely delightful, though. I don't think you can mess anything up when it comes to a maple and pecan combination!
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