S1, Ep 7: Tree Shakers and the Tunnel of Whispers

 
 Just picked pecans in Annabelle's kitchen

Just picked pecans in Annabelle's kitchen

 One of many pecan pies Annabelle has made over the past two weeks

One of many pecan pies Annabelle has made over the past two weeks

 
 
 The pecan tree shaker

The pecan tree shaker

 
 
 Dusty sunsets at the pecan farm

Dusty sunsets at the pecan farm

 
 
 The pecans in their husks on the tree. The nuts are ready when the green outer husks split open and the nuts in their shells inside can fall out to the ground with a vigorous shake.

The pecans in their husks on the tree. The nuts are ready when the green outer husks split open and the nuts in their shells inside can fall out to the ground with a vigorous shake.

 A very excited Ed inspecting the pecans

A very excited Ed inspecting the pecans

 
 
 The Pecan Pie

The Pecan Pie

 Annabelle's self-imposed pecan study

Annabelle's self-imposed pecan study

 

Pecan Pie

(A very slightly adapted version from Stephanie Alexander's seminal The Cook's Companion)

 

First make the pastry. I love Gillian's sweet shortcrust pastry from her choc-miso tart, so here is the recipe for that:

Gillian's shortcrust pastry

225g /1 ½ cups of plain (all purpose) flour

1 tablespoon of icing sugar (you can use icing mixture or confectioner’s sugar)

140g of cold butter , chopped coarsely

1 large egg yolk (in Australia, a large egg is 60g)

2 tablespoons of iced water (approx)

Here’s what to do:

Buzz the dry ingredients in your food processor  until the butter is evenly distributed, then add the egg yolk (buzz,buzz), then the iced water. Buzz until it has come together in a ball. Or make it by hand. Crumble the butter and flour together with your fingertips until you have the mixture that looks like sand, and then pour in the egg yolk and water, and bring the mixture together with a rounded knife. 

With you hands, knead the pastry together until you have a smooth ball. I then like to roll it out between two sheets of baking paper. Roll it out  until it is slightly larger than your tin. Ease it into the tin, pressing it gently into the corners. Trim it up but keep the trimmings for later. Prick the floor of the pastry case with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350F and place a large baking sheet in your oven.

When the pastry is chilled, remove it from the fridge and line it with a piece of used baking paper that you have crumpled up into a ball then smoothed out.  Fill the case with baking beads (or rice or dried legumes). Place it on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake it for about 30 mins, then remove the paper and beads, and put it back in the oven for about 10 mins, until it is golden brown.

Remove from oven and leave aside, still on the baking sheet.  Use little bits of the pastry trimmings as polyfilla to fill in any cracks or gaps that have developed in your pastry shell.

 

Filling for the pecan pie

1 cup of pecans - roughly chopped

1/2 cup of sugar

3/4 cup honey

juice of 1 lemon

75g butter

3 eggs

30 perfect pecan halves (I use this many because I can, but Stephanie Alexander calls for 8 halves)

 

Heat honey, sugar and butter together until melted, not boiling. Set aside to cool. Whisk together the sugar mixture with the chopped pecans, lemon juice and the eggs and pour into pastry case, without spilling the mixture over the edges. You don't want a soggy base. Place the perfect pecan halves around the edge of the tin. Bake at 180C until firm and caramel in colour (about 25 - 30 minutes). Serve warm or cold, with cream or ice cream.

 The beginnings of a pecan pie. Spelt flour gives the pastry a lovely texture, colour and taste.

The beginnings of a pecan pie. Spelt flour gives the pastry a lovely texture, colour and taste.

 
 

 

 


Gillian's postcard from Aarhus, Denmark

 Summer houses dot the Danish coastline. Ebeltoft, Denmark

Summer houses dot the Danish coastline. Ebeltoft, Denmark

 Early morning walk along the coast. Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Early morning walk along the coast. Ebeltoft, Denmark.

 Aarhus gardens are full of lilacs at this time of year. May,2018

Aarhus gardens are full of lilacs at this time of year. May,2018

 How every birthday should begin. Sailing off Jutland, Denmark.

How every birthday should begin. Sailing off Jutland, Denmark.

 All aboard! Birthday lunch and drinks.

All aboard! Birthday lunch and drinks.

 Upturned dingies above the high tide mark. Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Upturned dingies above the high tide mark. Ebeltoft, Denmark.

 Celebrated Danish gardener, Claus Dalby's garden. Aarhus, Denmark.

Celebrated Danish gardener, Claus Dalby's garden. Aarhus, Denmark.

 Claus' garden is laid out as as series of different rooms.

Claus' garden is laid out as as series of different rooms.

 'A greenhouse for humans' is how Claus described his greenhouse to me. It even contains an open fire place and small kitchenette for entertaining.

'A greenhouse for humans' is how Claus described his greenhouse to me. It even contains an open fire place and small kitchenette for entertaining.

 Another of Claus' three greenhouses. 

Another of Claus' three greenhouses. 

 Outside Lolly's Laundry (a Danish fashion design house) in the latin quarter, Aarhus

Outside Lolly's Laundry (a Danish fashion design house) in the latin quarter, Aarhus

 Green embassy, Aarhus. Providing information on sustainable living and urban gardening.

Green embassy, Aarhus. Providing information on sustainable living and urban gardening.

 La Cabra coffee shop. This one's in the latin quarter, but there are so many lovely places to go in Aarhus.

La Cabra coffee shop. This one's in the latin quarter, but there are so many lovely places to go in Aarhus.

 

Claus Dalby Instagram
Claus Dalby Website  
La Cabra cafe Address: Graven 20, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark  
Lolly’s Laundry (Danish fashion design store) Address: Volden 23, 8000 Aarhus C
Molskroen (where the party was held) Address: Hovedgaden 16, Femmøller Strand, 8400 Ebeltoft
Aarhus, Denmark (tourism info)
 
Other recommendations:
Langhoff og Juul (for a really delicious and very Scandi brunch) Address: Goldsmedgade 30 8000 Aarhus
AROS art museum
Greenilicious (for really great organic salads, juices, burgers). Address: Magasin department store, Aarhus. Owned by friend @siforellana