Allyson Gofton - Pecan Pie for Halloween

Publish Date
Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 10:38AM
By Allyson Gofton

Pecans come from the hickory tree and are related to walnuts. It’s about where the comparisons finish. Pecans, with their ginger-beer brown colour, elongated shape, buttery rich texture and hint of sweetness, pecans are a nut that pairs well with sweet foods such, as in desserts and baking, though when paired with dried fruits are a delight in savoury foods such as stuffings.

Always keep any nut in a cool place such as the fridge or freezer, where, given their low moisture content, they can be taken out and replaced with no adverse effect on their flavour. Do though, try to buy from places where there is a good stock turn over as nuts, with their high oil content will go rancid quickly.

Pecan And Chocolate Pie
Native to North America, pecan nuts are famous worldwide for their delicious contribution to the dessert trolley - in the form of Pecan Nut Pie. This version is very rich and the cocoa adds a warm mellow flavour. Pecan Pie is best eaten warm with lashings of whipped cream.

1¼ cups flour
Pinch salt
¼ cup caster sugar
125 grams butter
½ tblsp water

About 1½ cups whole, perfect pecans
¼ cup cocoa
6 egg yolks
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup golden syrup
75 grams butter
¼ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla essence

Icing sugar and dark chocolate (optional)


  1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and butter into a food processor and process until the mixture forms crumbs.
  2. Pulse in sufficient water until it forms small, moist balls of dough that when squeezed in your hand will hold together. Turn out compact into a ball, then let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Roll out to line the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottom flan tin.
  4. Line with baking paper and fill with baking blind material (rice, beans etc). Bake blind at 200°C for 15 minutes. Remove the baking blind beans and paper and return the flan to the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until cooked.

  5. Arrange the pecans evenly over the bottom of the flan. This can be at random or in a pattern.
  6. In a saucepan put the cocoa, egg yolks, sugar, golden syrup, butter, double cream and vanilla essence and stir over a low heat until the mixture is well blended. Strain.
  7. Pour slowly over the pecans so that they rise evenly to the top
  8. Bake at 170°C for 40-45 minutes.
  9. Let stand for 1 hour before serving. Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar and a drizzling of melted dark chocolate if wished.

Cooks Tips:

  • Keep this pie covered at room temperature. In the refrigerator it will become hard and chewy.
  • Keep pecans (and all other nuts) securely sealed in the freezer. Their high oil content will make them go rancid if left in a hot kitchen cupboard.
  • Pecans have more flavour if lightly toasted. Place them in a 180ºC oven for 10 minutes. Cool before using.
  • Salted peanuts are delicious. Toast them as above and while hot toss them in a dash of olive oil and crushed sea salt. Cool.
  • Walnuts can be substituted for pecans in all recipes.

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