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    Maple pecan pie

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    Maple pecan pie

    Pecan pie is beloved throughout North America, and traditional for many at Thanksgiving. Most families have their own take on it, but this one is more like a tart, with a blind-baked pastry case for a crisper finish. Replacing some of the sugar with maple syrup amplifies the caramel undertones and the result is even more delicious. 

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes + chilling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes + chilling

    Serves: 8-10

    Ingredients

    225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    150g light brown soft sugar
    1 tsp fine sea salt
    200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled 
    200g pecans 
    175ml maple syrup
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 eggs
    Double cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)

    Method

    1 Set aside 1 tbsp flour, then add the remaining flour to a large bowl and whisk in 1 tbsp sugar and ½ the salt. Make a well in the middle and add 125g butter. Work it in with your fngers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp ice-cold water, just enough to bind, and bring it all together; try not to overwork it. Form the dough into a ball and flatten it out into a disc. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. When the pastry is ready, dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to a 28cm circle; use to line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Gently ease it into the tin, pressing it in (see page 120 for tips), then prick all over with a fork. If you can, put the lined tin in the freezer for 15 minutes, alternatively return to the fridge and chill for a further 30 minutes. 


    2 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Spread the pecans out on a baking tray and toast for 5 minutes, until light golden; set aside. When the pastry has chilled, put on a baking tray, line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the base looks dry.


    3 Melt the remaining 75g butter. Whisk the reserved 1 tbsp flour with the remaining light brown soft sugar and salt. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, eggs and melted butter until smooth. Carefully lay the toasted pecans inside the tart case, flat side down. Pour over the maple mixture, then bake for 35-45 minutes, until set. Leave to cool for 1 hour and serve with double cream or ice cream, if liked.

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