Jack had the ‘big dogs’, as we like to call them, over from America for a meeting a couple of weeks ago. The meeting took place on a Monday so I decided to put my Sunday afternoon and a bag of Sharpham Park spelt flour to good use and bake a pecan pie.
Pecan pie, however fun to make and delicious to eat, is very time consuming. This pie took the best part of the afternoon to bake but it was definitely worth the effort.
This recipe is by Annie Bell and is part of Sharpham Park’s Great British Spelt Recipes, a recipe collection created by Sharpham Park (Mulberry founder Roger Saul’s spelt food range) in partnership with Bowel Cancer UK.
I wasn’t there to see the big dogs tuck in but I’m told they absolutely loved it, particularly the spelt pastry and the lemony filling.
Spelt Pastry Pecan Pie
230 g spelt flour
70 g golden caster sugar
130 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 medium egg, separated
200 g pecan nuts
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
300 g golden syrup
3 medium eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
300 ml double cream
pinch of sea salt
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick burst at high speed to reduce it to a crumb-like consistency. Add the egg yolk and then with the motor running trickle in just enough milk for the dough to cling together in lumps, a teaspoon or two should do it. Bring the pastry together into a ball using your hands, then pat into a flattened patty. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180 C fan oven/200 C electric oven. Lightly dust a worksurface with spelt flour, knead the pastry until it is pliable and thinly roll out. Line the base and sides of a 23 cm tart tin 4-6 cm deep by slipping the base of the tin under the rolled out pastry and then into the tin, don’t worry if you end up partly pressing it into the tart tin. Trim the edges by running a rolling pin across the top, and reserve the trimmings. Line the case with foil and baking beans (any dried pulse will do), securing the sides to the tin, place on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, paint the case with the egg white and patch any cracks with the trimmings, and cook for another 10 minutes until the case is evenly golden. Again if any cracks have appeared patch these.
Turn the oven down to 150 C fan oven/170 C electric oven. Thinly slice two thirds of the nuts. Whisk the lemon zest and juice into the syrup in a large bowl, and then the eggs and egg yolks, and finally the cream. Fold in the sliced nuts and salt. Pour the mixture into the precooked tart case and arrange the pecan halves flat-side down over the surface, discarding any broken ones. Bake for 60 minutes until lightly golden and puffy at the edges, if you move the tart around it should wobble without showing any signs of being liquid. Remove and leave the tart to cool for a couple of hours, then chill it for another couple of hours. Cover with clingfilm and remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving if keeping for longer than this.