Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My Second Pie: A Tale of Success

After I made a complete mess of my first ever pie, I was determined my second would be one I could be proud of. And this time I wasn't going to be beaten.

And voila!

Not too bad, huh?

I decided to use the pecan pie recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook . I'm nuts about nuts and pecans are amongst my favourites. Plus, it's loaded with sugar and I needed the high.

One of the problems I had with my first pie was that I was too afraid of adding too much water and so the dough had ended up being too dry and hard to work with. This time I was a little more generous.

I was SO happy with the way it turned out! Rolling the dough was a lot easier and this time I made sure to roll it enough so that the pastry would go all the way around. Previously, I had to break bits off and put it together like a jigsaw, but this time I used the pie dish as a guide and there was no need to go all patchwork on the thing. It also looked a lot prettier.

Next stop - the filling. The recipe asks for dark corn syrup and I searched high and low for it but couldn't find it anywhere! In the end I decided to substitute in golden maple syrup instead. After all, maple syrup and pecans are a good match, right?

After allowing the sugar and syrup to boil, I had to let it cool before being able to add it to the eggs and butter. This seemed to be taking forever and I burned a few fingers in the process of checking whether it was cool enough. If I used it whilst still hot it would have just scrambled the eggs and that would have been a disaster but I was getting impatient (no surprise there!). I left it by an open window and when it still hadn't cooled enough I decided to stick it in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

The sugar-syrup mixture had to be cool enough to not cook the eggs but still warm enough to melt the butter. As I added the mixture to the eggs I had to whisk continuously to prevent it scrambling - not an easy thing to do! A laborious task but the result is worth it.

After the butter had melted and the mixture was smilky smooth, I chopped up the pecans and placed them at the bottom of the dish and poured the mixture on top. I kept the best looking pecans to gently place on top so that it 'floated' on top of the mixture and then placed it into the oven for just over an hour.

Ok, so it's not perfect. The pie crust didn't retain it's pattern and sort of merged together and it's not the most attractive looking thing.

But the Hummingbird did good with this one - for someone with a massive sweet tooth this was exactly up my street. It's got great texture and is moist but with a good bite to it. I reckon I'll be making this again. And again.


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