Bitter Toffee Pecan Pie

The name Bitter Toffee Pecan Pie might be a bit misleading here; it’s not a Pecan Pie and it’s not really bitter it’s just that the molasses and Greek Yoghurt adds a certain sharpness to the taste. And there are a lot of pecan nuts in the thing – particularly in the new gluten-free biscuit base option.

abitmorvegFirst dessert recipe from abitmoreveg and it’s a cheesecake. I think I mentioned – somewhere – on twimii that I’m not a huge fan of cheesecakes but then I decided to try a mix of Greek yoghurt with cream cheese and molasses and maple syrup melted in butter and – I love it. I came up with this after trying a mix of molasses, Greek yoghurt and maple syrup which I really liked. I thought it kind of had a bitter toffee taste and I wanted to add some treat for Halloween to the site so I decided to see if it worked as a cheesecake.  Some people love this, especially me, but some people really don’t. Just letting you know. I made a gluten-free version of this recently and I’m really happy with it – except I think I should reduce the amount of butter in the base – but I’ve left it as it is for the moment. And of course I’ve included the gluten-free version here as well.

happy-halloween with bitter toffee pecan pie
Witches be like BAM! and there’s a pie.

This is more of a cheesecake than a pecan pie. Since it’s a cheesecake it is of course full of fat and sugar but there’s good stuff in there too. There are 2 dessertspoons of natural greek yoghurt in the creamy filling which means it contains calcium and vitamin B12 as well potassium, protein, zinc and vitamin B6. Also most of the sugar in the pie is from crude treacle (molasses) and maple syrup. Maple syrup provides some calcium and a little magnesium, while crude molasses is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium. And then there’s the pecan nuts which are a source of some good fat, some protein, fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, iron and even a tiny amount of vitamins A and C.

So quite full of goodness really … as well as having lots of butter, cream cheese and biscuits. Well, it is a treat.

It’s important when buying the treacle that you get the crude blackstrap molasses type. For one thing this is the type that has all the nutrients and for another it has a much stronger taste than the more refined version.

Another thing is I think I add too much butter to the base. 50g would probably be sufficient. And also I’ve changed the way I make the toffee sauce because I found it’s better to bring the maple syrup to the boil and when it’s starts to thicken and get more toffee like then stir in the butter, stirring all the time.

Ingredients for the gluten-free biscuit base
Ingredients for the gluten-free biscuit base – pecan nuts, gluten-free ginger cookies, maple syrup, cinnamon and salted butter.

crust-ing

Ingredients for the filling: greek yoghurt, cream cheese, crude blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and salted butter.
Ingredients for the filling: Greek yoghurt, cream cheese, crude blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and salted butter.

Bitter Toffee Pecan Pie

Make a 7.5" pie or 12 mini pies

Bitter Toffee Pecan Pie

Ingredients

    For gluten-free biscuit base
  • 10 ginger crunch cookies (gluten & dairy free - Supervalu)
  • 150g pecan nuts
  • ground cinnamon
  • For regular biscuit base
  • 8 gingernuts (ginger snaps)
  • 7 Hobnobs / Oaties
  • For the rest
  • 175g salted butter (this is for the biscuit base as well)
  • 180g full fat cream cheese
  • 2 dessertspoons whole unsweetened greek yoghurt
  • 1 good teaspoon crude blackstrap molasses (treacle)
  • maple syrup
  • pecans to layer on top

Instructions

    For Gluten-free Base
  1. Put 150g of pecan in a food processor and blend, chopping them up. Add in the cookies and blend again till you have a crumby consistency. Mix in a good pinch of cinnamon.
  2. Melt 75g of the butter (I think 50g is probably sufficient but this is what I did use) and pour it into the blender. Blend till well mixed.
  3. Taste, if not sweet enough add in some maple syrup. I added in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup last time.
  4. Grease a pie dish (7.5 ” or 19 cm) and press the biscuit base into it gently with your fingers. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 10 minutes. To ensure it holds it’s shape you can cover the base with baking paper and fill with baking beans. When it’s done take the crust out and allow to cool completely.
  5. For Regular Base
  6. Melt 75 grams of the butter and add it to the crushed biscuits. Grease a pie dish (7.5 ” or 19 cm) and press the biscuit base into it gently with your fingers. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 10 minutes. To ensure it holds it’s shape you can cover the base with baking paper and fill with baking beans. When it’s done take the crust out and allow to cool completely.
  7. For the Filling
  8. Melt 75 grams of the butter in a saucepan. Don’t allow it to burn. Once the butter is melted stir in the molasses and 2 dessertspoons of maple syrup. Keep stirring until the butter, the molasses and the maple syrup have blended and thickened a little – turning it into a runny bitter toffee. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  9. Beat the yoghurt and cream cheese together and then stir in well the bitter toffee sauce. Taste and if necessary add another dash of maple syrup. Fill the biscuit base with the cream cheese filling and top with pecan nuts.
  10. For the Toffee Topping
  11. In a saucepan pour in an appropriate amount of maple syrup and bring to boiling point when the syrup starts to thicken remove from the heat and add the butter, keep stirring until it is all well blended. The toffee sauce should have quite a sticky consistency. Pour over the pecan nut and leave on the counter for a few minutes to cool then transfer to the fridge.
  12. Leave to set in the fridge for 8 hours.
http://twimii.com/recipes/bitter-toffee-pecan-pie/

biscuit base
The toffee will harden more as it sets so it’s really important to have a high crust to ensure you don’t end up with a pie stuck to a shelf in your fridge – forgot this last time I made it.
biscuit base ready for baking
Biscuit base covered in baking paper and filled with baking beans so that it will keep its shape while baking.
Toffee sauce poured over, now it's really to chill.
Toffee sauce poured over, now it’s really to chill.
mini bitter toffee pecan pies
Assembling the mini pies…

See that flat base on the pie below – don’t do that. High crust – way to go. This pie didn’t stick to the fridge shelf because the toffee isn’t flowing it’s sticky and already a little solid but it may drip slowly down the sides as it did with the large pie which had more toffee on top. Fun getting it out of the fridge. Fun cleaning up afterwards. All round good fun. Yeah, high crust way to go.

Still love it though.

gluten-free-bitter-toffee-pecan-pie
It’s not for everyone, but if you like it then mm… it’s good!
Mini Bitter Toffee Pecan Pies
Happy Halloween Everyone!

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