November 2, 2021
It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving! I saw that Trader Joes is carrying those gorgeous Brussels sprouts, and there are cranberries aplenty in the supermarket. (Don’t forget to freeze some cranberries so you have when they are out of season!) It’s time to think about turkey (I spatchcock mine) and savory sides. It’s also time to think about Thanksgiving desserts, and I have just the one for you!
This slab pie uses a “no roll out” dough. You just press it into the pan with your fingers. It uses beautiful pecans (best price for pecans is Costco or Trader Joes) folded into a sweet mixture of butter, sugar and golden syrup (you can use corn syrup if you have never heard of it), and is finally baked to perfection.
If you have never heard of golden syrup let me tell you about it. It’s a cane sugar syrup also known as treacle in the UK. You can purchase it on Amazon or sometimes large supermarkets will carry it next to the corn syrup. No worries is you don’t have it or don’t feel like ordering it, corn syrup will work as well. I just like prefer the flavor of golden syrup. And I’m also a sucker for food products showing up in boxes at my door!
Pecan “Slab Pie” Bars
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans,
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup golden syrup (use corn syrup if you done have)
A pinch of kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 8 x 8 inch pan with baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper with some overhang on each side so you can use it as a sling to lift the bars out of the pan.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment combine the flour, butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl if necessary, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Press crust mixture with your fingers into the pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the edges are very light brown. This is called par-baking the crust.
Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn. Set aside
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup (corn syrup) and a pinch of salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Remove from the heat and stir in toasted pecans, vanilla and bourbon. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes. You may want to pour the mixture into a fresh bowl so it cools down faster. When cool, whisk in the eggs until combined. Pour mixture into par-baked crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. The pie is ready when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is slightly firm to the touch. Cool completely on a metal rack. Lift the slab pie from the pan and place on cutting board to cut into squares.