Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Great British Bake Off - Pecan Pie with Spiced Rum

As any avid baker will agree, Wednesday nights mean only one thing - The Great British Bake Off.  Now as I'm sure you are aware, tonight is the grand final of the 2015 series, and it therefore seems appropriate to have a GBBO themed blogpost to mark the occasion. If you cast your mind back to last series, you may remember finalist Richard Burr - the laidback builder-turned-baker who cooked up a storm with his trademark pencil behind his ear. Richard has gone on to prove that there is life beyond the tent, having published his debut cookbook BIY- Bake It Yourself (see what he did there?) last month. It is a cracking book, with a good mix of fairly simple but delicious recipes, as well as a few trickier showstopper bakes for the more ambitious baker - Hazelnut Chocolate Opera Cake anyone? If you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen a couple of the recipes I have tried out already, however it was this Pecan Pie with Spiced Rum which really caught my eye. Quick, simple and totally moreish - this proved a huge hit with the family, and is the ideal pudding to round off these colder autumnal evenings. It also keeps well, and seems to improve with age, which is always a bonus if it hasn't been demolished in one go!

Read on for my take on Richard's recipe…

To make the pastry you will need…

- 200g plain flour (plus a little more to dust)
- 100g cubed butter
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- A couple of tbsp cold water

To make the filling you will need… 

- 100g golden syrup
- 100g maple syrup
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 75g butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp spiced rum
- 100g chopped pecans
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g pecan halves

You will need to…

-  Make the shortcrust pastry - either by combining the ingredients together in a food processor with a little water to bind, or if by-hand, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt and sugar, then use a palette knife to stir in enough cold water to bind the mixture. Knead your ball of pastry gently for a minute or so to combine, then wrap in clingfilm and set in the fridge to cool and firm up for half an hour. 

- Preheat the oven to 200C and find yourself a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out on a floured work surface. It should be large and circular enough to fit the tin, and only couple of centimetres in thickness. Roll this up onto the rolling pin and then lay it out into your tin. Press the pastry into the edges of the tin, but leave a little excess overhang as the pastry will shrink in the oven. 

- Line your pastry with a disc of baking parchment and fill with baking beans - blind bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

- Take the tin out and remove the parchment and baking beans. Bake the pastry case for a further 8 or so minutes until golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Trim off any excess pastry.

- To make the filling, melt the golden syrup, maple syrup, butter and sugars in a saucepan over a low heat. Allow to cool so as not to cook the eggs.

- Beat together the eggs, vanilla paste and rum, and stir into the cooled sugar mixture along with the chopped pecans and ground almonds. 

- Pour the pecan mixture into the tart case and carefully arrange the pecan halves on the surface in concentric circles - this can be a bit fiddly as the mixture underneath moves around a bit!

- Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pie has risen a little in the middle and is golden brown and set. If the nuts are browning too quickly cover with a little tin foil. 

- Set on a wire rack and remove from tin once completely cool.

- I think this is best served at room temperature with a generous pouring of cream or crème fraîche.

Enjoy! C x

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