Monday, June 7, 2010
Recipe Review: Chuck Hughes' Maple Pecan Pie
I really enjoy Montrealer Chuck Hughes' show Chuck's Day Off. His approach to food is very simple yet delicious. A guy who left the world of advertising to open up a restaurant with his friends and hires his mom to make desserts sounds like one of the coolest foodies around and when he made his version of his mom's Maple Pecan Pie, I just had to try it out!
Holy moly it has been dark and dreary in Nova Scotia. Three summers in a row, there is barely enough light in my kitchen to bake and cook by! Still, baking always makes me feel better. You get one stick/one cup of very cold butter and cut it up. You put flour, salt and the butter in a food processor and whiz until it looks like breadcrumbs. You add 1 egg and 1 tbsp of cold water and whiz. As usual, I needed a lot more water for the dough to come together:
When the dough looks like this with no floury bits on the bottom, you know it is going to come together. Knead a little on a board to bring it together then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Roll out the dough until it is much bigger than your pie plate. Put in the pie plate and trim the dough. I folded mine over and then fluted the edges. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough all over.
In a bowl you combine whipping cream, brown sugar, real maple syrup and an egg. You can not get a simpler, richer filling than that! Pour into the crust:
Top with pecans and bake at 350F. The recipe says to bake for 35 minutes but there was no way my pie filling was close to being set. I kept it in the oven for an additional 15 minutes, although it may have taken around 25 minutes for it to come close to setting. It is hard to say, I kept testing it to see if the middle was still super wobbly and if it was, baked it for longer until it souffled and seemed to come together.
My husband insisted on having some of my coffee ice cream on top because he thought it was a little dry. When I look at this picture the last thing I think of is dry, I think he just wanted ice cream! I really loved this pie and wow, how the maple flavour rings true throughout! My one and only complaint is the toughness of the pie crust. That is probably due to the fact that I needed to keep adding extra water as I processed but I did want to follow the recipe as closely as possible. Next time I will just add a lot more water right away. I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons.
Chuck is going to be at CATCH: The Nova Scotia Seafood Festival June 19th!