Brown butter chai pecan pie

Brown butter chai pecan pie

Butter, spice & everything nice. Your pecan pie just got an upgrade

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For a buttery pie crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups salted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


For the pecan chai filling: 

1/2 cup granulated golden sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 whole eggs beaten
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/2 cup roughly ground pecans

For the crust:

This recipe mix makes 2 pie crusts, it’s hard to get it right if you make a smaller amount so I usually make 2 (they don’t have to both be pecan!)

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the salted butter. Work the butter into the flour using a dough cutter or lightly with your hands and a cold spoon until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. Don’t let it get too warm by using your hands too much.

Add the egg, 5 tablespoons cold water and the white vinegar. Stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and chill until needed. (You will only need one half for this recipe, reserve the other half for another use.)

Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). When your pie mixture is ready, roll the dough out onto a floured board, again, try to keep it cool as you roll it or it breaks up.

Don’t worry if the crust tears as you lay it into your pie dish, you can squish it back together and the mixture will cover it!

I use a fork to crimp the sides of the crust once it’s in the pan.

You don’t have to pre-bake the crust, you’ll add the filling and cook it all together.


For the Pecan Pie Filling:

This mix makes one pie so double it if you’re using all the dough. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter smells nutty and is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Once you smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and pour the browned butter into a large heat-proof bowl to cool.

Mix the sugars, salt, chai, syrup, vanilla and any spices into the cooled brown butter.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together. Add to the the sugar/butter mixture. It will try to separate so mix it thoroughly but don’t over-work the mix. Then add the chopped and ground pecans.

Note: some recipes will tell you to add the pecans to the bottom then pour the mix over it but this reduces the pecan flavor through the whole pie.

Pour the syrup mixture into the pie shell you’ve made. Let it settle then lightly place some pecan halves on top to decorate.

Cover the top and crust lightly/gently with foil. As it cooks all the pecans will rise to the pie surface making a yummy crust with a rich sweet custard below.

Bake for 30 mins then remove the foil. Continue baking for 15-20 mins, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

Towards the end of cooking the pie will rise into a dome so make sure there is room in the oven above it, it will sink back as it cools.

The pie should not be overly jiggly when you remove it from the oven (though it will jiggle a bit). If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe so just keep an eye on it. 

Allow it to cool before serving or it won’t set, but I usually warm it slightly again as I serve it as it is tastier that way. Serve with creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.