Cane Sugar Pecan Pie

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This recipe is an adaptation of a pie crust recipe from Serious Eats and a pecan filling recipe from Steen’s website.  The crust preparation includes some useful tricks to get a flaky crust.  This is the first pie dough where I felt that the crust itself was worth eating, and was not just as a vehicle for the filling.  The key ingredient in the filling is cane syrup, either Lyle’s Golden Syrup (which is fairly widely distributed) or Steen’s cane syrup, which I could get at the better supermarkets in Houston and which is available on the internet.  Cane syrup is much more flavorful than the corn syrup which is usually used in pecan pies and it really makes a difference.

Crust Ingredients

6.25 oz. all purpose flour

1 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or ¼ tsp. regular salt

10 Tbs chilled unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pats

3 Tbs. ice water

Filling Ingredients

¼ cup butter

¼ tsp. regular salt

1 Tbs. all purpose flour

1 Tbs. cornstarch

2 eggs, beaten

11 oz. cane syrup (either Lyle’s Golden or Steen’s Cane)

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 cups pecans(

First make the crust. The secrets of this approach are using a quick mix in a food processor and mixing with a spatula to leave little discrete bits of butter (for a flaky crust) and to minimize handling (which prevents gluten development and keeps the crust tender).

Combine 2/3rds of flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to incorporate. Spread butter chunks evenly over surface. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.

Sprinkle with water then using a rubber spatula, fold and press dough until it comes together into a ball. (The last time I made it I needed 4 Tbs. of ice water.)  Form into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.

While the dough is resting, make the filling. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, and add the flour, salt, and cornstarch and stir until smooth. Add the syrup and sugar, stir well, and boil 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add the eggs and vanilla, stirring until evenly incorporated. Stir in the pecans.

Roll out the pie dough on a floured pasty cloth and place in a pie pan.  You will notice when the dough is rolled out that there are little blobs of butter visible in the dough.  These little blobs will separate out the dough into flaky layers as the pie bakes.  Fill the pie crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 30-35 minutes.


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