Pecan Surprise

How to make a delicious home-made pecan pie.

Some friends gave us pecan nuts and Mum decided she wanted to make pecan pie. Dad found her a recipe on the internet. She looked at it and groaned. Mum’s not good with fiddly things—remember the cheesecake a few weeks ago?

Luckily for Mum, Dad cracked those nuts because otherwise she would have broken her nails.

The ingredients needed for the pastry were the following:

  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • cup of cold butter (cut into small blocks)
  • half a tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of iced water

You had to sieve the flour and salt first. Then, using your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the flour until it’s all crumbly. Then add the caster sugar to the flour and mix in the egg yolk, water and lemon juice. Knead the dough for around ten minutes, then wrap it in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for an hour.

After an hour, you roll out that dough that’s been chilling in the fridge (literally – hahaha) and line a pie tin (or a pie dish). Prick the base of the pasty with a fork and blind bake it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes at 180oC

That’s just the pastry base people.

For the filling:

  • 3 large eggs,
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 80ml golden syrup
  • 3/4 of a cup of pecan nuts.

While the base is cooking, whip up the filling quick. Beat the eggs (you can chuck in the left over egg white from the pastry too), add the melted butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and vanilla essence. When the mixture becomes sort of foamy, it’s ready.

When the base is cooked, fill it with the nuts and pour the sweet eggy mixture over the top. Bake it for about 40 minutes.

Mum made the pie exactly according to the recipe the first time. It was absolutely divine.

The second time (a week later) she did not bother with any of the fancy stuff.  She melted the pastry butter in the micro, mixed all the ingredients up, chucked the dough directly into the pie dish and baked it immediately.

Sometimes you have to make something properly the first time, to realise that you can take short cuts.

It tasted equally delicious!

Sibo

PS – If you’d like to know how to crack a pecan nut – see here.

Cookies

Sibo with a cookie 2

In honour of International Woman’s Day (8th March) – not to be confused with our South African National Women’s Day on the 9th August – I decided to write a blog about cookies.

Yum!

My mum has this incredibly easy recipe that I thought I’d share with you. Just make sure that you get your parental agent to help you out when using the oven please.

This is what you need for the basic sugar dough recipe:

125gm margarine (that’s a quarter of a block)
1 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 egg
2 cups of flour
Pinch of salt
Teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Heat the oven to 180oC.

Melt the margarine in the micro (or leave it out of the fridge for a while until it gets nice and soft). Add the sugar, salt and vanilla essence and mix it all up.

Crack in the egg and stir it well. Lastly you add the flour and mix it all up together.

Using a teaspoon (or you can roll the dough into little balls in your hands if you don’t mind getting a bit sticky) drop small amounts onto a well-greased cookie tray.

Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. (This is the bit where you might need some adult supervision – you do not want to burn yourself on the oven.)  Gently flatten the top of the cookies with a fork. (Sometimes it works better if you put the fork into a cup of hot water first.)  You should get at least 24 cookies out of this mixture.

When they are cooked and you take them out of the oven – let the cookies stand on the tray for a little while before you transfer them onto a wire rack to cool down properly.  If you move them too soon they may break or crumble.

You can also do variations of this recipe – add a cup of coconut, crushed peanuts (just put a handful or two into a small bag and bash them with a rolling pin), two spoonfuls’ of peanut butter or if you want chocolate biscuits – add two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the basic recipe. If your mixture gets a bit dry you can always use 2 eggs instead of 1. If it’s too wet – add a bit more flour.

Once you get good at baking tasty cookies you could always sell them at school markets, or make extra-special ones for birthday presents to give to the people that you love.

Happy baking,

Sibo