Saturday, January 9, 2010
Pecan Pie (... but with walnuts)
Let me start by saying that I almost never make desserts. I really don't have a sweet tooth and well, as an intuitive cook who cooks by sight, smell and taste, I have a lot of problems with the exact measurements needed for baked goods (except bread). I am terrible with pastry and have no patience for it. However, over the holidays I decided that I was going to practice making pie crusts for both sweet and savoury pies and ended up buying a dough blender, perforated pie pan and a silicone pie crust guard thingy. All three sat there unused until today.
Even though I don't have a sweet tooth, I did previously enjoy a butter tart or two pre-vegan. Basically it's like a pecan pie, but without the pecans and you can find it in a package of two at most convenience stores in the great white north. I had a craving for them so I thought, hey, why don't I try the Pecan Pie (page 462) from the book?
The pie crust is pretty much like any standard pie crust — the kind that I am terrible with. Flour, fat, salt, sugar and water. I readied myself to struggle with it but it came together fairly easily with the dough blender. So much easier than a damn fork or two butter knives. If you don't have a dough blender, GET ONE. I substituted vegetable shortening for the margarine and upped the salt to almost 1 tsp.
While the dough was chilling in the fridge, I made the filling. As the liquid was simmering in the saucepan, I realised that I didn't have any pecans (doh!) but I did have walnuts which I thought was a worthy substitute.
Now on to the taste. The crust? I thought it was great! Flaky and rich, just like a pie crust is supposed to be. The filling was gooey and sweet but not sickly sweet and I can see it working with lots of different types of nuts, not just pecans (or walnuts). Colour me impressed — I made a pie with a great flaky crust! I do need to work on my crust shaping but who cares, it was good! Now I still don't like making pie crust, but now I know I can actually make a decent one.
This is one delicious pie that I can see myself making again. Maybe next time I'll make them into little tarts, without pecans and a sprinkle of raisins. ;)
— Ms. Veganorama