1 December 2009
I've never had much luck with pastry. My shells always shrunk or drooped in or didn't cook enough or cooked too much. My pies and tarts sometimes tasted ok but they never looked neat and tidy.
I usually blamed it on my oven, its not the best and it has trouble keeping the right temperature.
But I think I just didn't have the right recipe... or the right equipment. Yes I was guilty of trying to make a tart case with just a normal shallow cake tin.
I was almost about to give up and make a pastry case with a ready made shop bought shell (I know, shocking!) but I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Instead I bought myself a proper tart case and found this recipe for the great unshrinkable tart shell.
It was indeed a great recipe, not too much hassle, the only thing you need is patience whilst the pastry cools in the fridge and freezes in the freezer. It did shrink a tiny bit but it didnt slump or flop and it stayed in shape to give a lovely pecan pie.
I follow A LOT of food blogs on my google reader, but strangely none of them came up with a recipe for pecan pie - is it such a given that everyone should know how to make pecan pie?
I tweeted it and the lovely Alice of Snapdragonbeads gave me her Mum's authentic pecan pie recipe - (four large eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup crushed pecans, drop of sherry or bourbon mixed in, I also added cinamonn and a dash of maple syrup).
Whipped it up and poured it into my tart case, baked it for 15 minutes and voila!
Gorgeous! The pastry turned out so well, crisp and sweet and cooked properly all the way round.
(as you can see I also sprinkled it with caster sugar before baking, it didnt really caramelise but it does taste nice! I would suggest using icing sugar or not bothering!).
Watch this space for more tart recipes now that I have found the perfect tart shell!