Nuts are a great thing, they can pick-up any dish whether savoury or sweet and are just as fantastic on their own or spiced-up. I use them so often and in so many dishes that I keep jars of them with different spices and in different stages of ground. Try it, it’s great having them around.
This recipe is a particular favourite of mine, as pecans are my favourite nuts, not to mention all that caramel – salted caramel better, so much so that I have long ago started playing with new versions of the classic (and may I just say, magnificent!) pie.
This version is quite a simple one, crunchy and sweet it has a perfect balance between the caramelised nuts sweetness and the crunchy dough and holds great in the freezer to be pulled out whenever craving comes along.
Makes a 25cm x 25cm pan
250 gram roughly chopped pecans
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
100 gram unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar (65 gram)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup flour (180 gram)
pinch of salt
2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup almond flour
Preheat your oven to 180℃ \ 160℃ fan \ 350 ℉ \ Gas 4.
Melt the caramel sauce ever so slightly, you want it melted but not hot or even warm for that matter.
In an electric mixer whisk the egg whites on high speed just until soft peaks, lower the mixer speed and drizzle in the chilled-melted caramel, beat until combined.
Fold in the nuts. Set aside.
Whisk together butter and sugar with the mixer beating paddle until all combined, lower the speed and add the vanilla and the egg yolks, continue beating until all combined.
Add the flour and salt, mix to combine. Add the sour cream and mix together.
Set 1 third of the dough aside, spreading the other 2 thirds on the bottom of a well-oiled pan.
* Setting the dough between two sheets of parchment paper will make it easier to roll-out and quicker to move around.
Pour the cooled nuts mixture on top of the dough.
Mix the remaining third of the dough with the almond flour.
With the help of a coarse grater, grate the dough on top, roughly covering the nuts mix.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then increase the oven heat to 180 for an extra 10 minutes.
Chill for 5 minutes before slicing the cake, and move to rack to cool completely. Slicing the cake at this stage prevent it from crumbling when chilled.
Don’t worry if the egg white foam breaks upon adding the caramel – it will be just as fluffy.
These are great to freeze as they melt so fast, and are always good to have around.
For a more conventional pie – use all of the dough as a pie crust, double the nuts mixture, bake as is.