Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Chocolate Pecan Pies

Chocolate Pecan Pies

Pecan pie is one of the quickest and simplest bakes, just requiring some melting and mixing in a pan, a pastry case and oven. Dark chocolate adds a dimension of decadence to the mix.

There were thirteen of us around for Boxing Day so I made a couple of 9 inch pies. There are no photos of that as they disappeared quickly and quite frankly there are better things to do over the Christmas season than to fuss over the best angles for photos. Thankfully there was still enough left over to make six smaller pecan pies, so thats what you can see here.

Chocolate Pecan Pies

The overflow!! The syrupy, chocolaty overflow bubbling like lava over the crust of these pies and leaving it's caramelised residue around the edges. That's what you'll get if you go mini, unless you prefer a bite that is half pastry, half content. For me, pastry is often but a carrier for filling, so a little spill isn't the end of the world and it shows that you're packing in the good stuff. Though it could look prettier. Rustic charm...

Chocolate Pecan Pies

I'm sure a lot of you will be relieved to know that there's no need blind bake the pastry. I've tried it both ways and baking blind makes no difference for this recipe. If anything, the larger pie cuts better without blind baking.  I would usually make the pastry by hand, but it's Christmas; we're allowed to cut corners.

The only point of contention might be the copious lashings of golden syrup that form the basis of the filling. Nearly a cup per pie, in fact! 

Golden Syrup


In the States corn syrup is used, but I've only found corn syrup once in the UK and my bottle went missing, presumably binned by the only person who I know has heeded warnings of the lethal effects of HFCS. Lethal, toxic and contaminated!

So golden syrup is the nearest and much less contentious substitute (or even better, a mixture of equal amounts maple and golden syrup). Excessive golden syrup would make this treacle tart, so to avoid that and to compliment the darker chocolate tones, some of the sweetness comes from dark muscovado sugar.

Chocolate Pecan Pies

 

Chocolate Pecan Pies

Makes one large or 15 small pies
75g butter 
100g plain chocolate
200ml golden syrup
125g muscovado sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 eggs
125g pecan halves 
1 recipe pastry to line a 23cm (9 inch) pie dish

1. Grease the pie dish. Preheat the oven to 190°c.
2. Melt together the butter and plain chocolate; cool slightly. Using a hand mixer, beat in the golden syrup, muscovado sugar, salt and eggs. Stir in the pecans and pour mixture into the prepared dish/es.
3. Bake in a moderate oven for 40-50 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with whipped cream.


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