Mrs Bailey’s Pecan Pie
The first pecan trees on Mars were a gift from the American Consul to that province; as their country fell further and further behind the two great interplanetary powers of Britain and Russia, the United States were ever eager to curry favour with their former master.
Happily, the trees thrived, and another page was added to the colonial cookbook. Pecan pie is nothing alien to Mrs Bailey, nor to the Crater School; it’s as normal and everyday as walnut cake or peanut brittle.
Make your favourite pastry — Mrs Bailey favours a lard and butter mix, with the lard thoroughly worked in and the butter still in lumps — and roll it out to line your pie dish.
Preheat the oven to 375F, and toast 100g of chopped pecans until they smell, y’know, toasty. Maybe ten minutes, but keep an eye on them; burned nuts are nobody’s friend.
Melt 110g of butter, and set aside to cool.
Mix 30g of plain flour with 450g of molasses sugar and a generous pinch of salt.
In another bowl, beat 90g of milk together with three eggs. Add this to the flour, and beat until smooth.
Stir in a generous tablespoon — oh, all right, two tablespoons — of bourbon, and a squeeze of vanilla paste.
Now add the cooled melted butter and the toasted pecans. Mix it all together, and pour into the prepared pastry case. Arrange whole pecan halves on top in splendid concentric order. You may need quite a lot.
Set on a rimmed baking tray in case of spillage or overflow, and check after 50 minutes; you want to see some evidence of rise, and a bare wobble in the filling when you shake it. You may need another five minutes; I usually do.
Remove, and cool on a rack.
Enjoy. Unusually for a dessert pie, Mrs B says this needs no pouring cream, and I tend to agree with her.
You can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here:
And you can learn more about the Crater School and its mischievous denizens here: