Like Christmas (and most other times of the year, especially those that involve some kind of celebration), Easter at my home is a time for food. And I imagine we're very much not alone in this. Chocolate eggs for breakfast, pace egg smashing, hot cross buns, a a big family dinner on Easter Sunday involving some kind of roast lamb- sound familiar? Thought so.
This year, I put myself in charge of pudding. And for some unknown reason I chose to make a pecan pie. I don't recall ever eating pecan pie before (there is a fuzzy memory in my brain somewhere but I have no idea if I'm just making it up- fantasising about pudding does sound like the kind of thing I would do), but somehow I knew I liked it, which considering I never used to like nuts in things, is a tad confusing. But hey ho. Like anything I decide to make, once I have the idea in my head, I then obsess about it slightly until it is on a plate in front of me, and so I went in search of a recipe.
After a lot of internet and cookbook scouring (I didn't have an awful lot else to do over Easter- procrastinating aside), I came to the conclusion that all the recipes were essentially the same. Time well spent I'm sure you'll agree (although time spent looking for/at food is never time wasted, so it's all good). So I did what I always seem to do in a baking situation, and turned to The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. I've read reviews where people complain that the recipes aren't tested enough, and the quantities are wrong etc, but as far as I can tell, everything in it seems to come out of the oven damn tasty, and that's all I want from cake.
And so I made my pecan pie, and as always when I make something (especially when I plan to feed it to others) I got far too over excited and proud of myself. It was, I think, my first time making pastry- at least making it on my own as a grown up- and after only one very small minor hissy fit when I couldn't roll it out properly I somehow managed to get flaky deliciousness that just melted on your tongue. My Dad couldn't stop eating the off-cuts, and he is a massive pastry fiend, so that can only be a good sign. The filling wasn't difficult to make either, and was obviously the epitome of healthy food- at one point what I had in front of me was what appeared to be a pan full of molten sugar. In fact I'm pretty sure that it was a pan of molten sugar. Luscious, sticky, maple-y, rum-y molten sugar (unable to find corn syrup in West Cumbria- although honestly I didn't even waste energy even attempting to find it- I used half golden syrup and half maple golden syrup, and I added a splash of rum because, well, just because). All that was left to do was add it to the eggs, careful not to scramble them (which I managed, and although I didn't scramble my eggs, I did nearly set my sugar/syrup combo in one big hard lump- oops), and the pecans. A slightly OCD arrangement of pecan nuts and stint in the oven later, we were following our roasted lamb (and homemade mint sauce, courtesy of moi- told you I get overly proud) with slices of pecany, syrupy, pie-y goodness.
It's one I'll definitely be making again, and one that I recommend you do if you have the Hummingbird Bakery book. Add a slosh of dark rum, eat, and enjoy. Just don't tell your dentist.