I thought for this FF I would give a rather famous treat a go! As I understand it, Pecan Pie is a big thing overseas. I see a lot of recipes for it online, and a lot of them pop up on foodgawker in particular, along with pumpkin based treats, as it rolls into autumn overseas. Or that’s what I’ve noticed at least. The pecan season might actually be quite different. But we don’t have much to do with pecan pie here, rather I have seen a lot of pecan tarts, and so I had never even had it before I made this recipe.
I can now understand the attraction.
I was flipping through my copy of 200 Gluten Free Recipes, when I spotted this recipe for little pecan pies. It looked simple enough, and after a bit of research of what I could use instead of chickpea flour I also realised it was going to be simple to put together. I have also now picked up some brown rice flour, as people keep telling me I should give it a go, and it’s become available at a regular supermarket near me, so I did. So all I had to change in the pie crust was to swap the chickpea flour for buckwheat. Not too hard. However, next time I will probably also look at what I can use instead of polenta. It had a good flavour, but I don’t know – something in me wants to see what I can do with another ingredient! This is also the first time I have made this sort of gluten-free pie crust from scratch! So I was rather nervous. But it turned out to be a success! Although, I did notice the baking tray the little tart pans sat on became greasy, so I’m wondering if they didn’t ooze a little butter grease as they were cooking. Still. The dough crisped up just fine in the oven!
The filling was also quick to make, requiring ingredients I had on hand. I did end up with a little extra filling and a little extra dough, as I didn’t have big enough tart pans on hand. Mine are about 8cm, their recommended size was about 11.5cm. But I get the feeling that the optimum sizing is actually somewhere in-between the two. However, these ended up baking beautifully, and were wonderful warm with a bit of lactose free thickened cream! Yum!
Adapted From 200 Gluten Free Recipe’s
Makes: up to 9, 8cm round pecan pies, Prep: 25-30 mins + 1 hr chill, Cook: up to 25 mins
Pie Crust Ingredients
- 75g brown rice flour
- 50g chickpea flour (I used buckwheat flour)
- 75g fine polenta (Believe me, you do want it fine)
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tbsp caster sugar (I used 2tbsp regular sugar and ground it up a bit)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Up to 1tbsp of cold water (use sparingly)
- NOTE: The recipe recommends 1tsp xantham gum, but I left it out.
- 100g brown sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 125g honey
- up to 175g pecan nuts, about 3/4 of which should be chopped, the rest is for topping
- 2 eggs, beaten
- To make the crust, combine the flours, sugar and butter in a food processor and whizz until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs, or do this by hand.
- Stir in the egg very thoroughly, and then add a little water at a time until the mix forms a dough, which you can knead for a few minutes and then form into a ball. You really don’t need a lot of water, I used the whole tbsp and that might have been a little much.
- Wrap the dough ball in clingwrap and put it in the fridge to chill for an hour.
- When there’s about twenty or so minutes of chill time left, get making the filling and pre-heating the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced, or 160C fan-forced for the smaller tart pans. The size of your little pans will determine the cooking temp, as I found 180C too hot for the really little tart pans, but I think it would be perfect for the bigger ones).
- Pop the honey, butter and sugar into a saucepan and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted, stirring all the while. Put this aside to cool for ten mins.
- Grease and line your loose bottom tart pans.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and knead it a little to make it workable. Divide it into about 9 portions, place them on a surface lightly dusted with rice flour, and roll each out to about 2.5mm thickness. Press the dough circles into the tart pans and pop them on a baking tray.
- Now back to the filling. Toss through about 3/4 of the pecans, the chopped ones, and the remaining two eggs and stir until well combined. Then spoon/pour this mixture into the waiting pie shells and pop the whole lot in the oven.
- The bigger tart tins might only need about 15-20 mins of cooking time, but at a lower temperature for the smaller tart pans I baked mine for about 20-25 mins.
- You’ll know the pecan pies are done when their a darker brown on top, the filling is mostly set – but still a little wobbly, and a toothpick inserted into their centres comes out clean.
- Leave to cool completely in the tins before attempting to remove.
- Serve with your favourite cream or ice-cream!