Cadence is known for asking, "Let's go to a restaurant to eat!" You would think I don't feed her well by her love for desire to be elsewhere. Quite the contrary as I'm sure you well know. And still, I liken her affection to my affections as a child to going out to eat.
Like I mentioned, my mom didn't make pies and I never liked eating them. Well, with one exception. When we went out to eat, it was always buffet style. Probably because it was the cheapest option and we could pick our dinner destiny. One place in particular stands out. Furr's Cafeteria. By the sound of the name now as an adult, I wonder how in the world my parents actually thought this was a "good idea."
Yet, as a child, I loved it. We entered through the doors to walk the long corridor to pick up our elementary style beige food trays. We would place our cutlery and napkins on the tray and proceed, like in a regular cafeteria. How in the world one restaurant was able to market off the elementary school or hospital model, I have no idea.
I picked liver and onions, a true favorite and the obligatory strawberries & bananas. There would be a vegetable side and then the coveted dessert selection. We never had dessert at home, which is still very true in my home now. But, at Furr's they had cookies, brownies, cake and pie. We could look at the desserts, but couldn't get one until we came back after eating our food. It was there where I discovered my love for pecan pie. I never knew how wonderful a pie could be, and still to this day, I will always, always choose pecan over pumpkin.
My Paleo Pecan Tart reminds me of those first impressions, except without the cloyingly sweet induced toothache to follow. This here pecan pie isn't full of polysaturated transfats, or loads of refined sugars. The maple syrup perfectly compliments the pecans, while the bourbon vanilla and ghee add a boozy richness. All over a nice almond crust. The sweet, salty, crunchy effect of pecan pie is what makes Thanksgiving for me. For this, I'm certain I there is a bit of the South in this Arizona transplant Washington girl.
What is your favorite Holiday pie?
Paleo Pecan Tart (printable recipe)
There are purists in every scope, so I'll humor them by saying this is "loosely" called "Paleo" as it contains sugars and is dessert...yada yada yada. Truly though, it's delicious and I could eat the whole thing and don't feel weighted down after having one (okay 2 or 3) slice. **If you want to make this a chocolate pecan tart, then add 1/3 cup cocoa to the filling ingredients when placed in the pan.
1 1/2 cups pecans
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut sugar or fruit sweetener (I get it from Azure Standard)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 Tb ghee
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400. Prepare the pie crust following this crust recipe. Line the tart dough with a parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and the beans. Arrange the pecans with top sides up in the bottom of the baked crust. Set aside.
Lower the oven temperature to 350.
In a medium saucepan, combine the egg yolks, maple syrup, coconut sugar or fruit sweetener, cream, ghee, and salt. Over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 7 to 10 minutes, or till a candy thermometer registers to 160. DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL. With a sieve over a small bowl, pour the hot mixture through pressing down with a rubber spatula. This will catch any egg yolk remains. Scrap the underside of the sieve into the bowl, and add the vanilla. Stir thoroughly.
Pour the filling over the prepared pecans in the crust. Bake for 20 minutes. It will slightly bubble and jiggle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 40 minutes before serving. This tart can be made a day in advance as well, making it perfect to serve on holidays.
Top with ice cream, fresh whipped cream or by itself.