I feel like I have lost my holiday hosting mojo. Usually at this time of year, I would have my full menu planned, complete with a shopping list and VERY detailed plan of attack. While Aaron and I are very thrilled to be hosting our second Thanksgiving, I just can't seem to get it together. Lethargy seems to be a trend with me at the moment, as I have neglected this blog for nearly a month!
On Thursday night last week, I finally decided that it was time for some serious menu planning. Now I know that this might be standard operating procedure for most people, but anyone who knows me would be shocked that I hadn't planned Turkey Day 2010 back in 2009. Moreover, the menu is, dare I say it, quite modest - no hors d'oeuvres, just one pie, and appropriately measured serving sizes. Maybe I am ill? I just hope my family isn't disappointed.
Here is a sneak peak of one of the recipes I am planning to make. I have never made pecan pie before, so I thought I would give it a trial-run before I force it on my family. I made a few alterations, but otherwise the recipe was a success and will be added to my Thanksgiving menu. I like the tart format as it yields smaller pieces than a normal pie. This is important with pecan pie as it is literally death on a plate! And that is really all I have to say about that as the lethargy sets in again.
Over the weekend I managed to pull off a bunch of prep work. Squash soup? Done. Palette cleansing pear and cranberry sorbet? Check. Cinnamon vanilla ice cream to accompany my tart? Finished and in the freezer. I also baked up a failed batch of macarons which are now in the garbage. I am undecided as to whether or not I will try to make a new batch. I guess at a minimum, I should feel relieved that even if I burn the turkey, there will be soup and sweets!
Hopefully I will be able to get my act together again and post my menu and some photos after the big day.
Recipe after the jump!
- Maple Pecan Tart
- Adapted from Epicurious
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature and chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground pecans
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp clove
- Zest of one orange
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Add the butter, sugar, egg yolk and salt to the bowl of a mixer and beat until fluffy. Slowly mix in the flower and pecans and then beat the mixture until it comes together. When it is ready, it won't really stick to the sides of the bowl. Scoop your dough out, quickly mold it into a disk and set it on a surface for rolling. I like to roll between two silpats to avoid a mess. Roll the dough out until it is large enough to fit into a 9 inch tart pan. Press the dough into the tart pan and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Whisk in maple syrup, corn syrup, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, zest and salt. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked crust. Place tart on rimmed baking sheet.
Bake tart until filling is slightly puffed and set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Tent loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature.
Cut tart into wedges and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.