I finally conquered my fear and made a pie! My first attempt ever and it turned out beautifully. Tender crust and rich filling. As you can see, I certainly do not know how to make a pie that looks pretty :)
I found this recipe that has been in my "to-bake" list for over 8 months now. It's by Chuck Hughes. I had the opportunity to meet him last month during his Asian tour. He is exactly that same person you see on his show. Incredibly funny and full of energy. The only difference? He is very very very handsome in person. We took a few photos, talked for a while, got him to follow me on Twitter and he was nice enough to autograph a menu for me the day before I met him. A friend who works at the Ritz-Carlton, the hotel he was staying at, had told him about me and got him to sign the menu. He actually remembered my name and knew who I was when I met him the next day. So friendly! Anyway, if you're interested, more photos from the event are over here.
Alright! Back to this delicious pie. I was always so afraid of handling pie crust because I've always heard of certain techniques that must be applied when dealing with pie crusts and etc. But no, let me tell you, it is not as difficult as whoever makes it out to be. I can't wait to rummage through my list for another pie recipe to make.
It's very important to use pure maple syrup in this recipe because that is where the entire flavor of this pie depends on. If you're thinking of Aunt Jemima or the Pillsbury Dough Boy, NO that is not real maple syrup. That is basically corn syrup with a whole list of unpronounceable ingredients. Do yourself a huge favor and splurge on the best and purest maple syrup you can get your hands on. I would have loved to be able to use Grade B maple syrup but couldn't find it anywhere. But the darkest of the Grade A works perfectly fine as well.
I know this is the first maple pecan pie recipe I have ever tried but I don't think I'm going to make a different one anytime soon. This recipe is definitely a keeper and it didn't last a day! I hope you like it as much as I loved it.
P.S- Yes all of my photos are now taken with my trusty iPod Touch using the ever so amazing application called Instagram. It's very practical and I love how my photos give out that rustic/vintage look! :)
Maple Pecan Pie
by Chuck Hughes
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, chilled and roughly chopped
1 egg, chilled
1 tablespoon ice water, plus more if needed
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I only used 1 cup)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup pecans
Vanilla ice-cream or freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
For the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, butter, salt and pulse until mixture resembles big breadcrumbs. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon ice water in a bowl until combined. With the food processor motor running, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Process until mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping the machine before the mixture forms to a ball. If it needs a bit more water, add it but make sure the dough isn't too wet.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead very gently just until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more (I refrigerated mine overnight).
Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and gently roll the dough to desired thickness. Lay the dough into the pie plate and prick the bottom of the with a fork, all over. Decorate edges of pie as you wish.
For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, heavy cream, sugar and egg, stir well until combined. Transfer filling mixture to lined pie dish. Top with pecan nuts and bake for about 35 minutes or just until set. Let cool completely before serving. Serve the pie with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.