1/25/2014

#44 Gooey Medjool Date-Pecan Pie

Posted by Chrisi


Date bars are one of my husband’s favorite desserts--one that takes him back to his childhood. So, for this forty-some-odd birthday, I made him this ooey, gooey date-pecan pie from Pie. The recipe calls for fresh, not dried, dates. Since we currently reside in San Diego, it was easy to secure the central ingredient from a local farmer’s market (there are 30+ markets open throughout the week in the greater SD area). Dates are grown about two hours east of San Diego.

I had zero experience with fresh dates. Fortunately, the vendor gave me a couple of tips: (1) fresh dates must be stored cold, preferably in the freezer, (2) dates don’t freeze and can be used directly from the freezer. The chemist in me immediately thought, “Damn, dates must be all sugar.” That, of course, would explain why my husband likes them! “Frozen” dates are also, ever so slightly, less sticky and easier to cut. I will admit that I started out trying to peel the dates but quickly lost patience. Besides, if dates were meant to be peeled, the recipe would say so, right?

The texture of this pie is not as firm as a pecan pie. The dates and nuts are immersed in a thick caramel. For this reason, the pie is best served cold.

Lastly, this pie is prefect for those who feel there is no such thing as “too sweet.” The dates, brown sugar and light corn syrup (which I reduced) put it at the top of the sugar scale. For this reason, I feel that a shot of bourbon (in the pie) would be a nice addition. A little something to take the edge off…. And if you feel that $8.50/lb for dates is spendy, but still want to make this pie, then take a shot yourself and get started! No cost is too high for good pie!

Happy Birthday BB! Luv u!

Crust: A cooled, 9” partially baked single crust. See this post for partially-baked instructions (ha ha).

Filling
·       4 eggs at room temperature
·       1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
·       1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
·       3/4 cup light corn syrup (original recipe called for 1 cup)
·       1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       pinch of sea salt
·       10-12 fresh Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
·       1 cup of coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Directions:
Mix the coarsely chopped pecans and dates. Use a spoon to evenly distribute “chucks” of the mixture in the crust. (It will be super-sticky!). Then use a mixer to beat the eggs and brown sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high. Add the butter and beat again, briefly (~30 seconds). Add the corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Beat again, briefly. Slowly pour the caramel filling over the date/nut mixture. Bake at 350°F for ~45 minutes. The center should still be slightly jiggly when the pie is done. Be careful not to over-bake. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then chill in the frig. This pie is best served cold with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.




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