Monday, 12 August 2013

Pecan Tassies

My fellow Brits are going to have to forgive me, as I’m about to go all American again. American baking has always been my favourite and lately I’ve become ever so slightly obsessed with US baking blogs such as the Brown Eyed Baker. Honestly, the number of recipes I’ve bookmarked is ridiculous, to the point where I had no idea where to begin. Fortunately, last week I was faced with an Emergency Baking Situation where I had people to feed unexpectedly and had neither the time nor the inclination to go to the shops, which narrowed the choice down hugely. I had been steering towards some sort of biscuit (or should I say cookie) – until I saw these. Like most people not from southern USA, I didn’t have a clue what a ‘tassie’ is (still don’t, despite some internet searching), but a photograph alone was enough to sway me. They’re actually a sort of mini pecan pie – fortuitously one of my favourite desserts. I had to make them.
As often happens with American recipes, there were times during the baking process when I veered on perplexed – cream cheese in the pastry?! – but that only added to the intrigue. (As it turns out, the pastry came together beautifully and tasted even better. You could taste the cream cheese, but it worked, providing, as you would perhaps expect, a lovely creamy flavour.) All in all they were extremely easy to make and the recipe was correct to the letter, even when I deviated from it slightly by halving the mixture, as well as using a mince pie tin (see, I haven’t forgotten my British roots!) instead of the mini muffin pan stipulated. One tip I will give is that I found it a lot easier to use a pastry cutter for the bases – unless you’re a great freestyler, which I’m not, it gives much neater results.

Seriously, tasting these is an experience you'll never forget. The filling seems crunchy from the outside, but as soon as you break the surface you open the door into a wonderful world of gooeyness which is as delicious as it is surprising. Everyone said that they wished they were bigger – a little concerning seeing as they were already larger than they were supposed to be – so next time I might have to go the whole hog and bake them in a standard muffin tin (which is actually what I already do with my mince pies – busted). One thing I can promise is that shop-bought pecan pie will never be the same again. Even Marks and Spencer’s.

Recipe can be found here.

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