I tried Pecan Pie for the first time in a small sandwich bar called Giovanni's, in London, where I was working for two summers. First off, I was surprised with pecans. I've never heard of them before, they were completely new for me, and since it was 2008-2009, I thought I wouldn't be able to get them in Poland. The second fascinating thing about this pie was its consistency. Gooey, sticky, thick, but without any taste of flour. I tried to figure out what was the secret ingredient. And I bought 4 packages of pecans, just in case...

After a while I came across a recipe for the pie in one of my cooking books I brought back home from England. I closely studied the ingredients and saw something very beautifully called - Golden Syrup. I've never heard of it before, we never used it in Polish recipes, so I started reading about this magical syrup. I found out it was actually sugar in a liquid but thick form, and that you could actually make it yourself. But as I was not as experienced as I am now, I decided not to risk burning a whole kilogram of sugar and I just ordered it online.

Whoa! The smile that appeared on my face when Mr Postman brought me a tiny package a few days later! For me, golden syrup tastes like cotton candy, so you can easily use it on crepes, pancakes or other treats. For instance, my brother eats it with a spoon...

Bakesaurus suggested though preparing a bit more fancy type of Pecan Pie, with bourbon and chocolate, that comes from a recipe from one of my favourite bakeries, BAKED, in New York City. But more about them when it is time for the sweet&salty brownie... A recipe really worth waiting for. Ha! I can see Bakesaurus' mouth watering!

(The recipe is from the book "Baked. New Frontiers in Baking" written by the owners of BAKED, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.)

Bourbon chocolate pecan pie

6-8 portions

(24-26cm diameter pie dish)

Ingredients:

Crust:

1,5 cups (250g) plain flour

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (225g) unsalted, cold butter

3/4 cup (180ml) very cold water

Filling:

200-250g pecans

3 large eggs

3/4 golden syrup or light corn syrup

3 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp dark brown sugar

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

a pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp bourbon

150g semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

1. Prepare the crust. Place flour, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Cut the butter with a pastry blender or a regular knife, and start kneading with your hands. Sprinkle a bit of water on the dough and continue kneading. Repeat a couple of times. Form a ball, cover in foil or put in a small foil bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 200oC. Line a form with baking paper and pour the nuts onto. Toast for 7-10 minutes, opening the oven every 2-3 minutes and stirring the nuts a bit. Remove from the oven and let them cool. Chop 3/4 cup of pecans, leave the rest aside. Do not skip this step! Toasted nuts taste way better and are crunchy which makes the pie so delicious!

3. Prepare the filling. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Add sugars, butter, salt and golden syrup or light corn syrup. Mix together (you can use a whisk). Pour in the chopped pecans and set aside.

4. Roll out the dough and assemble the pie. On a table sprinkled with flour, roll out the dough flat and transfer it to a pie dish. Make a few holes using a fork and cover with chocolate chips. Delicately pour the prepared filling into the pie dish and cover with the rest of the pecans.

5. Bake in 160oC for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven for a second and cover the edges loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a while. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

K. & Bakesaurus

P.S. Don't worry if you think you might use the golden syrup in time! You're going to need it for the sweet&salty brownies... And also for the golden syrup cupcakes I will be making pretty soon. If you really don't want to use pecans, you can substitute them with walnuts, but the pie will be a bit bitter. Almonds are okay too, except the pie turns out a bit bland, it doesn't have "it" anymore.

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