“Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.”
~ Douglas Jerrold 1803-1857
Something very cool happened yesterday afternoon as we went for a family walk to wheel the rubbish bin (it’s a glamorous life on the farm LOL!) down our long driveway to the road.
As I trailed behind Ben and the dogs I spied a funny shaped rock on the grass.
Only it wasn’t a rock, it was a pecan nut!
The straggly-looking trees lining one side of our driveway are young pecan trees and this year was their first fruiting. They were planted before we came, and we’ve nursed them along, not knowing what they were.
Oh my goodness. I’m a pecan farmer!!!
Ben and I scrabbled around and I filled my apron pocket with nuts. There are still a few more to drop, but it’s not a bad first harvest.
What to do with fresh pecans besides stuff some immediately into your mouth? Pecan pie. I love this recipe – it’s easy to make, and not too sweet or rich.
Ingredients – Short Crust Easy Pastry:
1 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
125g butter (4 and 1/2 ounces), chilled (unsalted if you have it) and cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tblspns cold water
(for a sweeter pastry you can add 1 tablespoon icing sugar)
Put flour in a food processor, and add a few chunks of butter. Run on, and then slowly feed in the rest of the butter until your mixture looks like crumbs. Add yolk and water and mix again until it is just together (it’s okay to add a little extra water if needed). Dump out onto a sheet of cling wrap, form into a disc, wrap and rest in fridge for ten minutes.
Find a 20 centimetre (9 inch) spring-form pan, or pan with removable base if possible, or ordinary pie dish if not! Grease well.
Roll chilled pastry out thinly between two sheets of cling wrap or greaseproof paper. Take top piece off and use bottom sheet to turn pastry upside down and manuever pastry into dish. Remove plastic or paper, press in gently and trim off edges. Keep any extra pastry for little pie cases or turnovers etc. Pop back in fridge ten mins to rest.
**Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius (375 degrees fahrenheit)
Bake blind for ten minutes (ie place sheet of baking paper in pie dish and weigh down with rice, beans etc), then remove paper and rice and cook eight to ten more minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on bench while you make filling.
** Turn down oven to 180 degrees celcius!! (350 degrees fahrenheit)
Ingredients for Pecan Filling:
1/2 cup Golden Syrup
1/3 cup soft brown sugar
50 grams (3 and 1/2 tablespoons) melted butter
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups pecans (depending on how deep your dish is)
Put all ingredients except nuts in bowl and mix well. Add nuts and stir to cover then pour mixture into pie dish.
Check that you turned the oven down! Bake pie for 20 minutes, checking in the last few minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. (If it looks like it’s getting too brown turn oven down or remove pie.)
Cool at least a little before you eat (the roof of your mouth will thank you), and enjoy with cream or ice-cream.