OK, confession time: I have unearthed a discovery too good not to share. Yes that’s right, a secret and it’s high time I told you about it. Get your pen and paper ready because this one’s for your eyes only. Can you keep a secret?
Ok here goes. I know the secret ingredient for baking a perfect pie pastry. Yes that light, flakey, rich kind of pastry. And it’s perfect pastry my friends thanks to this very special ingredient. Do you want to know what it is already? (for goodness sake!) Well it’s kind of a scary secret ingredient. Drum roll. You gotta use the lard my friends. Yes, LARD!!
Oh pfff lard. How boring you say. I have to admit, you’re kind of right. Lard is boring. Yuck. Have you ever heard of such of fuss over a lump of lard before!? Sorry, maybe that was a little anti-climactic. I mean, really. Well, I can’t explain the mystery behind the lard-magic but for whatever reason, lard pastry creates the perfect pastry. I promise you that. Sorry butter! You gotta take the side lines on this one. Lard is your unattractive cousin who wins in this baking battle. Hands down! Lard takes first place!!
If any dessert could define fall for me, it would be pie. What about you, are you pie-eyed like me this time of year? Apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, any-of-the-above-pie. I can’t get enough. Pies are just so wonderfully flavourful, colourful and delicious–kind of like the season itself.
BC is lucky to get a bounty of autumn produce perfect for baking which only helps encourage my pie-brain to get into action. The Okanagan is dripping with BC-fruit ripe for the picking like Gala, Honey Crisp, Ambrosia and Spartan apples, Right now, Ambrosia Apple Pie is my go-to. What’s your favourite pie-of-the-moment? Well thanks to this recent discovery for making the perfect pie pastry, there is no stopping me. So tell-all! Maybe I’ll bake you one if you ask nice ;)
Let’s start with this one: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. A good place to begin, because not only do we use a perfectly flaky pie-crust for this pie, we have a beautiful pie that seems to encapsulate all that is fall in its rich, nutty and chocolatey flavour. Slice me a piece and serve it with ice cream please and thank you. Oh and bourbon. Bourbon has been snuck into this recipe! Need I say more?
Blue Owl’s Perfect Pie Pastry
5½ cups of all-purpose flour 2 tsp salt 1 lb (464 g) Tenderflake lard 1 tbsp vinegar 1 egg, lightly beaten Ice Water
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Tenderflake Pie Crust
- Whisk together flour and salt.
- Cut in Tenderflake with pastry blender or 2 knives until the lard is pea sized within the flour.
- In a 1 cup measure combine the vinegar and egg.
- Add the ice water to make 1 cup.
- Gradually stir liquid into Tenderflake mixture, adding only enough liquid to make dough cling together.
- Gently gather the dough into a ball and divide into 6 equal portions.
- Wrap the portions and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes (if you are using right away) or freeze for future use.
- When you are ready to use and the dough has chilled for at least another 15 minutes, roll out each portion on lightly floured surface. If the dough is sticking, chill again for another hour or two. The dough must be cold to be flaky!
- Transfer the prepared dough to pie plate.
- Trim and flute shells or crusts and bake according to your pie recipe.
- Yield: 3 9-inch double crust pies or 6 pie shells.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Bake: 350 F 20-30 mins. Serving: 6-8 people .
1 cup whole or half pecan 1/2 cup 70% chocolate chips 4 large egg yolks 1/3 cup corn syrup 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup 35 MF cream 1/8 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 4 tsp bourbon
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Scatter pecans and chocolate chips over bottom of pie shell. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together egg yolks, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, cream and salt. Stir occasionally but do not bring to a boil. When butter has melted and mixture has thickened slightly, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and bourbon (yes!).
- Pour filling over chocolate chips and pecans until pecans and chocolate are covered. Place pie in centre rack of your oven and bake until filling is bubbling/when your kitchen smells like caramel/nutty/chocolate/bourbon heaven. (around 20-30 minutes). Cool completely then chill before serving.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Pan Chancho Cookbook, courtesy of my friend Reidun Van Kervel.
And there you go. A delicious pie recipe to bake for yourself, your friends or family on a cold autumn night this month. Let me know how you like it! I’d love to hear.
I hope you have a wonderful month ahead full of crisp afternoon sunlight, hot drinks to enjoy and cozy nights spent with you favourite people.
PS: The First Date: Team dinner or drinks? (Team drinks!)
PPS: Vancouverites: 10 things that you should absolutely do between now and next week (I want to check out PechaKucha, one of my fav nights out!)
PPPS: Photos from my trip to the mountains last weekend. Wow do we ever live in a beautiful part of this country.