5 Things that only exist when you acknowledge them
1. New Year crazies. We all know them. We might even be one. Those people who, in the cold light of January have turned from being the Amanda Bynes of Christmas to the Gwyneth Paltrow of 2014. Here's to lunches consisting purely of hot water and lemon. You go girl!.... Also see you in the pub on Saturday night.
2. That tangled mangled assortment of clothes in the airing cupboard that you said you would tackle 'during the Christmas break'.
3. The fact that you have exactly one pair of socks left and a grocery sized bag full of singles. Unrequited sock love. #possiblystartingtobelieveintheborrowers...again.
4. Miley Cyrus. Enough said.
5. Those sneaky Christmas pounds. Damn washing machine shrunk my jeans again. Only at the waistband though, not the leg length. Weird.
Lets talk ditching unrealistic January health plans and embracing pecan pie. In moderation of course.
Ever since I had a pecan tartlet in Le Petit Parisien on Dublin's South William Street I have been itching to make my own and this Avoca Cookbook recipe did not disappoint.
Crisp shortcrust pastry is topped with a dark maple flavoured toffee and studded with whole pecan nuts. Stop me when you hear something you don't like....
From the Avoca Cafe Cookbook
Makes a 28cm/11 inch tart
For the shortcrust pastry
225g plain flour
150g cold butter, diced
25g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 egg yolks
For the filling
200g dark brown sugar
200ml maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
175g pecan nuts
For the pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 200oC. Sift the flour into a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using a food processor pulse quickly.
2. Stir in the caster sugar and salt.
3. Add in the egg yolks and mix until it just starts to clump together. Add a teaspoon of cold water if the dough is too dry and doesn't come together.
4. Dump the dough onto a large piece of clingfilm and use the clingfilm to bring the dough together into a ball. Don't overwork or else the dough will be tough.
5. Place dough the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. Roll out on a lightly floured tabletop and use to line a 28cm/11 inch tin. Push the pastry into the edges or flutes of the tin with a piece of leftover pastry. Prick the base of the pastry a few times with a fork.
7. Cut out a piece of greaseproof paper to roughly 28cm/11 inch circle. Scrunch up the paper (tip from Ed Kimber that prevents the greaseproof cutting into your pastry while it bakes) and then put on top of the pastry. Fill the tin with baking beans or rice or pasta until full. Put back in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have time.
8. Bake for 12 minutes, then take out of the oven and remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper. Bake for another 12-15 minutes until the pastry is golden.
For the filling
9. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 170oC.
10. Put all the ingredients for the filling except the pecan nuts in a bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth.
11. Arrange the pecans in the tin (they will move around when the filling goes in).
12. Carefully pour in the filling and then bake for 1 hour until the filling is just slightly wobbly. Allow to cool and then serve with lightly whipped cream.