Pecan & Maple Pastries

The inspiration for these pastries comes from my childhood. When I was little my mother used to make a Pecan Pumpkin Pie; she loved it & I didn't. It has been a long time since I have had it & I can't remember the reason for my dislike. I love pecans, I love pumpkin & I love maple syrup - what's not to love about that combination. 

Originally I made these pastries with Flaky Pastry (pictured above), then I made them with Fabulous Flaky Pastry; they were all delicious. I preferred them made with the latter pastry, the only difference between the two types is the amount of butter added. Ultimately it is up to you which of the pastry recipes you use.

Ingredients

1 quantity of Flaky Pastry or  Fabulous Flaky Pastry

One quantity of flaky pastry will be sufficient for 12 bases with a 78 mm (3 1/16 inch) diameter & 12 tops with an 88 (3 7/16 inch) diameter from the first rolling out of the pastry. I used the off cuts to re-roll the pastry; from this I cut out 5 additional tops & bases. Once again I re-rolled the pastry & cut out 3 more tops & bases. The flakiness of the pastry decreases with every re-roll. The baked pastries made from the last of the re-rolled pastry still taste good however they are not as good as the first 12.

This is a dilemma - Do you only make 12 of the pastries & have left over pastry? It seems a waste to have made the pastry only to use just over half. Or do you make 20 & have some that are slightly lighter, flakier & yummier than the others? If I had guests coming over I would only make the 12; I would re-roll the scraps & use this pastry as a base for pies (sweet or savoury). If I was making the pastries for family consumption I would make the 20 - I know they would all be eaten quite happily. To make it easier I have listed separately the amounts required for 12 & 20 pastries.

Maple Pecan Filling

For 12 Pastries            For 20 Pastries

100 g Pecans           180 g Pecans

125 g Maple syrup          225 g Maple syrup

125 g Grated Pumpkin *          225 g Grated Pumpkin*

50 g Butter            90 g Butter 

1/4 tsp Cinnamon        1/2 tsp Cinnamon

* I use Jap pumpkin, 400 g of uncut pumpkin yields ~225 g

Egg Wash

1 Whole egg

pinch of salt

Method

Filling

Break the pecans into smaller pieces. Sometimes little bits of the shell/woody material can be found in some of the fissures on the pecan (even those bought in packets at the supermarket), these need to be removed as they are really bitter. I usually break the pecans by hand (essentially quartering them) to check & remove any of the woody material.

Cut out the seeds & peel the pumpkin. Grate the pumpkin into a bowl.

Combine the pecans, grated pumpkin, maple syrup & butter in a saucepan or non-stick frypan. I use the latter.

Heat gently at first until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat & boil the mix for 3 - 5 mins. Boil for ~3 mins if using a frying pan or ~5 mins if using a saucepan. 

Take off the heat & allow it to cool.

Egg wash

Prepare the egg wash by whisking (with a fork is fine) a whole egg with a pinch of salt. The salt helps break down proteins in the egg & makes it easier to use.

Pastry

Follow the directions in either Flaky Pastry or  Fabulous Flaky Pastry

Turn oven on to 210 C.

Line one or two baking trays with baking paper. 

Roll out the pastry to 3 mm thick. Cut out 12 bases of the pastries with a scalloped 78 mm (3 1/16 inch) cutter. Cut them close together to ensure you will get the 12 slightly larger tops out of the first rolling of the dough.

Transfer the bases to the tray. 

Place ~a dessertspoon (~24 g) of the maple pecan filling & place it in the centre of the dough base. More of the filling can be added before you put the top on.

I used a pastry lattice cutter to score the dough prior to cutting out the tops. If you don't have a lattice cutter; use a sharp knife to score some lines in the dough after you have cut out the shape. 

Cut out the 12 tops with a scalloped 88 mm (3 7/16 inch) cutter.

Brush some of the egg wash around the edges of the dough base.

Transfer the dough top to cover the filling & gently press down on the edges.

Brush the top with the egg wash.

If you are re-rolling the scraps of dough; lay the scraps on top of each other & gently roll out again.

Repeat the cutting, filling & covering etc.

Transfer tray(s) to the oven & bake for ~20 mins at 210 C.

Let them cool (a little or a lot) before eating them.