Me and Autumn have a tricky relationship. We don’t always get along. But the fall season does have a few things going for it. Some nifty flavours, for example. And temperatures that mean my lovely wife doesn’t mind when I have the oven cranked all day. So I guess I can get behind Autumn. And if the dismal weather and cold get you down, how about pie to brighten your day. Because pie brightens any day.
As tempting as it may be to turn to apples or squash, today we look at pecans, which to me are an integral part of autumn. Pecan in and of themselves don’t have a lot of flavour. But they do enhance others very nicely and of course they are renowned for their contributions to the world of pie.
As ever, the first thing to do when creating a pie is to consider the crust. As it happens, the particular crust I have decided on is gluten free, though don’t bother looking for a recipe in any gluten free baking books. I must have looked through about half a dozen books at the library and found them to be universally terrible. Guess what people, you can do gluten free baking without relying on potato flour and xantham gum. Because nut based crusts are gluten free and don’t need crazy ingredients. So why, oh why can’t I find them in gluten free books? WHY?
With that rant out the way, let’s proceed. The “nut” we’re using for our crust is actually cocoa nib, a slightly bitter and chocolatey ingredient that will offset the sweetness of our pie.
150g Cocoa Nibs
50g Melted Butter
Combine the ingredients and blitz in a food processor until the cocoa nibs are ground fine. Press in to an 8 inch pie plate and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.
Next we do the filling. Some pecan pie recipes call for bourbon, but I think the peat and smoke flavour of a good scotch will do wonders for our dessert today. And I do mean good scotch. There are are a couple of reasons for this. First off I firmly believe in using the best possible ingredients and cheap scotch runs the very real risk of ruining the whole of the pie. Secondly, using cheap scotch means you are buying a whole bottle and, since there’s no way I’m going to drink it, this means you’re wasting most of it. Your choice, though.
200g Brown Sugar
Melt together the butter, sugar and honey until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk into the eggs and finally mix in the scotch. Arrange the pecans in the pie shell and pour in the filling. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until set. Serve warm with ice cream.