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Boozy Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Boozy Brown Butter Pecan Pie
Boozy Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Pecan pie might be an American Thanksgiving classic, but really it's a showstopper dessert for any occasion where you want to seriously impress!

As well as making it entirely plant-based, we've added whole new dimensions of flavour by adding a dash of dark liqueur, a gorgeous nutty brown butter and glazing the pecans in a candied sugar crust before blitzing. True decadence for a special occasion.

We like to use some extra pecans to decorate the top, but this is entirely optional!

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients
Method

Before you start

Preheat oven to 180˚C, fan setting | Food processor | 2 medium saucepans, one ideally light coloured | 23cm non-stick loose bottom pie or quiche tin (grease with plant-based butter if needed) | Heatproof bowl | Baking beans or dried rice/beans | Baking parchment | Baking tray | Rolling pin

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 500g block shortcrust pastry
  • Plain flour (for dusting)

For the brown butter

  • 110g plant-based butter block
  • 1 tsp all-natural cashew butter (no additives)

For the pie filling

  • 110g golden syrup
  • 60g maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon or dark rum (amaretto, brandy, cognac or similar dark liqueurs could also work)
  • 150g silken tofu, drained but not pressed
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk (not soya)

For the pecans

  • 300g pecans (with an optional 100g extra for topping)
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • Pinch salt

To serve

  • Pinch flaky sea salt
  • Plant-based vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 orange

Method

  1. 1.

    Prepare the pastry base | Dust a clean surface with flour | Roll out the pastry with a lightly floured rolling pin until it’s roughly ½ cm thick, giving the dough a quarter turn after each roll | Cut out a disc of pastry large enough to line the tin and up the sides with a 5cm overhang (place the tin in the middle of your pastry as a size guide)

    Neatly place the pastry disc inside the tin and gently press it in with your fingers, ensuring you get into all the grooves and corners without any air gaps and being careful not to rip the pastry | Prick the base of your pastry all over with a fork | Chill your lined tin in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or in the fridge for a couple of hours, until very firm and cold to the touch (cover your pastry with cling film if it will be chilled for a long time)

  2. 2.

    Make the brown butter | Add the plant-based butter and cashew butter to a light coloured pan over a low-medium heat | Once the normal butter melts, smush the cashew butter into the mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate | Keep heating while stirring constantly

    All the liquid in the pan will start to foam vigorously for a few minutes, before some golden and clear liquid appears again beneath the foam, with some solid flecks separating out and sinking to the bottom | Keep stirring, until these solid flecks turn a deep, golden brown colour (you may need to spoon away some of the froth on top to make things easier to see) and everything starts to smell toasty and nutty | Immediately remove from the heat while continuing to whisk to stop it cooking

  3. 3.

    Start the pie filling | While the butter is still warm, add the sugar to the brown butter pan and mix to dissolve | Add the maple syrup and golden syrup to the pan and mix until smooth, then leave to cool

  4. 4.

    Blind bake the pastry | Trim off the excess pastry edges with a knife | Place your chilled pastry tin onto a baking sheet | Line your pastry case with parchment paper and baking beans | Bake your pastry case for around 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden with minimal wet grey patches on the base, and the sides can support themselves | Remove the parchment and baking beans, and bake uncovered for around 5-7 minutes until the pastry is dried out, then remove from the oven and leave to cool | Reduce the oven temperature to 160˚C (fan setting)

  5. 5.

    Prepare the pecans | Add the sugar, salt, water and 300g of pecans to a pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to coat in the glaze and toast the nuts | Remove from the pan and spread out the candied pecans in an even layer on parchment to cool completely | If the pecans are still sticky after cooling, the sugar is undercooked - add back to the pan to cook for a few minutes longer and cool again

  6. 6.

    Finish the pie filling | Mix the cornflour with plant-based milk to make a thick liquid, then pour this, the liqueur, silken tofu, salt and cooled brown butter/syrup mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth | Throw in 200g of candied pecans and blitz again into the filling mix | Roughly chop the remaining pecans, and fold through the filling mix

  7. 7.

    Assemble the pie | Pour the filling mix into the pastry case and smooth out the top with a spatula | Decorate the top with the 100g extra pecans if using, then bake for 40-50 minutes until the filling is set on the edges and slightly puffed, but still has a slight wobble in the middle (cover with tinfoil if the top starts getting too dark before the pie finishes baking) | Remove from the oven and baking sheet, and leave to cool completely (you can move it to the fridge once it comes to room temperature) - this can take a couple of hours

  8. 8.

    Time to serve | Bring the pie out to room temperature | Sprinkle the top of the pie with flaky sea salt | Portion into slices, and top each slice with a dollop of ice cream and some grated orange zest