Salted Caramel Pecan Pie
Okay, so I admit- I tend to do or create a series of anything that stirs the creative foodie cells in my body and this blog’s archive is testament to that. Check and you'll see- gelatos, pancakes, panna cotta: tres leches; butter cookies and waffles galore; red velvet anything etcetera. So this is more of an attempt to explore more uses for rather than simply rushing to use up my precious little jar of fleur de sel. I also did a little inventory of my recent acquisitions in the kitchen that I haven’t used and saw my tart pan which fits what I have in mind- Salted Caramel Pecan Pie.
I had very little leftover sauce from the brownies so I had to make another batch of salted caramel sauce and added three egg yolks to give it a custard taste. The crust is of course from scratch which I pre-baked for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F before I spread the toasted pecans then poured the salted caramel sauce over. Here's how I made it.
Salted Caramel Pecan Pie
For the pie crust
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold- cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6-8 tbsp ice water
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6-8 times
until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together; add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from the machine and place in a mound on a clean and lightly floured surface. Gently shape into a disc and knead but don't overdo it. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks will allow the resulting crust be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disc and wrap in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour and up to two days.
For the salted caramel filling
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp fleur de sel plus extra for garnish
2 cups toasted pecans, roughly chopped
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 extra large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Roll out the dough and press into the fluted tart pan. I just spread the dough evenly so I didn’t have to trim any uneven over-hanging bits. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and place dried beans or pie weights on top so it doesn't rise as it bakes. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the parchment paper and beans or pie weights and bake for an 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, prepare the caramel filling. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add butter, sugar, honey and fleur de sel. Bring to a gentle boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk in beaten egg yolks, vanilla and stir in the toasted pecans. Pour mixture into the pie pan and bake for 30 minutes. Tent loosely with aluminum foil if it starts to brown too quickly. Allow to cool in pie pan before releasing. Serve with vanilla ice cream or simply garnish with an extra sprinkle of fleur de sel
Really, gone are the days when desserts can only be sweet. Now they can be sweet and salty at the same time. The buttery and the creamy custard made its presence felt – errr tasted and the toasted nuts added a nice texture and contrast to the pie!
So, does that make me a serial baker or a serial wanna-be chef? Maybe Serial Foodie is more like it- right?