pecan, maple, and bourbon pie
PREP TIME 20 mins, plus chilling, COOK TIME 1 hr 20 mins, plus cooling
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
7 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
whipped cream, to serve
For the filling:
2⁄3 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp butter
3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
few drops of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tbsp bourbon
1 3⁄4 cups pecans
1 Using your fingertips, rub together the flour and butter, or pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Beat the egg yolk with the vanilla and mix them into the dry ingredients, bringing the mixture together to form a soft dough. Add a little water to bring the dough together, if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2 Roll out the pastry on a well-floured surface to 1⁄8in (3mm) thick. It will be fragile, so if it begins to crumble, bring it together again with your hands and gently knead to get rid of any joins. Use it to line a 9in (23cm) loose-bottomed tart pan, leaving an overlapping edge of at least 3⁄4in (2cm). Prick the base all over with a fork.
3 Line the pastry case with parchment paper and weigh it down with baking beans. Place the case on a baking sheet and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and bake for a further 5 minutes if the center still looks a little uncooked.
4 For the filling, pour the maple syrup into a saucepan, and add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Place the pan over low heat, and stir constantly until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool until it feels just tepid, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the bourbon. Stir in the pecan nuts, reserving enough for the top, then pour the mixture into the pastry case. Arrange the reserved pecans evenly across the top, pushing them in slightly.
5 Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until just set. Cover with a sheet of foil if it is browning too quickly. Remove the pie from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and leave to cool for 15–20 minutes. Remove from the pan and either serve it warm or leave it on the wire rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.