Brown Butter Pecan Pie With Espresso Dates


MAKES One 9-inch pie, TIME Active 1 hr; Total 5 hr 15 min plus cooling


This filling is swirled with toasty brown butter and studded with rich and chewy dates cooked in espresso, which helps cut the sweetness you expect in most pecan pies. The recipe was adapted from the Soframiz cookbook by Maura Kilpatrick and Ana Sortun of Sofra bakery in Boston.

CRUST
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ tsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and frozen
  • Ice water
FILLING
  • 2 cups pecan halves (7 oz.)
  • ½ lb. Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1½ tsp. instant espresso powder
DIRECTIONS

1. MAKE THE CRUST In a food processor, pulse the 1¼ cups of flour with the granulated sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add ¼ cup of ice water and pulse until the dough is evenly moistened. Gradually add more water if needed. Turn out the dough onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round; transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the edge of the dough under itself and crimp. Freeze the crust for at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned around the edge. Remove the paper and weights and bake until the bottom is lightly browned, about 10 minutes longer. Let the crust cool completely.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

5. In a small skillet, cook the dates in the brewed espresso over moderate heat, stirring, until very soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and wipe out the skillet.

6. Add the butter to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, swirling, until the milk solids turn a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

7. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar with the golden syrup, espresso powder and salt. Whisk in the eggs, then gradually whisk in the brown butter until the filling is smooth.

8. Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the espresso dates in the crust and scatter the pecans on top. Pour the filling over the pecans. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the filling is set around the edge and slightly jiggly in the center. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream.


MAKE AHEAD The pie can be covered and kept at room temperature for 3 days. The unbaked crust can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for 1 month.


Excerpted from Desserts by the Editors of FOOD & WINE. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved. Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2sLLXBv 

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