Even if I don't celebrate Thanksgiving (I don't have the energy what with Halloween and Christmas), I will still use it as an excuse to make pie. Because pie is delicious, pie is great, pie is amazing even. Look at me, I sound like a political candidate there...
But that is my hard sell because this is a truly fabulous pecan pie based on a pecan pie I used to make for a restaurant in Sydney. Many friends begged me for the recipe and so here it is, adapted over the years so that it is the very best pecan pie ever. I can't even begin to describe the wonderful interplay between the sweet filling, toasted nuts and slug of whisky.
And for that I am thankful.
Thanksgiving get it?
Actually this year I'm giving thanks that the stars and universe have aligned and my dearest wish to look after a dog has come true. We still don't own her (we were rejected AGAIN by the body corporate this week) but even having her in our company is delightfully uplifting.
She's sweet and quirky but of course any dog owner will know that having an anxious little dog is kind of like having a child. Our carefree world has to be more planned and structured while we train her to be left alone. Nowadays we tend to be home bodies but if we have to go out, we leave her with my mother who adores her or with the nice lady upstairs who brought her to us or with Nina and they all love to spend time with her.
The other day Nina had her over dinner time so I gave her a packet of her food and a chicken neck which she gets every second day to clean her teeth (she's very agreeable but hates the toothbrush). However I forgot to warn Nina of one thing that she does. She likes to drag her chicken neck all over the carpet. I mean ALL OVER the carpet like she was mopping the carpet with the chicken neck.
We have one rug in our apartment and she always tries to drag the chicken neck to it. But Nina and Garth have carpet all over her apartment and Nina watched in horror as she dragged her delicious chicken neck all over their carpet. "There were all these things hanging off the chicken neck too, like strings," said poor disturbed (and vegetarian) Nina, shuddering at the memory.
So that's another thing. I'm thankful that she has still agreed to dog sit her even after the chicken neck incident ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, what are you thankful for? Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you have a favourite pie?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes plus 1-1.5 hours resting time
Cooking time: 60 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups/175 g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caster or superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup/1 stick/113g butter, chilled, and cut into small pieces
- 1/8-1/4 cup ice water
- 270g/9.54ozs. brown sugar
- 250g/8.83ozs. golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons whisky or bourbon
- 55g/1.94ozs. butter
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 60ml/2.12ozs. cream
- 310g/11ozs. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Step 1 - Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and blend until combined. Add the butter and process until it becomes sandy in texture. Then add the ice water through the funnel until it just comes together if you pinch the dough. Roll into a ball and shape into a ball and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Step 2 - Flour a clean surface and roll out the dough using flour to ensure that it doesn't stick. This is a fairly soft dough. Lift it into a 25cm pie plate and use a fork to press the sides or use the extra dough to make a plaited pattern.
The pie edge made with a fork
To make the plaited pattern cut out two long strips and stick the top of the two together and plait the two criss crossing them over each other. Use a bit of beaten egg (I used a bit from the filling) to secure them. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut long strands of pastry to plait
Press the ends firmly together before plaiting
Step 3 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and place the rack on the lowest third of the oven. Place the brown sugar, golden syrup, whisky or bourbon and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil stirring well so that the butter mixes in. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cream together in another bowl and then whisk it into the syrup.
Step 4 - Place the toasted pecan pieces on the base of the unbaked pie crust. Pour the syrup on top and mix so that the nuts are coated. Bake for 45 minutes.
Shibori cloth and House of Bec cake forks from Etsy