Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bamboo Honey Pecan Pie

When I made pecan pie for Thanksgiving last year, I had filling leftover to make nine little tartlets (three of which are mysteriously absent from the group photo). You just can’t guess how crazy people go over little pies. Folks like pie plenty to begin with, but there is something about those cute little tartlets. I mean people just fall onto them, levitate out of their seats and float across the room to grab them. Tiny little pies could take over the world. Now there’s a book out that would suggest that the reason for this is that when we eat little things, we can delude ourselves that we are eating less, and that individual tarts leave no telltale evidence, like the space left by a missing wedge, to rebuke us. This might be partly true, but I think we eat little pies because we just really like little pies. I am almost thinking of just skipping the regular pies altogether and making lots of lots of tiny little pies, but of course, making a few little tartlets out of leftover dough and filling is jolly good fun. Making a whole pie’s worth would be a chore, and possibly a real pain, unless you could find your way into the zen of the whole thing.

While we ponder the merits of various pie-dimensions, allow me to assure you that you can make superb pecan pie without corn syrup. Cane syrup is the supposed ideal, but I have had great results with honey, especially dark, winey bamboo honey. Do give it a try. Here’s where I need to beg your indulgence. You need to use pecan halves. Lots of folks will tell you that it is easier to prepare and serve the pie if you chop the pecans, but so much of the pleasure of the pecan pie experience is from those pecan halves, and they are really no trouble.

Bamboo Honey Pecan Pie

This recipe makes one nine-inch pie plus two little tartlets, or one eight-inch tart plus nine little tartlets

½ of a batch of butter and coconut oil piecrust (for a dairy-free event, use all coconut oil)

3 eggs

1 cup bamboo honey, or other honey

½ cup raw sugar, or other sugar

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter

1 ¼ cup pecans

heat the oven to 425. Roll out the piecrust dough and line the pie and tartlet pans. Line the crusts with the pecan halves curved side up and chill the pastry while you prepare the filling. Melt the butter. Beat together the eggs, honey, sugar, and butter. Pour the mixture into the pie and tart shells, trying to the extent possible not to disturb the pattern in which the pecans are arranged. Bake the pies for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350. After another five minutes, remove the tartlets. Bake the pie or larger tart another ten or fifteen minutes.

Other seasonal pies you will want to try are:

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (One of the best things I’ve ever made)

Better Pumpkin Pie

Grape Pie (and apple slump)

Don't postpone pie!

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Blogger Helene said...

I love the idea of the coconut/butter crust. Must try it!I know that pecan halves look prettier but I use the pecans from our tree and I can't ever break them perfectly. The taste is however scrumptious the nuts are so fresh! They look wonderful...how about a dollop of Bostini custard on top?!!

10:58 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

OMG homegrown fresh pecans! Lucky Tartlette, you can't get more local than that. Yes, I totally agree that this trumps intact halves! Some Bostini custard on top would be just the very thing.

Hey you know what? I have homegrown nuts too, a whole sack of black walnuts from the chocolate family's ancestral farm. I will need something like kryptonite to crack them open.

11:04 PM  
Blogger bee said...

those little pies are adorable. and bamboo honey sounds great. i guess orange blossom honey may work as a substitute.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pictures of the pecan and other tartlets absolutely undid me. Of course folks will float across the room to get at a tartlet, conceivably causing grievious bodily harm to anyone who gets in their way, and do you know why? BECAUSE THE CRUST IS THE SOUL OF THE PIE, and tartlets at last have the correct ratio of crust to filling. Now most people assume that the filling is what the pie is about, and I am not here to denigrate any filling, least of all THE CHOCOLATE LADY's, but nevertheless the bottom line is that it is the crust -- the melting, flaky, crumbling, buttery, short, thick, thin, delicate, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth CRUST that our souls are anchored from earliest childhood.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chocolate Lady: VenMum speaks truth. As usual.

8:26 PM  
Blogger s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

7:22 AM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...


yes, I think orange blossom honey would work very well for pecan pies--let us know how it turns out.

thrice venerable mother,
you have once again crashed to the very heart of the matter.

nomi, hear hear!

oh bless my soul! I am glad they came around eventually!

12:00 PM  

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