Pecan Pie

Curried Orange Crust!!! Already a breathtaking idea before I even get to the inside! (which is pecans by the way.) I made this recipe for my math class on pi day (3.14). Which is basically just another excuse to bake, along with weekends and those magical weekdays without any homework.

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The first pie, wasn’t quite right, but still tasty! When I brought it to class, my first question was, “How many people want pecan pie?” About 4 or 5 hands went up, so I made the pieces pretty big, not wanting much extra. As I was passing the first few pieces out, more people started to ask for my pie, rather than the store-bought pie someone else brought. I saw my pieces shrinking and shrinking, until the last piece was not really a piece or even a non-piece. But the person it was for, had previously said he didn’t like sweets, and I just had to prove him wrong. And I did. That’s how good it was before perfection, so what do you think? Want to give it a try?

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This recipe actually surprised me, it is from the Charlie Trotter desserts cookbook, which I do recommend. I figured the recipe would be perfect, seeing as he is a famous chef, but apparently he doesn’t know how to make a crust. The original crust recipe was ridiculous in a way that would never work. The closest thing to liquid was the cream cheese, there was no sugar, no salt, and was called a curried crust with almost no curry powder in it. All around a failure. I had to add everything essential for a crust, and it did turn out perfect, no thanks to Charlie. Anyway, this pie is delicious and so worth the effort. I promise!

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SERVES 8

For the crust

4 oz. Cream cheese

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon curry powder

Zest of one orange

1 tablespoon cream

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

 

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until just combined. The crust will not become a fully formed dough in the food processor.

If you don’t have a food processor you can do this step by hand (You will have to get your hands dirty) or with a pastry cutter, kneading  the dough until just combined.

2. Take the dough out of the food processor to form the dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Roll the dough out until it is as thin as possible and will easily fit in your tart pan and place it into a 9-10 inch tart ring. Fold the dough back just to the rim of the of the pan and gently pinch it to create the desired shape for pie.

4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (this will make the crust flakier.)

5. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and place a piece of parchment in the crust, fill with dried beans or other piecrust weights and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.
6. Remove the parchment and weights and return the crust to the oven for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

For the filling

8 oz.  pecans, lightly toasted

5 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

7 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

½ cup corn syrup

1 vanilla bean

3 egg yolks

 

1. Spread the toasted pecans evenly in the bottom of the crust.

2. Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, bourbon, molasses, and corn syrup.

3. Separate the pulp from a vanilla bean.  Brown the remaining 2 tbsp of butter with the vanilla pulp and bean until the butter is dark brown and has a deliciously nutty aroma. Remove the vanilla bean from the butter, pour the buttered vanilla over the sugar mixture, and mix well.

4. Add the egg yolks and stir until completely incorporated.

5. Pour the filling over the pecans.

6. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until set.

7. Cool, and serve with ice cream or alone, but I recommend ice cream! Because  Ice Cream!

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