The Perfect Pecan Pie!

We are huge fans of new bakery Butterscotch in West London – purveyors of hand-made deliciousness from their signature cupcakes to brownies and madeleines.

Founder Bea Vo launched Bea’s of Bloomsbury back in 2008 before leaving the company to launch Butterscotch online in 2014. Since then, Bea has been baking around the world and opened three restaurants before moving into White City Place with her gorgeous new venture.

Here – in time for Thanksgiving – she shares her fabulous recipe for pecan pie.

Pecan Pie

Pâte Brisée dough (enough for 2 x 23-cm/9-inch tarts)

  • 280 g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 140 g/1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, cut into 2cm/¾ inch cubes and chilled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 23cm/9-inch tart pan or pie plate, greased
  • baking beans

Pecan Pie mix (enough for 2 pies) 

  • 500 g pecans, half lightly crushed to fill nooks and crannies, half whole
  • 7 large eggs
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 400 g dark brown sugar
  • 400 g golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (don’t use the fake stuff!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (needed to balance against the sweetness)
  • 40 g flour

Bourbon Glaze: 

  • 100 g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2-3 tablespoons bourbon (or more if you like)

1. Pate Brisee dough: put the flour, butter and salt in a large bowl and rub between your fingertips until a nice golden, sand-like texture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2.  Add the ice-cold water and mix with a table knife until just combined. It should look sandy and clumpy. Cut the dough in half. Flatten each half lightly into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and let sit for 10 minutes. You will only need one portion of dough, so freeze the other one for another time.

3. Preheat the oven to 160 ̊C fan (315 ̊F) Gas 4.

4. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the disc until 5 mm/ 3/8 inch thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll it over the prepared tart pan and smooth out the dough inside the pan. Roll the pin over the pan and trim off excess dough around the edge. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

5. Remove the pastry base from the fridge and line with parchment paper; fill with baking beans. Prick holes and blind-bake in a preheated oven for 20–25 minutes until dry and a light golden colour.  It should puff up quite a bit. This you can always do a day or so ahead; just put it in the freezer after blind-baking and if you need a pie in a hurry, make the filling mix, add to the pastry base and stick in the oven.

6. Pecan Pie filling: In one bowl mix together caster sugar, dark brown sugar and flour. In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs until beaten. Mix this sugar-flour mix together with the beaten eggs, golden syrup, butter, vanilla and salt. Finally add pecans.

7. Pour into the pastry base, then bake in an oven preheated to 160-175 degrees (depending on what your oven is like – everyone needs an oven thermometer and lower temp if it’s convection) for 30 minutes.  The top should still be jiggly in the centre;  this is a pie you don’t have to worry too much about underbaking- gooey isn’t a bad thing here. Remove from oven and let it cool.

8. Bourbon Glaze: Meanwhile, melt butter on medium heat and add the brown sugar and water; cook it slightly so the brown sugar dissolves – be careful not to burn. When the sugar looks all melted, take off heat and add the bourbon.  Stir.  Brush this over the pie.