Classic Pecan Pie

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I’m well aware that I’m not very good at concealing my weakness for old American bakes. Grasshopper Pie, Blueberry Muffins, Brownies, Blondies, Lady Baltimore cake…. they are all here on this blog. I can’t apologise for any of them – they are all ridiculously good! So here’s another shameless offering. Pecan Pie is one of my husband’s favourites – I usually end up making it on his birthday in April. But it also makes an appearance around October – the warm, treacle-brown shades remind me of the falling autumn leaves. In the US, Pecan Pie is made with dark corn syrup. It is rarely found here, but golden syrup is an absolutely fine substitute. I use dark brown sugar to add more depth of colour and flavour; if by some miracle you can find dark corn syrup, use it and replace the dark brown sugar with caster sugar instead.

You will need a 23cm loose-bottomed flan/pie tin, lined with approximately 340g shortcrust pastry. Chill the pastry-lined tin in the fridge until required. Shop bought shortcrust pastry is fine; or you can follow my pastry recipe and guide here.

150g dark brown sugar
200ml golden syrup (if you are using dark corn syrup, use caster sugar instead of dark brown)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
60g unsalted butter
200g chopped pecans

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Place the sugar, syrup and salt into a fairly deep saucepan. Heat slowly and gently until it bubbles all over, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. I usually leave it for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.

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Whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract, then very slowly pour add the syrup in a thin stream while continuing to whisk. If you add it all at once, you’re likely to scramble the eggs and no one wants that. Add the cubed butter and stir until completely melted.

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Have your chopped pecans ready and stir them into the mixture.

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Pour the filling carefully into your pastry-lined tin. It can be a bit tricky transferring a full tart dish to the oven – I usually place it on a pizza tray first, to make it easier to carry. Bake for 40-45 minutes on the middle shelf.
Check after about 40 minutes – aim for a filling that looks ‘set’ – a bit crackled, glazed and toffee-like.  It might have a bit of a wobble though – that’s fine, as it will firm up as it cools. Allow to cool completely before storing. Pecan pie will keep well for several days in an airtight container in the fridge. It tastes best when chilled – and if you’ve got some cream to pour over it, even better!
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