Tags

, , , , ,

The word ‘baroque’ suggests something generous and grand, and is used to describe one version of this pecan pie.  What goes into it is no different from what goes into the Traditional one, but the amounts of everything are abundantly proportioned. Such a pie, baked in a large tart pan and in a puff pastry crust, will serve 10 – 12 people.  Including pie on a menu for this number of people becomes uncomplicated.  There is no need to make a second pie because this is two-in-one.

When the quintessential American form of Pecan Pie is what you hanker after, however, the pie that is wanted is the one baked in a pan with sloping sides and in a conventional crust.  The conventional crust that holds this Traditional pie is worthy of a trial if you are not firmly attached to another version.

There is nothing gimmicky about either filling or crust .  Both are straightforward, solidly delicious and judged the best of many tried by the cook who offers them to you that you may judge for yourself.

Pecan Pie ~ Baroque Version (for a 12-inch pie baked in a tart pan, big enough to serve 10 – 12 people) and Traditional Version (for a 9 or 10-inch pie baked in a pie pan with sloping sides, large enough to serve at least 8 people)

Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.

Timing Suggestion:  It is more likely that the pie (Baroque or Traditional) will cut into slices without falling apart if it is made a day in advance.  When it has completely cooled, cover the top with a cotton napkin, then with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.  The next day, bring the pie to room temperature before cutting and serving.

I.  Making the Baroque Version (for a 12″ pie baked in a tart pan; big enough to serve 10 – 12 people)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of granulated White Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups of Light Corn Syrup or…substitute Dark Corn Syrup if that is what happens to be on the kitchen shelf–either will make a good pie
  • 12 Tablespoons of Butter, melted and cooled a little
  • 2 cups of Pecans, chopped, for the filling
  • about 2 additional cups of whole Pecan Halves to cover the top of the pie
  • a round of packaged Puff Pastry or a couple of rectangles of packaged Puff Pastry placed side by side and rolled into a single sheet large enough to line the tart pan:  The photographed pie was made using a round of packaged, refrigerated puff pastry, 12-inches (about 31 cm) in diameter.  If you have a choice, refrigerated, packaged puff pastry is of better quality than most frozen varieties.  Thaw frozen pastry in the refrigerator before rolling it out.

Equipment:

  • a Tart Pan:  The one used for the pie in the photos measures 12-inches across the top, 1-inch deep, and 11-inches across the base.  Do not use a tart pan with a removable base because the filling is likely to leak out.
  • a Mixer, hand or standing
  • a Food Processor is useful for chopping the nuts quickly but is not at all essential
  • a Cooling Rack

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Roll out the puff pastry into a circle big enough to line the tart pan with a bit of overhang and fit the pastry into the shell:

2.  Place the pastry-lined pan in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen the pastry a little.  Fold and tuck the overhang into the space between the tart pan and the pastry shell so that the line of the fold is now the border of the tart shell.  (See the photo in Step 5 below for an example of how the border of the pastry shell may be formed.)  Crimp the border all around between your fingers.  Refrigerate the shell while making the filling.

3.  Mix together the eggs and sugar.  Add the vanilla and salt.

4.  Mix in the corn syrup and butter.  Then stir in the chopped pecans:

5.  Take the pastry shell from the refrigerator and pour the filling into it.  Arrange pecan halves in concentric circles on top of the filling…

…and bake the pie for 50 minutes.  Cool it completely on a rack:

A Suggestion:  As mentioned at the beginning of the recipe, if the pie is made a day in advance it will slice better.  If you decide to do this, cool the pie completely, cover the top of it with a cotton napkin, then with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.  Bring the pie to room temperature the next day before cutting and serving it.

Making the Traditional Version (for a pie baked in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with sloping sides; large enough to serve at least 8 people)

Ingredients for the crust:  

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6 and 1/2 ounces) unbleached White Flour, plus some more Flour to sprinkle on the pastry board when rolling out the dough for the crust
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons or 2 ounces) of cold Butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/4 cup (1 and 1/2 ounces) Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 ounces) Ice Water:  Flours vary.  If you roll out the dough and find that it tears when you transfer it to the pie pan, return the dough to the processor or bowl and add more water by Tablespoonfuls until the dough rolls out and transfers without tearing.  The pastry will not suffer.

Equipment for the crust:

  • a Food Processor fitted with the Rotary Chopping Blade is not essential but is a very convenient way to mix the pastry;  it may alternatively be mixed by hand.
  • a Pastry Board and Rolling Pin
  • a 9 or 10-inch Pie Pan with sloping sides:  The pictured Traditional version is baked in a Pyrex 10-inch pie pan–that is, the top inside rim to rim measures 10-inches.  It is 2-inches deep and has an 8-inch base.
  • a piece of Parchment Paper about as large as the tart pan
  • Dried Beans or a Pie Pan that will fit down inside the one used for the pie to weigh down the crust while partially baking it before it is filled
  • a Cooling Rack

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and pour them in the bowl of the processor, fitted with the rotary chopping blade.  Add the butter, cut into bits, and the shortening.  Cut the butter and shortening into the flour by pressing the Pulse button on and off until the mixture is well combined.  (The butter and shortening may instead be worked into the flour by hand until it has a crumbly texture.)

2.  Mix together the ice water and cider vinegar.  Turn on the processor and, with one hand pressed firmly down on the lid of the processor, pour the liquid slowly through the tube.  (Pressing down on the lid prevents any jerky motion of the processor as the dough forms.)  As soon as the mixture pulls away from the sides of the processor and forms a cohesive mass, turn off the machine.  (If making the pastry by hand, the liquid may be added gradually while stirring with a fork or wooden spoon.  As soon as the dough becomes cohesive, stop mixing it.)

3.  Flour your hands a little.  If the dough is made in the processor, remove the blade, scraping off any pastry that clings to it.  Collect the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a floured pastry board.  Sprinkle it with a little flour.

4.  Generally, the dough rolls out well without first chilling it.  However, pie crust dough doesn’t turn out the same every time.  If the dough isn’t rolling out well, or you are having trouble transferring it to the pan, you might try rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper.  Remove the top sheet from the rolled-out dough and flip the dough over into the pan.  The remaining paper will be topside.  Strip it off and form the pastry into the pan with your fingers, as usual.)  If you do not wish to roll the dough out right away, wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate it.  Chilled pastry made with a combination of vegetable shortening and butter will need to rest for about 5 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out in order for the butter to warm up a bit.

5.  Roll out the dough to a size large enough to fit into the pan with a small overhang.  Trim the rim of the pastry and press all around the rim with the tines of a fork to form a decorative edge on the crust or make a crimped border with your fingers.

6.  Place the parchment paper in the empty unbaked shell.  Fill the parchment-lined shell with dried beans to weigh down the bottom of the pastry and prop up the sides of it during its first ‘blind’ baking (i.e., the preliminary baking before the filling is added).  A pie pan that fits snugly inside the larger one holding the pastry may be placed on the parchment  and used instead of beans for blind baking the crust:

7.  Bake the shell for 12 minutes at 400 F.  Take the pie shell from the oven and remove the parchment and beans (or the parchment and smaller pie pan).  Set the partially baked shell on a cooling rack and make the pie filling.

Ingredients for the filling:  The ingredients for the filling are simply half the amounts of those for the Baroque version. 

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup of granulated White Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup of Light Corn Syrup
  • 6 Tablespoons of Butter, melted and cooled a little
  • 1 cup of Pecans, chopped, for the filling
  • about 1 additional cup of whole Pecan Halves to cover the top of the pie

Equipment:

  • a Mixer, hand or standing
  • a Food Processor is useful for chopping the nuts quickly but is not at all essential
  • Aluminum Foil
  • a Cooling Rack

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Mix together the eggs and sugar.  Add the vanilla and salt.

3.  Mix in the corn syrup and butter.  Then add the chopped pecans.

4.  Pour the mixture into the partially baked shell.  Arrange the whole pecan halves in concentric circles on top of the filling.  Fold strips of aluminum foil loosely around the edges of the pie to cover the rim of the crust. (The foil may be left on for the whole baking time.  The crust underneath will brown without burning.)  Bake the pie for 50 minutes and cool on a rack.

A Suggestion:  As with the Baroque pie, this one, too, will slice better if the pie is made a day in advance.  Cool it completely, cover the top of the pie with a cotton napkin and a piece of plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight.  Perhaps the pie is better if it is brought to room temperature before serving…but a cold pecan pie is very good, too.

A Note:  Pecan Pie ~ Baroque and Traditional is the Dessert in the Dinner Menu:  Dinner ‘Louisianne’.  The recipe for the pie crust is adapted from one by King Arthur Flour.  It doubles easily for two pies, or to use in making a double crust pie.

An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012

Advertisements