Who needs an excuse for a party? Silly question a know and certainly not me, so while I’m not American I always think thanksgiving is a great excuse to wheel out the gourds, Stars and Stripes, Americana …..and of course pecan pie!!
This year I thought I’d found a wonderful twist on this classic in Joy the Baker’s Homemade Decadence . Little did I know that this humble slice would be such a hit. Apparently it is more correctly labelled a Derby Pie Bar, named after the famous Kenyucky Derby, but whatever you call it I know all you pecan lovers are going to devour it.
120g icing (confectioners) sugar
½ tsp salt
130g chilled unsalted butter
Large pinch of pumpkin pie spice ( or mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
250g pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
60g unsalted butter, melted
150g light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
170g maple syrup or corn syrup
30g bourbon (of course you can leave this out BUT believe me it is worth leaving in!)
170g dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 180°c/350°F
For the shortbread base pulse the flour, spices, and butter until mixture starts to clump together. I use turbo pulse on Thermomix but you can easily do this in a food processor ( it’ll just take longer).
Press the mixture into a prepared (parchment lined) tin of choice- a 23cmx33cm/9″x13″ or a 25cm/10″ square work well. This will give a rich deep slice but if you want to serve more people use a couple of smaller tins.
Bake the base for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Always keep a careful eye on your baked goods in case your oven temperature is not ‘true’. I baked mine in the lower (baking)Aga for 12 minutes.
Remove and set aside while you make the topping. Don’t turn the oven off 🙂
For the pecan topping , first toast the pecans. Honestly, you should almost always toast nuts before baking (even if the recipe doesn’t say so) since it seriously enhances the flavour! As pecans are so easy to break up I wouldn’t use the Thermomix – you may end up with powder. I think you want this slice to be chunky.
Melt butter in the TM bowl at 50° before weighing in the sugar, salt and syrup. Blend on sp4 then with blades turn sp4 gradually add the eggs, bourbon. Add the chocolate chips ( if you are not using callebaut style small chocolate chips grind your chocolate into smaller pieces before you start) and finally fold in the toasted pecans- use reverse blade to avoid extra grinding of nuts.
If mixing in a stand mixer just add ingredients in that order, whisk you eggs before adding and mix well.3-4 minutes in total. Personally I would fold the chocolate chips and pecans in at the end by hand.
Pour evenly over the baked shortbread and bake for 25-30minutes, until set. Don’t attempt to cut while warm! (Even though the smell will make you drool!)