The pecan butter crust, covered in a layer of dark chocolate, makes this pie impossible to resist.
- 360 g (3 cups) pecans, roasted
- 4 eggs
- 170 g brown sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) dark corn syrup (see Note)
- 60 g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 100 g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
- vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream, to serve
Pecan butter pastry
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 60 g (½ cup) pecans, finely ground
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 115 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 2 tsp white vinegar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2½ hours
To make pastry, combine flour, pecans, sugar and ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt flakes in a large bowl. Scatter mixture over a clean work surface, then add butter and, using your fingertips, rub in butter until just incorporated; chunks of butter should still be visible. Gradually drizzle over 50ml iced water and white vinegar and fold mixture over on itself until a lumpy dough forms. Using the heel of your hand, bring dough together. Shape into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll out pastry onto a lightly floured work surface to about 4 mm thick and use to line a 3.5 cm-deep x 18 cm-round pie pan, leaving 2 cm of pastry overhanging the edge. Using your fingers, roll overhanging pastry under itself and crimp to form a scalloped edge, gently pushing into edge of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cover pastry with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove beans and paper and bake for a further 8 minutes or until base is golden and crisp. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place 90 g (¾ cup) pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside. Roughly chop remaining 270 g (2¼ cups) pecans.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add sugar, corn syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla, vinegar, spices, a pinch of salt and ground pecans and whisk to combine. Stir through chopped pecans. Scatter chocolate over pastry case, then pour over pecan mixture. Bake for 50 minutes or until edges are puffed and mixture is set with a slight wobble in the centre; cover with foil if browning too quickly. Cool to room temperature and serve with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream, if desired.
• Dark corn syrup is available from select greengrocers and delis. Substitute golden syrup.
Photography by Brett Stevens.
As seen in Feast magazine, December/January 2014, Issue 38.