Over the years we've all eaten a plethora of pies. Thanksgiving in particular is a time when I can remember trying everything from rhubarb to chocolate cream to pumpkin. Some of them I liked, and some were total misses. One thing that has never changed has been that all of the pies and desserts were store bought. That is until I started baking. This year I'm making these desserts:
Lyle's Golden Syrup (Classic) Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping
Mini Bumbleberry Pies
New York Cheesecake
Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownies
I hope I covered all my bases with this spread! I tried to include something for everyone so that nobody is left out. I also chose desserts I can make ahead. The pecan pie will get frozen after its baked. The brownies, bumbleberry pies, and cheesecake also freeze well so they can be made in advance. Pumpkin pie, though, will get watery so it's best to make the night before.
For this classic pecan pie I really was looking for a few things. Firstly, a flaky and flavorful crust. I used a recipe from Julia Child that includes sugar for sweetness and vanilla extract (my personal touch) for flavor. Secondly, lots of pecans. Lastly, the sweet, gooey filling has to be sweet, but not too sweet, dense enough to not be runny, and it has to have flavor! For that I used Lyle's Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. I'm not positive this recipe would work if you switched it out for corn syrup so I'd either follow this one exactly or find a different one all together. Look for the Lyle's near the corn syrup, but not all grocery stores carry it. It's got an amazing flavor, sort of a cross between buttery caramel and maple. Best of all, there is only one ingredient: pure cane syrup!
Sweet Tart Dough
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 tbl granulated sugar
6 tbl salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbl shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Add the flours, sugar, and butter to a food processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times to break up the butter. Add in the shortening. Pour the ice water and vanilla into the top of the processor as you pulse 3 or 4 times. The mixture should stick together when you grab a handful. If it doesn't add drops of water and pulse until it sticks together. Pour out the dough onto a floured surface and need 2 or 3 times. Cover it in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Source: Adpated from Julia's Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
Lyle's Golden Syrup Pecan Pie
1 recipe sweet tart dough
4 large eggs
3/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1 cup sugar
3 tbl salted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
Roll the tart dough into 12" circle and fit it into a 9" pie plate. Poke it with a fork and place it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the syrup mixture over top. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to 300 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes or until the pie is barely wobbly in the middle.
To freeze, cool the pie completely at room temperature. Place it in the fridge to cool for one hour. Wrap in foil and freeze. To thaw, place in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Source: King Arthur Flour Company