passover week 2016 - passover maple syrup pecan pie

Last year I discovered a pastry recipe in Belinda Jeffery's book, Mix and Bake, that could be adapted for Passover. I made some little fig frangipane tartlets and they turned out quite well. Emboldened I thought I'd try making something a little larger this year and decided to make a pecan pie. I used maple syrup in the filling as corn syrup isn't Passover friendly. 

The pastry is very delicate but somehow I managed to get in into the pie tin. Don't even try to wrap it around the rolling pin before easing it into the pie plate as that technique won't work here. Either pat the pastry into the tin using your hands or roll it between 2 sheets of non stick paper and upend the pastry into the tin while holding your breath and crossing your fingers for luck!

The pie came out of the oven looking pretty good but the crust is so delicate if you look at it, it shatters. I was worried I wouldn't be able to successfully cut a slice but chilling it helped to firm the pastry.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. 

Passover Maple Pecan Pie - makes a 20-23 cm tart

120g almond meal
Pinch of salt
3½ tablespoons Passover baking mix (equal quantities superfine matzo meal and potato flour)
75g very cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks (I'd reduce this to 60g next time)

½ cup caster sugar
2 tbs potato flour (this helps to set the filling)
3 eggs
1 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted butter
1½ cups (175g) toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. For the crust, put the almond meal, salt and Passover baking mix into food processor and whiz together until combined. Add butter and whiz some more until it forms coarse breadcrumbs. Press the crumbs into the 20 - 23cm flan tin or if you like, roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper before wrangling the pastry into the tin. It will crack so you'll need to patch it. Put the pie crust in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

To make the filling, combine the sugar, the potato flour, the eggs, syrup and the melted butter. Chop approximately ¾ of the pecans, add to the mixture and stir to combine. Pour carefully into the prepared tin. Arrange the remaining pecans decoratively on the top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 180°C or until the filling is well browned and just set. Remove to a wire rack and cool. Once the pie has cooled return it to the fridge and leave overnight to allow the pastry to firm. Serve with a dollop of cream for a job well done!

The verdict - the pastry is very brittle so next time I wouldn't bake this in a pie tin. Instead I'd use a fluted 20-23cm flan tin with a removable base that way it would be easier to cut and serve a neat slice. As the pastry is so delicate, the filling although delicious soaked into the pastry resulting in a soggy bottom. In the end, the pastry probably works better for little tarts than one large pie so I guess my search for the perfect passover shortcrust pastry continues.

If I can get a cake baked, cooled and styled in time I'll see you all again tomorrow with another recipe from Passover week. If not then I'll see you again next week for Part II of Passover Week.

Bye for now,


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