This is one of those recipes that I've had for aaaaages but never done because I thought it would be too hard or fiddly. I got the recipe from a colleague at work who is a brilliant cook and baker, and whips up all kinds of things at the drop of a hat. She sometimes makes these for special morning teas at work and we all "ooh" and "ahh" about them because they look so fancy and special. They also taste delicious and are the perfect type of thing when you want "just a mouthful". So now I have discovered that they are deceptively simple!
The only ingredient I needed to buy was the Pecan Nuts. I already had some frozen sweet short pastry (yes I know, a cooks cheat), and everything else is pantry staples.
You could make your own pastry, it's included in the recipe, and it looks pretty easy too.
Obviously here in New Zealand we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I do think about it as I have a few American friends. I like the idea of having a special dinner and thinking about everything that you are thankful for in the past year. I am thankful for family this year. I am especially thankful for my little boy, who is so happy and healthy. Every day he is growing and learning something new and bringing a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts. What are you thankful for this year?
1 cup flour
½ cup icing sugar
1 sheet frozen sweet short pastry
Filling1 cup Pecan nuts
60g melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
MethodIf making pastry: Place 125g butter, flour and icing sugar in a food processor and run machine until it all clumps together in a ball around the blade.
With floured hands, divide the mixture into 16 balls and press into the bases and sides of non-stick mini-muffins tins.
If using frozen pastry: Allow to thaw until pliable. Using a cookie cutter (I used a drinking glass), cut out 16 circles and press into greased mini-muffin tins.
Fill the cases evenly with the Pecan nuts, breaking into pieces if necessary to fit. Chill for at least 30 minutes to set the pastry firm, this is an important step!
Mix melted 60g of butter with egg, brown sugar and vanilla essence to a smooth, gluey mixture. Spoon this into the nut-filled pastry cases being careful not to overfill.
Top with an extra nut if desired.
Baked in a pre-heated oven 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling puffed and crisp. Remove from oven.
Allow to cool slightly in the tins before removing. Remove carefully by twisting slightly.
Dust cooled pies with icing sugar if desired.
Some side notes:
As I was using frozen pastry, I did not chill the pastry as I figured it had already set!
I had quite a bit of the filling leftover, I think it would have been enough to make at least 18 if not 24 pies, but I didn't have anymore pastry!
Make sure you watch them carefully as mine were just golden on the tops, but a few were still a little soft at the bottom.
Wouldn't these be the perfect thing to have at your Thanksgiving meal? Something small and decadent, yet not overindulgent??!!
If you are looking for other festive recipes, why not try out my Pumpkin Pie recipe!
Special Thanks do my dear colleague for sharing this recipe with me, you know who you are!