The title of this post combines two things that are very close to my heart – nuts, obviously, and Scrat, that wonderfully cute squirrel from Ice Age (“Gone Nutty” is the name of a short film that Scrat is starring in, as usual chasing his beloved acorn). In fact Avi and I love Scrat so much, that he appeared on our wedding invitation! :)
The front cover of our wedding invitation, designed by Avi.
The text says: “A love so pure hasn’t been witnessed since Ice Age “
The pie before entering the oven
And back to the nuts – well, I totally fell in love with them as a kid, when my grandma first made a cake that I cannot even remember its looks, but its taste and texture are still vivid in my mouth! It had a crispy base, a half-soft-half-firm nutty filling and a grilled top made of cripsy dough. One of my definite favorites of all her cakes. So naturally, when I first discovered the nowadays version of that cake – Pecan Pies – it almost automatically became my absolute favorite dessert.
One thing that isn’t very clear to me is why on earth it took me so long to bake one of my own. Had I known I had such a great recipe just waiting to be made, I swear i would have baked it earlier! The recipe is by one of the best Israeli pastry-chefs named Roni Venezia.
Pecan Pie / Roni Venezia, with minor changes I’ve made
Makes one 26cm (10-inch) pie
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
175 gr cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp ice water
For the filling:
3 Tbsp (45 gr) butter, diced
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp Frangelico liqueur (hazelnuts liqueur, I didn’t have it so I used Amareto, you can also use Brandy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 (150 gr) pecan nuts, chopped
2 cups (200 gr) pecan nuts halves (I used only 110 gr)
For the glaze (my addition, since I like the pecans glossy):
2 Tbsp apricot jam
2 Tbsp very hot water
Prepare the dough:
1. Process flour, sugar and butter in food processor.
Process using short pulses, just until a crumbly mixture is formed.
2. Add the egg yolk and the cold water. Continue processing in pulses just until the dough is formed.
3. Wrap the dough with plastic, and refrigerate for an hour.
4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator, place it onto a lightly floured work surface, and scatter a little flour over the top (I always place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap – I found out that it’s the easiest way for me to roll out crispy dough), roll it out and line the pie pan with it. Heat the oven to 340°F (170° celsius). Freeze the pan with the dough in it for 10 mins.
5. Partially blind bake the crust, until its color becomes light golden.
6. Let cool in the pan on a rack before filling.
Prepare the filling:
1. Melt the butter In a small pot.
2. Move the melted butter into a bowl, and add to it the corn syrup, the sugar, the egg, the yolks, the liqueur and the vanilla extract. Whisk it until well blended.
3. Add the chopped nuts to the mixture and blend well.
4. Place the pie pan on a larger ban (the oven’s pan, for instance) and pour the mixture over the dough. Arrange the nuts halves neatly upon the mixture (if you want to arrange them in circles – arrange them starting with the outer circle).
5. Bake the pie for 40-50 mins, or until the center is softly set.
6. Let the pie rest for 15 mins. Then mix the apricot jam with the hot water and gently spread the mixture on top of the pie. This will get your pecans to look shiny and beautiful!
7. Let the pie rest for at least 30 mins total before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
את המתכון בעברית של פאי הפקאן הנפלא הזה ניתן למצוא באתר על השולחן