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Pecan, Apples and Meringue Pie

Pecan pie is definitely one of my favorite pies in the world. It’s sweet and I love the caramelized texture the pecans get after baking.

This pie combines between two great pies – pecan pie and apple pie. A pecan short crust pastry filled with pecan cream with caramelized apples and a large mound of meringue on top. YUM!

Pecan, Apples and Meringue Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin

Pecan, Apples and Meringue Pie

For pecan crust:
140 grams all-purpose flour
25 grams pecans
80 grams cold butter cut into cubes
30 grams sugar powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 large egg yolk
1-2 tbsp. cold water (optional, as needed)

For pecan cream:
100 grams pecans
75 grams cold butter cut into cubes
50 grams dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp. milk

For caramelized apples:
2 large Granny Smith apples
40 grams sugar
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
100 grams sugar
30 ml. water

Preparation:

  1. Pecan crust: in a food processor with a steel blade put flour and pecans and blend to a fine powder.
  2. Add butter, sugar powder, cinnamon and salt and mix until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add egg yolk and continue to blend just until large chunks of dough form. If the dough is not united, gradually add a little water.
  4. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and line the pan. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  7. Pierce the crust of each tartelette with a fork. Freeze the tartelette crusts for about 30 minutes before baking.
  8. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  9. Blind baking: put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper over each tartelette and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  10. Bake for about 12-14 minutes.
  11. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 3-4 minutes or until it is lightly brown.
  12. Cool at room temperature.
  13. Pecan cream: in a food processor with a steel blade put pecans, butter, brown sugar, flour and salt and blend until crumbly.
  14. Add egg yolk and milk and continue to blend until you get a uniform and thick cream.
  15. Pour the cream onto the crust, and smooth the top.
  16. Caramelized apples: peel the apples and cut into 2*2 cm cubes.
  17. In a medium pan put sugar and form caramel.
  18. When caramel is amber, add in apples, salt, lemon and vanilla.
  19. Reduce the heat and simmer everything together, stirring occasionally, until the apples soften slightly, but still solid.
  20. Sprinkle the diced apples onto the cream evenly.
  21. Bake the tart for 10-12 minutes or until the cream swell slightly, set and get golden brown.
  22. Cool completely at room temperature.
  23. Italian meringue: in a bowl of a mixer with a whipping-attachment put egg whites and salt.
  24. In a small saucepan heat sugar and water over high heat until thick syrup forms. When the syrup reaches a temperature of 106c degrees, begin to whip the egg whites on medium speed.
  25. Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 116c degrees and remove from heat.
  26. Increase the speed of whipping, and add in the syrup in a thin stream while whipping.
  27. Continue to whip the meringue for 6-7 minutes or until the bowl feels cool to the touch.
  28. Pour the meringue onto the pie (when cooled) and smooth the top.
  29. Burn using a blowtorch and serve.

Notes:

  • Keep the pie in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, but it’s at its best a day or two after preparation.
  • You can use pears, peaches or nectarines instead of apples.
Pecan, Apples and Meringue Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin

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