Friday, 24 June 2016

Pralines and Cream Pie

With all these DELICIOUS burgers, I regularly forget that I ALSO make really awesome desserts.

Like this Pralines and Cream Pie. 

What is Pralines and Cream?  I actually had to go on a fact-finding mission, because I truthfully had no idea.

Pralines and Cream = popular ice cream treat.

Pralines?  A candied nut.  I remember being in St Augustine and my sister-in-law was so wildly excited because this little candy shop we snuck into in the old village had all kinds of Pralines. 

So I thought this pie would be a hit.

Spoiler alert.  It WAS.

First - we'll start off with a pie crust!

In all honesty, the recipe calls for ice water....  But I'm lazy and don't make ice.  I just ran the cold water until it was very very cold.  And then popped the measuring cup into the freezer for a few minutes for good measure.

Well that clearly explains why my water bill is a bazillion dollars.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour.

With the salt.

And the sugar.

Whisk that together.  Then add the cubed butter.  Make sure it's cold! 

Then start cutting the butter into the flour.  You can use a fork to do this.  But I really like my pastry blender.  But then you need a fork later on to mix in the water.  So you can do whatever makes you most comfortable.  Or depending on how many dishes you want to wash later on. 

Stir in the water and knead the dough until it comes together.  But don't overdo it or the dough will be tough.

Flatten the dough into a roundish, flattish, disc-shape.  Wrap in cling-wrap and put into the fridge.  Until it's cold.

When you're ready, take the dough-disc out of the fridge and roll out until just a little bigger than your pie plate.

Trim the edges, dock the surface, fill with pie weights (aka - black beans) and bake.  Which I can't show you - because I had a brain fart and forgot about that part.

Next.  The filling.  Or at least "Part 1" of the filling.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter.

Add the brown sugar.

Add the pecans and salt.

And start cooking until the whole lot is syrupy and sticky.  Try not to eat that.

Once the pecan mixture is nice and thickened and syrupy, pour that into the baked (cooled) pie shell.

Then let that cool while you make Part 2 of the filling.

In another medium saucepan (or the one you just cleaned, or a bigger saucepan) over medium-low heat, add the sugar.

Then the cornstarch.

And some of the milk!

Stir it together.  The add the rest of the milk.  Beat the two egg yolks in a small bowl and pour into the milk mixture.

Whisk to combine.

Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until very thick.  Then, scrape out the caviar from a vanilla bean pod and add that.  To get to the vanilla bean caviar, simply split the bean lengthwise and run the blade of a knife along the inside of the bean.

And then add in cubed butter.

Stir it all together until the butter is melted.  Let it cool slightly.  Pour into the pie shell over top of the pecan mixture.

Gently place a piece of cling-wrap on the top of the pie (so that it's directly on the surface of the pudding) and place in the refrigerator.  I like to let this type of pie sit overnight.  Or all day.

Just before serving, whip up some whipped cream to serve with the pie.

And, cue the yum.

Creamy and sweet, with a satisfying slight crunch from the pecans, this was a delightful fresh (though slightly rich) pie.

I would absolutely recommend doubling the pecan part.  I wished there was more of that.  (But I'm a huge pecan pie lover - so that's probably why)

I would also recommend using double the vanilla bean caviar. 

I wasn't fussy about the pie crust - I recommend this one from Alton Brown's Good Eats.  It's flaky and wonderful!

I think my favorite part about this pie was that it's the best of both worlds!  A cream pie married with a pecan pie.  That's pretty much heaven.

I hope you enjoy it too!

xoxo - Heather

Pralines and Cream Pie
1 recipe pie crust, baked and cooled
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, separated, whites discarded and yolks slightly beaten
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Caviar from 1 vanilla bean (original recipe calls for 1/2 a bean) or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Start the pecan filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, pecans, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thickened and bubbling.
  2. Pour the pecan mixture into the prepared pie crust and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add 1/4 cup of whole milk and whisk until combined and no lumps remain.
  4. Whisk in the beaten egg yolks and the rest of the milk.  Cook until the mixture starts to thicken and is just beginning to bubble.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, stirring constantly.  Cook until the mixture is quite thick.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean caviar (or extract if using) and the cubes of butter.  Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Cool for about 10 minutes then pour over top of the cooled pecan mixture and spread to even out the surface.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap onto the surface of the pie.  This will prevent a skin from forming on the top of the pudding.  Place pie into the fridge for at least 2 hours - up to overnight.
  9. Serve with whipped cream.
Source: Bake or Break

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