Wow your guests with this whole wheat pecan and maple pie. This vegan delight whips up with ease and goes down even easier.
When I think of pecan pie, I think of the classic North American tart that is packed with nuts and sugar and eaten in the fall, around Thanksgiving. My variation of this festive delicacy takes inspiration from the classic British treacle tart, which is made with Lyle’s Golden Syrup and breadcrumbs.
As a sourdough baker, this was the perfect opportunity to incorporate elements from both tarts. For the crumbs, I highly recommend using 100 percent Rye Sourdough (page 92) for its delicious malty
and earthy flavours, but any sourdough will do for an inclusion of at least 25 percent in the pastry crust. The whole wheat pastry is very malleable and is lovely to work with. Giving a nod to our home turf, I added Canadian organic pure maple syrup along with golden syrup and molasses for more layers of sweetness and caramel tones.
Whole Wheat Pecan and Maple Pie
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- ½ cup cold vegan butter, cut into1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
- 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup vegan icing sugar
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp ice cold water
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅔ cup vegan liquid egg (such as JUST Egg)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup vegan butter, melted
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup golden syrup
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sourdough breadcrumbs(I recommend 100% rye)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups and 2 tbsp natural pecan pieces or chopped pecans
- ¾ cups natural pecan halves, for decorating
Make and blind-bake the pastry
- Place the bowl of a food processor in the fridge for 30 minutes before starting. This will help keep everything cold when making the pastry.
- Place the butter, whole wheat pastry flour, icing sugar, and salt in the chilled bowl of the food processor and pulse until combined, about 1 minute. Add the cold water and olive oil and pulse until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to an unfloured work surface and finish mixing by hand. Bring the pastry together into a ball with no dry patches.
- Gently roll the pastry between two 12 × 18-inch (30 × 45cm) pieces of parchment paper into a 5-inch (12cm) disc. (Rolling the pastry between the paper avoids using flour or icing sugar, which would change the flavour and texture of the pastry.) Transfer the pastry (between the parchment) to a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight. (By partly rolling the dough now, it won’t need to be worked as much to get it to the correct dimensions later. The pastry needs to stay as cold as possible to prevent splitting or shrinking, so flattening the dough now, rather than shaping it into a ball, is helpful.)
- When you are ready to bake, place a 10-inch (25cm) non-stick tart ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Alternatively, you can use a 10-inch/25cm round tart pan with a removeable bottom and lightly rub butter on the bottom and sides.)
- Roll out the chilled pastry between the parchment paper into a 12-inch (30cm) circle, about ¼ inch (5mm) thick. Place the pastry back into the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Working quickly and confidently, remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Gently flip the pastry over the tart ring (or tart pan) and carefully ease and press it into the corners. Return the pastry to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).
- Using a small knife, trim off the excess dough, leaving ½ inch (1cm) on the sides to allow for shrinking during baking. Keep the trim, covered and in the fridge, in case you need to make repairs later.
- Lightly prick holes all across the surface of the pastry with a fork. (This is called docking and allows steam to escape during baking, preventing the pastry from puffing up.) Line the pastry with a sheet of plastic wrap, leaving some overhang, and fill with baking beans, dried chickpeas, or rice. (This will weigh the pastry down to keep it flat.)
- Bake the pastry case until the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and carefully lift out the plastic wrap and beans. If there are any holes or tears in the pastry, use the reserved trim to patch them up. There must be no holes in the pastry, or the filling will run straight through it. Return the pastry case to the oven to bake until the base is light golden brown and any “repair” pastry has had a chance to bake a little, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the baked tart case from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
Make the filling and bake the pie
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan liquid egg and cornstarch until smooth. Add the butter, maple syrup, golden syrup, molasses, vanilla, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the 250g (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) pecan pieces and mix with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the filling into the baked tart case and gently spread it to an even layer. Decorate the top with the 100g (¾ cup) pecan halves. Carefully transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the filling is golden brown and just set when jiggled, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the excess pastry from the rim, cutting away from the tart to prevent the pastry crumbling onto the filling. Remove the tart ring.
- Enjoy the pecan pie warm from the oven. Once it has fully cooled, store the pie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
Excerpted from BReD by Edward Tatton and Natasha Tatton. Copyright © 2023 Edward Tatton and Natasha Tatton. Photography by Janis Nicolay. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All
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