I was born in Sinop, in Northern Turkey, in Black Sea Region. That is the region where hazelnut cultivation is the highest amount in Turkey. And Turkey has the largest hazelnut production in the world. Maybe because of this, maybe just by chance, my favourite nut was always hazelnut… That was until I met pecan….!
Roasted or raw, pecan always is quite soft but still a little crunchy, with a beautiful smell and colour. Some nuts, like almonds, have an incredible change in taste when roasted, the taste increases dramatically. But with pecans, I feel like you don’t need to do that at all, it is as tasty in any case.
So, when I discovered that there is a Punnitse & Säästä behind Ateneum, I barged in and bought a huge amount of pecans. Ok the amount was an accident actually, because the price on the pecans, I thought it was for 1 kg, but apparently it was for 100 gr. only.. So I ended up paying 24 euros for a bag of pecans.. But it was worth it! And of course, as soon as I came home, I searched the internet for a nice recipe with pecan, and I found “Pecan Pie”.
This pie has quite a good amount of sugar, syrup and butter, but it is not too sweet or too heavy. I was invited to a co-baking/dinner that day when I baked this, and my Finnish, Portuguese and Uruguayan friends loved it. I left the remaining there of course, and my Portuguese friend Hugo called me a few days later to tell how much they enjoyed the rest of the pie the next day.
You can bake this pie with or without the extra whole pecans on top of the pie. But adding those pecans really give it a great finishing touch, I highly recommend. Besides, it makes the pie prettier!
The recipe has two parts, the first one is the recipe for basic pie crust, the second part is the recipe for the pecan pie specifically. So you can also use this post just to make a pie crust for any other kind of pie. Enjoy your pie, enjoy your pecans (yes, I ate all the remaining pecans by myself in less than a day..).
For pie crust:
1 1/2 cups / 360 ml flour (basic, white)
1 tbsp / 15 ml granulated white sugar
1 tsp / 5 ml salt
1/2 cup / 113 gr. butter (very cold)
1/4 cup /60 ml. ice cold water
For pecan pie filling:
1 pie crust (that you have made above), partially pre-baked (explained in pie crust section below)
1 cup / 240 ml. / 225 gr. granulated white sugar
1 cup / 240 ml. syrup (light corn, golden.. any type you like.. I used “vaalea siirappi – light syrup of DanSukker, but actually next time I bake this pie, I will try it with lavender honey)
1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla extract
1 tsp / 5 ml salt
1/4 tsp / 1.25 ml ground cinnamon
1/2 cup / 113 gr. butter
2 cups / 473 ml / 218 gr. chopped or crushed pecans
About 1 cup / 240 ml. / 109 gr. whole pecans for top decoration (optional)
Preparing the crust:
1. In a mixing bowl, put flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into this mixture of dry ingredients. Make sure that butter is really really cold, right out of the fridge. Mix them in low speed for just about 30 sec., only until you get a crumbly mixture. Alternatively, you could do this in a food processor by pulsing as well. Actually, I’ve seen that many people prefer this, but I do not have a big enough food processor, so I used mixer. One other option is to use your hands – but you should be very quick if you are doing in this way, not to heat the butter too much with your hands.
2. Add ice cold water gradually and mix / pulse for a few seconds. In the end you should have a dough of consistency shown in the 3. photo down.
3. Take out the dough and put on a floured surface, do not knead it, just put it together in a ball form. Cover it with stretch film and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Chilling prevents it to shrink too much while baking.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C.
5. After the dough is chilled in the fridge, take it out and roll it about 5 cm bigger in radius than your pie dish and put the rolled dough on the dish. Make sure that it sticks to every single corner of the dish. With the help of a fork, make some holes on the dough (distribute the holes as evenly on the dough as possible) and cover it with an aluminium folio. You can also put some beans on the folio to keep the surface from puffing (it puts a pressure on the dough).
6. Put the dough in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then take it out of the oven and take away the aluminium folio. If the recipe calls for a partially pre-baked pie crust, then return the crust to the oven and bake for 10-12 more minutes, until it gets lightly browned. If the recipe calls for a fully pre-baked crust, then bake for 15-17 more minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
When your crust is done baking, put it aside while you are preparing the pecan filling. This recipe calls for a partially pre-baked crust.
Preparing the filling and cooking the pie:
1. Decrease the temperature of the oven to 175C.
2. Melt the butter.
3. In a medium bowl, put sugar, syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Whisk the ingredients well.
4. In another bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add it to the sugar mixture and whisk them altogether.
5. Add melted butter to the mixture. Whisk again until smooth.
6. Add crushed pecans. Whisk or stir it a little and then pour the mixture onto the crust.
7. Decorate the pie with whole pecans if you like (as seen in the picture or in another way). Put it in the oven, on the middle rack.
8. Bake the pie for about 50-60 minutes, until the filling is set. If the pie crust is getting too brown, you can loosely cover the pie with an aluminium foil. When the pie filling is set, take it out of the oven and let the pie cool down fully for 3 to 4 hours before slicing.
Be prepared! It’s deadly delicious!