Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pecan Pie and Buttermilk Silk Pie

Pecan Pie

Buttermilk Silk Pie

Sometimes I get so curious about an unfamiliar recipe that I have to try it. Neither of these recipes appealed to me initially, but I was so pleased with the chunky pear pie that I decided to make the pecan and buttermilk silk pies from Classic Home Desserts.

Sax's Pecan Pie substitutes Golden Syrup and muscovado sugar for corn syrup and refined sugar. Dark rum adds a pleasant richness to the flavor. I can't say i'm a big fan of pecan pie, but this pie was certainly different from others i've had, and i'd make it again if someone requested it.

Buttermilk may seem like an odd ingredient for pie, but in this case it was perfect. The Buttermilk Silk Pie was creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy, with a fluffy texture reminiscent of a light cheesecake. I think a little berry compote would be lovely with this, or maybe a touch of lemon zest. Try not to overbake it or the custard will crack.

I left out an egg yolk, which wasn't a problem. The custard was a little loose on the very bottom (like a pudding cake), but it tasted good.

My trip to Manhattan was nice; my sister and I braved the Union Square Trader Joe's on Wednesday night and pulled off a Thanksgiving dinner in less than 48 hours (not without a little stress). While I thought i'd visit some old favorite places, I ended up trying mostly new ones. Some of my favorites:

  • Abraco Espresso (fantastic olive oil cake, and possibly the best cortado i've ever had). I also had coffee at Ninth Street Espresso and Joe the Art of Coffee. I preferred Abraco and Joe.

  • The Japanese style cheesecake at Amai was killer. I tried some muffins and tea cookies, but they weren't to my taste.

  • The pretzel croissant from City Bakery really is as good as David Lebovitz says...especially warm out of the oven. So wonderfully salty. The gingerbread men are good too.

  • Little Branch. Amazing cocktails and ambience.

  • Momofuku Noodle Bar. I could eat six of their pork buns in one go! We also had excellent kim chi stew, and romanesco cauliflower with boquerones.

  • The calamari tacos and posole from Barrio Chino were delicious. The tacos are very small, so plan to eat something additional if you're hungry.

  • Pumpkin scones from Alice's Tea Cup were huge, tender and coated with a perfectly burnt, sticky caramel. They made me want to brush all my baked goods with caramel.

    I went back to Chikalicious, which was excellent as always. I had an almond cake with persimmon brulee and vanilla milk sorbet. It was a mostly enjoyable trip and I'd love to go again. There was not enough time/room in my stomach to try Porchetta, and i'm itching to go back to Sfoglia.

    I hope everyone had a nice holiday. I am definitely going to eat a little more simply until Christmas.

    Pecan Pie
    adapted from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts
    1/2 quantity Basic Pie Dough
    1 cup raw cane dark muscovado sugar, turbinado sugar, or light brown sugar
    2/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
    2 tbsp dark rum
    4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    3 large eggs
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp table salt
    2 cups broken pecan meats

    1. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and fit it into a 9in pie pan. Trim off excess dough, leaving about a 3/4in overhang. Fold under the edge of the dough, pressing along the rim and forming a high, fluted border. Chill until needed.

    2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, Golden Syrup, rum, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from the heat and set aside to cool until lukewarm, at least 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the lower third.

    3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until creamy. Beat the eggs into the cooled syrup; stir in the vanilla, salt, and pecans. Pour filling into the pie shell.

    4. Bake until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 50 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a wire rack.

    5. Serve the pie at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Buttermilk Silk Pie
    adapted from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts
    1/2 quantity Basic Pie Dough
    1 cup sugar
    3 tbsp corn starch
    1 large whole egg
    3 large egg yolks
    6 tbsp butter, melted
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp salt

    1. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and fit it into a 9in pie pan. Trim off excess dough, leaving about a 3/4in overhang. Fold under the edge of the dough, pressing along the rim and forming a high, fluted border. Chill until needed. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the lower third.

    2. Bake the pie shell, gently pricking any air bubbles with a fork until it is partially baked, 8-10 minutes (I would have left mine longer). Cool the pie shell on a wire rack, leave the oven on.

    3. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and corn starch until there are no lumps. Add the egg, egg yolks, melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

    4. Bake until the surface is a very pale golden color and the custard is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 40 minutes. Do not overbake.

    5. Cool the pie to room temperature on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  • 5 comments:

    Amanda said...

    Sounds like you had a good time in NYC. That pretzel crossaint from City Bakery is a must-try for my next visit to NYC. What did you make for Thanksgiving? I;m impressed you got things figured out in 48 hours. Nicely done :)

    steph- whisk/spoon said...

    i have never had a buttermilk pie, but it sounds wonderful!!

    Maya said...

    What a fun time in NYC. looks like you went to some of my fave places!

    culinarycory.com said...

    I love pecan pie! Yours looks quite tasty.

    Olga said...

    that sounds like a really tasty recipe!