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Maple Pecan Pie

In Pies on August 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

fresh from the oven!

My grandmother on my Dad’s side lives in Virginia and is just oh-so-Southern. She sends up bags of pecans a few times a year, but my family just doesn’t really like pecans that much! They were starting to take up freezer space and every year I’d hear my mom grumble “…and the only thing you use pecans for is pecan pie!” I mentioned this story once to a group of guy friends and was stunned when they all yelled “I love pecan pie!” Et voila! I suddenly had a reason to bake a pecan pie. My biggest complaint, and theirs as well, was that pecan pie is generally much too sweet and mushy, so I found a recipe on another baking blog for a Maple Pecan Pie. I replaced almost all the ingredients with organic ones, and used organic all-purpose flour. I pulled my pie crust from another site as well.

For my first pecan pie, it was a huge hit! The top carmelised to perfection, and it was a very good balance of textures; plenty of pecans, not too much filling, and a lot of crunch. The only mistake I made was sightly underdoing the bottom, but now I know better for next time.

Find the original recipe here on Baking Bites. But I didn’t use any of the brown sugar and I went as organic as possible. Organic maple syrup has a very different consistency than processed kinds, so it does make a difference.

i did a really terrible job with the crust... i messed up when i rolled it out, whoops

the bottom was slightly underdone, and here you can see how little filling there is.

Here’s my version:

Maple Pecan Pie
pastry for 9-inch pie crust (i used organic whole wheat all-purpose flour for this as well)
1 cup organic maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp organic whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely chopped organic roasted and salted pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate and press lightly into place, crimping edges to fit. (If using a frozen pie crust, thaw first)
In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, sugars, eggs, melted butter, flour, vanilla and salt until smooth.
Spread the pecans into the bottom of the pie shell and pour maple syrup mixture over the top. Carefully transfer pie to oven.
Bake for 60 minutes, until puffed and set.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Serves 8-10

Cream Cheese Pound Cake + caramel c-cheese frosting

In Cakes on August 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

everyone came downstairs when i pulled this out of the oven

After baking the Maple Pecan Pie, I looked for a recipe to use the leftover roasted/salted pecans for. I was also looking for a good mildly sweet cake for a b-day cake test run and happily stumbled upon this Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe.

What you can’t see in the photo above is that there are chopped pecans mixed in the cake, but also a horde of coursely chopped ones lining the bottom! See below.

o heavens above!

pulled from the tube pan

finished product!

Looks ready for a party, eh?

I took the pound cake recipe from the Bake or Break blog.

Plum Skillet (not in a skillet) Cake

In Cakes on August 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

i'm so glad i clipped it from a magazine

I was killing time at a friend’s house and caught myself flipping through Martha Stewart Living. Toward the back of the magazine, there were some summery seasonal recipes, and one of them was this: the Plum Skillet Cake. It was very easy to make and reliant on the freshness and quality of the plums.

It turned out wonderfully; perfectly spongy and dense. The best part about it was that it wasn’t all that sweet, which allowed the richness of the plum slices to add tang. Next time I’ll be using more plums and probably use a bigger pan so that it turns out thinner. I’m also thinking of making a little spicy plum jam to eat it with.

the last piece!

– – –

I actually can’t find the blasted recipe cut-out, but found a recipe that sounds about right somewhere else online for a cherry skillet cake. So here’s the skillet cake recipe part and I edited it accordingly. **I used one perfectly ripened plum, and one slightly firm one.

Plum Skillet Cake

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup organic whole wheat all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon course salt
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ripe plums

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash, pit  and finely slice plums. Butter an 8 inch cast-iron skillet (or in my case, a 10-in square cake pan) and dust it with about a tablespoon of flour, tapping out the excess flour. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined.  Then add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating between the two (a little flour, a little buttermilk, a little flour, a little buttermilk, etc.).

Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet. You will be surprised at how little batter this makes so no sneaking bites. You might even choose to use a hand held mixer for this cake.

Fan the sliced plums out on top of the batter, and sprinkle a small handful of brown sugar on top of the plums and cake batter.

Leave it in for about 30 minutes and enjoy!