In November of 2013, I won two awards in my school’s faculty pie contest with a modification of this amazing recipe. My awards for Best Key Lime and Third Place Overall hang in my classroom, and I’m enormously proud of them.
Last year, my pie did not place. And to be honest, it was not an award-worthy pie. I made a pudding-based egg nog pie with a graham crust. I won’t go so far as to say that it was listless, but it just didn’t have the same dimension and character as my winning pie did.
So this year I’m aiming to reclaim my place with a single malt pecan pie. Once I’ve finalized the recipe, I’ll call it Single Malt Pecan Pie. (I’m creative like that.) I’ve made two test pies in order to refine the recipe for my contest pie.
The two pies have minor differences in filling and crust. True, in order to be absolutely scientific about this process, I ought to have have four pies: crust A + filling A, crust B + filling A, crust A + filling B, and crust B + filling B. But I’m going to trust that we can tease out the pros and cons of both parts of both pies without overwhelming ourselves in pecans, sugar, and whiskey.
I’m taking the pies over to my husband’s parents’ house for an analysis. (I’m also bringing school photos of the boys and returning their appetizer platter.)
Update: I have just returned from tasting pies with the in-laws, and the better pie is the one on the right: butter crust and golden syrup.
Let’s hope it wins (or at least places) this year!
Single Malt Australian Pecan Pie
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled
- 3 tablespoons shortening, chilled
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Add flour and salt to food processor, pulse to “sift.”
- Cut chilled butter and shortening into small bits and add to the flour. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the ice water, little by little, pulsing until the pastry clumps together into a large ball.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Use half for this recipe, and save or freeze the other half for another pie.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup golden syrup (this ingredient makes it “Australian,” as I had it on hand from some Anzac biscuits I’d recently made, even though it’s nowhere near Anzac Day.)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 2 tablespoons single malt whiskey (I used Aberlour, because yum.)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Mix all ingredients except the whole pecans, stirring thoroughly.
- Roll out the crust and place into a 9 inch pie plate.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Add the whole pecans, perhaps making a pretty pattern, dunking each pecan beneath the surface to coat in the sugary deliciousness.
- Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
- Enjoy. (And maybe win a contest?)