Individual pecan pies with sweet tea caramel sauce

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy

For the pie dough

2 tbsp finely ground pecans
140g plain flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
110g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 egg white, chilled
2 tbsp ice water, only if needed

For the filling

100g pecan halves
2 eggs
50g light brown sugar
50g sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
60ml dark corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt

For the sweet tea caramel sauce

6 earl grey tea bags
500ml water
100g sugar
120ml double cream
1L vanilla bean ice cream
1) In a food processor combine the ground pecans, flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the egg white and blend it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount of dough together, if it is crumbly, add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2) Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tray with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 70-cm, then use a small bowl 7-cm in diameter or a large 7-cm ring mold as a guide to cut out circles. They should be slightly larger in diameter than the muffin tin hole, so when pressed in, the edges come half-way up the sides of the tin.

3) Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.

4) In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs until frothy then blend in sugars. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla, syrup and salt until well blended.

5) Arrange the pecans on the bottoms of the tart shells. Pour in the filling to fill the shells almost to the top. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you're good to go. Transfer the pies to a rack and cool.

6) While the pie is baking, make the sweet tea caramel sauce. Begin by making the tea. Bring 500ml of cold water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the tea bags, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags (squeeze them out) and then return to a simmer until it has reduced by half - so you have 250ml of really strong tea remaining.

7) Add 100g of sugar to the saucepan and continue to simmer over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pot around, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and looks like syrup, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour in the cream, be careful as it will bubble up, and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Serve with individual pecan pies and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Pecan Pies & Sweet Tea Caramel

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