I have not made pecan pie since November the 22nd, 2012. I am out of practice and my first attempt didn’t turn out well, not at all. But I’ve learned that people enjoy stories of failure and this is one. Just look at the picture.
What was wrong with my pecan pie? The crust was crisp and thin, all good. The pie was sweet, the nuts still crunchy. All of my ingredients were authentic, the best. But while 100% maple syrup is truly authentic, it is also very liquid. It needs eggs and brown sugar, lots of them, to hold the nuts in place, otherwise things slide around. And I tend to skimp on sugar, especially when there’s no company. Look closely at the nuts and you will see what happened. I had to redecorate the top of the pie. So I’m starting again with a shocking amount of brown sugar and butter.
- Ingredients: A nice ball of pie dough, a cup of soft brown sugar, a cup of maple syrup, three eggs, half a cup of butter, at least a cup of pecans and, for me, squeeze of lemon. (These are American cups. I know that that’s annoying but either concentrate on the proportions or use an old fashioned Tala cook’s measure like the one my kind niece has given to me.)
- Method: I made a simple unsweetened pie dough. But you might find that the Cooking for One tarte tatin rough puff is more agreeable to you. Roll your pastry, butter your pie dish, gently massage the dough into the dish. For the filling just beat the sugar, eggs, butter and syrup together, adding a few drops of lemon juice at the end. Add a handful of crushed nuts into your mixture and arrange some whole pecan nuts on the top. Bake in a moderate oven for about forty minutes. That’s it.
In my time I have made this pie with Karo syrup, molasses, homemade caramel. But if you’d like an inauthentic tip for a quick and flawless pecan pie, here it is: use Lyle’s Golden Syrup. No eggs, no butter and no extra sugar. The syrup embraces the nuts, doesn’t slide around and lends you all the sweetness that you might ask for.