Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toffee Pecan Pie

Hello my baking nemesis, once more we meet again....

Pecan pie is the one baked good I've encountered so far that always gave me difficulty. You may remember back last November for Thanksgiving I had to make an emergency Banoffee Pie to make up for the kitchen disaster than was my pecan pie. But, through practice and the tweaking of the recipe that is hopefully a thing of the past!

Now, because I live in Ireland I always had to make corn-syrup free recipes which may have contributed to the problem. Luckily I found a good replacement; dark brown sugar, condensed milk and golden syrup. They give the pie it's toffee taste but the condensed milk lightens it and stops it tasting burnt.

Hopefully this incarnation tastes as good as it smells

Perfect Pie Crust
Makes one 9" pie crust

  • 100g butter, cold
  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tbsp water
Rub the butter into the flour until the mix in the consistency of fine breadcrumbs
(You can also use a blender to pulse it)
Add the sugar, egg and mix
Bring the mix together to form a smooth dough, adding water 1 tbsp at a time if necessary
Chill in the fridge for 30 mins

Preheat the oven to 170 C and toast the pecans for 10 minutes

Roll out the dough until it's 1.5 inches wider than the tin
Press the dough into the tin, line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beads
Blind bake for 10 minutes.

While this is going on it's time to make the filling!

Pie Filling
  • 175g condensed milk
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 150g pecans
Cream butter and sugar together and beat in the golden
syrup and eggs
Mix in the condensed milk and vanilla
Add the flour and beat the mixture well
Pour into the pie shell and scatter over the toasted pecans
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 mins, until the filling is bouncy but not runny
If the edges are browning too quickly cover with tinfoil
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes then remove from tin and cool 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Criossant Bread Pudding

We've not had much of a summer here in Ireland. Actually, that's an understatement, we've had near constant rain and for the past week I've been able to see my breath outdoors. It's July. Rather than the traditional summer puddings and light desserts I would normally make, I've found myself going back to more autumnal fare; hot stodgy puddings and crumbles. This bread pudding is a twist on the traditional bread and butter pudding using croissants in place of bread. I must admit I prefer the more traditional version but I got wonderful fresh croissants this morning and I just had to make something with them to whisk away the soggy weather blues.

Croissant Bread Pudding
Serves 4
  • 5 large croissants
  • 3 eggs
  • 175mls cream
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cointreau (optional)
  • a handful of raisins
  • a handful of mixed peel (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175C
Whisk the eggs and milk and add the sugar, 1 tbsp of the maple syrup and the cointreau (if using)
Tear the croissants in half and pack half of them into a 9" ceramic oven dish
Scatter half of the raisins and mixed peel (if using) over the croissants
Drizzle over 2 tbsp of the maple syrup
Pour in the egg and cream mixture and scatter in the rest of the raisins
Drizzle over the last of the syrup and bake for 40-45 mins until golden and puffed up
Cool for 10 minutes or so and serve warm with cream.

Personally I prefer the bread version of this pudding but this is a firm family favourite, much lighter with a homey buttery taste and slight smokiness from the maple syrup! Delish!