That was very fun posting on Anjuli’s blog. I had no idea how excited I was going to feel when I actually saw it up there. It took me by surprise. Sharing with all of you is so tantalizing.
I have been cooking for 2 days straight, 8 – 10 hours per day. Can you believe anyone would actually still do that, more, that they would actually enjoy it? I have burned about 10 hours of music on CDs, all kinds of music; oldies, Latin music, classical and I listen as I cook. I even dance a little. Anjuli’s dad just retired and he cooks too so there actually is a shared experience going on. I can even get him to dance with me once in a while.
We are having 16 people for our Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow, family and friends and friends who are more like extended family than just friends. So we all make something, but I still take a lot of time because I am so hands on about everything. It is just the way I am wired. I have always been that way.
Anjuli loves pecan pie. So I made an old fashioned pecan pie with maple syrup and orange rind and an all butter crust. All butter crusts are really in right now, they are in all the cooking magazines and I urge you to use your fingers rather than the food processor to mix your dough. It makes a very flaky crust and it is fun to smear those little chunks of cold butter between your fingers. Anjuli has a very primitive mom. - Weezie
Maple Pecan Pie with Orange Rind
All Butter Pie Crust makes 2 9 inch pie crusts for single crust pies
The Pie Dough
3 cups (12 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup, (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut in 3/4 inch dice
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) ice water
Form the dough
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl that is big enough that you can easily get both your hands in. Stir to combine. Add the butter chunks into the bowl and toss some of your flour on top of them so they don’t all stick together. Smear the chunks between your thumb and fingers of both hands, working as quickly as you comfortably can. Keep turning the bowl so you are working with different areas. Keep smearing the butter and flour until your mixture has butter flakes about 1/4 inch big.
Now drizzle 3 tablespoons or so of the water over the surface of the dough and toss with a fork as you drizzle. Keep turning the bowl. Continue to drizzle the water and toss with a fork until the dough is just moist enough to hold together when pressed between your fingers.
Divide the dough in two and put on 2 pieces of wax paper. Press the dough into two disks with straight sides. Wrap each disc in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. If you are not going to use it right away you can also freeze it for up to 2 months, but put the dough wrapped in its wax paper in a freezer bag.
Roll the dough
Remove the dough a few minutes or up to 20 minutes before you want to roll it so it is not rock hard. Now lightly flour the surface where you are going to roll. Roll from the center towards the outside, lifting your pin before you get to the edge so it doesn’t get too thin. Keep rolling from the center towards the outer edge until you have a circle 13 to 14 inches in diameter. Fold your circle in half and then again to a triangle to make it easier to carry to the pie plate. Place the point of your triangle in the center of the pan, then unfold until your circle in the center on the pan. Trim excess to 1 inch between the edge of the pie plate. Turn the edge under and create the decorative edge of your choice, with your fingers or a fork.
Chill the crust
Prick the sides and bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Put the pie plate back in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight before adding the filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and place a cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven.
The Filling makes for one 9″ pie
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
Note: There is no need to use corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Maple syrup has more flavor in my opinion and is much better for you. Where we are in north west Connecticut and we can buy it locally from the guy who plows our driveway.
Heat the ghee in a small heavy bottomed sauce pan on low. Add the sugar and cook until it dissolves, stirring occasionally. Stir in the maple syrup, remove from the heat and add the vanilla, orange rind and salt. In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs. Very slowly add in about 1/4 cup of the sugar/maple syrup mixture, whisking the whole time so the eggs don’t cook. Keep adding in the sugar syrup, whisking continuously as you go until it is all incorporated.
Cook the Pie
Place the pecans in the bottom of the prepared pie shell. Carefully pour the filling over the pecans. Place the pie in the oven on the cookie sheet and cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the filling is set.
Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.