Chocolate Pecan Pie
I gave up smoking two weeks ago. I’ve been a veritable shedload of laughs in 2012 – I’ve either been doped out of my brain on codeine or snarling and snapping like a <insert something funny here>
To make it up to my poor beleagured boys I made them an American feast on Saturday night and the piece de resistance was a Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Pecan Pie for dessert.
So, pastry making? Again? Really?
YES. REALLY. I had high hopes as I welcomed a new addition to my kitchen in the form of Kitty.
I followed the recipe – once again using softened (and therefore room temperature) butter for the pastry. I’m sure this isn’t right you know?, and I’m positive it’s the reason my results are so crappy (sorry for the spoiler – although if you hadn’t guessed that the pastry was a disaster then I urge you to stop and have a look around the blog; it’s kind of my “thing”)
Actually, I’m going to be honest – the reason the pastry didn’t turn out too well is probably less to do with the temperature of the butter and more to do with my inate clumsiness.
So, gathered the ingredients, blah blah and then added the flour and butter to Kitty and mixed to a fine breadcrumb consistency before adding sugar and and egg. I carried on mixing on a slow speed until a ball of dough formed.
I worked really quickly this time just gently pushing the ball together into a nice ball and covering in cling film before resting in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After resting, I ran my hands under a cold tap to get them all nice and frigid – just so the pastry didn’t get upset at being touched by “human temperatured” hands and quickly, and gently rolled out the ball.
I used the old trick of flipping one end of the pastry around the rolling pin to make it easy to place into the tart tin.
As you can see the pastry is lovely and “short” which should mean it bakes to a lovely buttery and crumbly texture.
I managed to get the pastry into the tin with clean efficiency,
and was feeling very proud of myself. The only thing left to do was to trim the edges of the pastry from the tin and VOILA! I would have not only barely handled the pastry but also shown that pastry can be made with the minimum of effort.
What I did though was pick up the tart tin and put my hand right through the base of the loose bottom.
I’m sure that some of my readers are starting t think “Oh, man! She’s definitely making this stuff up now. No one can be this incompetent” But I swear on my eyes that I am, actually this incompetent.
The air in the kitchen turned a violent shade of purple for a few minutes and the distant sound of hammering could be heard from the boys’ bedroom as they battened down the hatches.
I scraped the pastry up – inventing a few new swears as I did so – formed it into a ball, rolled it out and tried again.
This time I managed to get the stuff into the tart tin, pricked (with vigour), and trimmed with no further disasters but I must admit that I wasn’t quite as gentle as I could have been. (Understatement). The case then went into the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes.
I blindbaked the case, as per the recipe, for 10 minutes with baking beads and 10 minutes without. This was nowhere near long enough as the pastry still looked “sweaty” and so I gave it another 5 minutes.
I set the pastry case aside to cool and got on with making the filling.
To make the caramel which holds the pecans together, I melted butter, brown sugar and golden syrup over a low heat.
and when melted and cool I added this sweet brown mix to some lightly beaten eggs.
I poured roughly chopped pecans and chocolate chips into the pastry case, added the caramel mixture and decorated with whole pecans.
After about an hour in the oven, the pie should be cooked through with a very slight wobble in the centre of the pie. I left the pie to cool down before wrangling it out of the tin.
As I took the base of the tin from the bottom of the pie I noticed that the pastry wasn’t quite cooked through – I am finding this to be a consistent and very irritating problem with the recipes in the Hummingbird book. Of course, each oven is different and the cooking times in recipes are just guidelines but it’s really infuriating to realise that had I cooked the pastry for an extra 15 minutes during the blind bake I wouldn’t have had to try and squeeze the pie BACK into the tin to return it to the oven for additional cooking. Which of course just resulted in the topping losing some of it’s velvetty texture and basically just irritating the shit out if me.
Anyway – the pie was finally cooked, and cooled and slices were cut.
The boys loved it, I’m not too sure (but to be honest I’m still in quite a lot of pain in my mouth so only had a small taste) but one thing I do know for sure, the pastry is crap.
I’m going to beat you, pastry nemesis, oh yes I will – one of these days.