This recipe was an experiment of “what if?” I was in the mood to make a nut bar, but I had trouble finding a recipe that had all of the elements I was looking for. I really wanted something that was nice and thick, with the taste of a pie, but in bar form, with a decent about of nuts. I decided to just use my pecan pie recipe and see what happens. Instead of a pie crust, I used a sweet pastry dough crust which is a cross between a shortbread and pie crust.
Instead of using a 13x9x2 inch pan, I used a ¼ sheet pan, hoping that it would be the right height (I really don’t know what I was thinking at the time). The crust went in the pan just fine, but the filling looked like it was going to overflow, so I had a little extra filling left over. I chopped the pecans and put as much in as my pan could handle.
In the end, it was….cute. The taste was great, but I didn’t get the height I was looking for, and just like a real pecan pie, the nuts rose to the top. I will definitely try this again, but the next time I will use a deeper pan i.e., 13x9x2 inch and also make the crust a little thicker.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound) chopped
- Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together yolk and water with a fork and stir into flour mixture until combined well.
- Gently knead mixture in bowl with floured hands just until a dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times more. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. Chill, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13x9 inch rectangle and press into the 1/4 sheet pan. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork if using a pie plate. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until relatively smooth. It may look a bit clumpy and may stick to your whisk, but the syrup will smooth everything out. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.
- Put pecans in pan and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, about 40min. Cool completely.