This spiced pecan pie, adapted from Molly O’Neill, nestles spiced pecans and a rum and maple-infused custard in a flaky buttery crust. The result is a sweet, sticky and utterly decadent treat, perfect for the holiday table.
- Crust (makes one double-crusted pie; reserve the other crust for another pie or quiche):
- 2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup or 227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 cup cold water mixed with ⅛ teaspoon cider vinegar and 3 ice cubes
- ½ stick (4 tablespoons or 56 grams) butter
- 2 cups (220 grams) pecan halves
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup (53 grams) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups grade B maple syrup
- ½ cup (99 grams) sugar
- 5 star anise
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) butter, cut into 8 pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
To make the crust:
- Whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork and knife, cut in the butter until the butter is pea-sized.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and add ½ cup of ice water, stirring to incorporate with a fork. Continue adding water by the tablespoon as necessary, until the dough just barely holds together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into two even balls, each weighing about 14 ounces. Flatten into 2 discs and wrap each one tightly in foil. Refrigerate for at least 2 hour and up to 3 days.
- Remove one disc from the refrigerator and roll out into a circle about 12-inches in diameter. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, crimping the edges. Return to the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
To make the pecans:
- In a 12-inch cast-iron pan or other heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the nuts and stir constantly, toasting them in the butter, for 4 minutes. Add the cumin, cayenne and cinnamon and continue stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the sugar, syrup and water and continue stirring constantly until the glaze foams and thickens, coating the nuts, about 2 minutes. Turn the nuts out onto a piece of parchment paper or a Silpat, separating them; cool.
To make the filling:
- Combine the maple syrup, sugar, and star anise in a 1 to 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then slowly add the reduced syrup to the eggs, whisking constantly. Working quickly, whisk the butter into the bowl, 1 piece at a time. Add the salt and the rum and stir to combine.
- To assemble and bake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and scatter the spiced nuts over the crust. Pour the maple-rum custard over the nuts and bake until the pie wobbles as a single unit when you shake it, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm with scoops of Maple Bourbon Ice Cream.