Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deeper Dish

Ouch.  I made a visit to the grocery store today (Kroger) to buy all the stuff you can't find at Whole Foods Paycheck, like affordable paper towels, glass cleaner and dog treats.  Along the way, several bottles of wine also found their way into my shopping cart.  When I checked out, I was asked for my ID (how ridiculous).  The cashier looked at it, looked at me and said, "it's Senior Citizen's Day; you're eligible for a senior citizen's discount." 

WTF?????  Seriously????? 

Tragically, yes.  Turns out you have to be 55 to qualify and unfortunately that applies to me.  Guess that means I am officially "old."  Who knew?  It sure ruined my day!

I will, however, admit to a habit that is now attributed to older folks and that's sitting at the kitchen table every morning with a cup of coffee and a newspaper.  Especially if it's the Dining Section of the New York Times.

I was especially intrigued by a recent article by Julia Moskin entitled "Pie to Cupcake:  Time's Up."  The gist of the piece was about how pies are being transformed by young, innovative bakers (based on the above story, that does not apply to me) and how cupcakes are being replaced by some of these creations.  The one that really caught my eye was the Rye Pecan Pie from the folks at Diner in Brooklyn.  Not because it was a unique recipe for pecan pie but BECAUSE IT WAS BAKED IN A SPRINGFORM PAN.  Of course, I had to try it.

Now, you already have my recipe for Pecan Tarts from Watershed.  As far as I'm concerned, you never need another recipe for pecan pie other than this.

Nonetheless, I'm posting this one anyway, as much for the technique as the filling.  It gives a whole new meaning to deep dish pie.  It was stunning in its presentation and I can't wait to adapt it to other variations.  Lemon meringue and coconut cream versions, here I come!

BOURBON PECAN PIE (adapted from Diner)

For the crust:
2 ½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
½ pound cold, unsalted butter, diced
½ cup ice water (more as needed)
About 5 cups dried beans (for blind-baking)

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, salt and sugar at low speed until just blended. Add butter and mix until pea-sized lumps form. Increase speed to medium-low and add ½ cup ice water in a slow, steady stream, mixing until dough just comes together. If dough seems crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time until dough sticks together when pinched. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to three days. Dough can also be frozen for up to a month.

Open a 10-inch springform pan, flip the bottom over so the outside surface faces in, then close. This will make removing the pie easier, by preventing the dough from sinking into the pan’s crease. Spray pan with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough into a 16-inch circle. Ease it into the prepared pan and fit dough down into the edges. Press the sides firmly against pan and pinch around the top rim. Trim dough so it hangs over the rim by one inch. Freeze until very cold, for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Lay a piece of parchment or waxed paper in pan, then a piece of aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans to top of pan. Bake 15 to 25 minutes, until the sides of the crust have set and turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and carefully lift out foil, parchment and beans. Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until just golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the pie filling:
5 extra-large eggs
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla paste (or extract)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 cups finely chopped pecans
2 ½ cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, molasses, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and bourbon. Pour into the prebaked pie shell in springform. Sprinkle chopped pecans over surface then arrange pecan halves on top in concentric circles until entire surface is covered. Do not overlap.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes until filling is just set in center. Let cool completely, then use a serrated knife to saw off overhanging pie crust. Carefully remove outer ring of pan. Slice with a very large, sharp knife and serve with a dollop or two of freshly whipped cream.

Serves 12

Here are a few pictures of the process.  I hope you try it and adapt it to your own taste in pies.  Let me know how it turns out!

No comments:

Post a Comment