Raisin and Pecan Pie

If you pulled off Route 66 after driving too long and needed a cuppa joe & a slice of pie as a pick-me-up at a small-town American roadside diner, you’d get this pie.

I’ve substituted my gluten-free and dairy-free nut crust for the usual shortcrust pastry. Folding in the whipped egg whites produced a gloriously fluffy texture (see footnote for meringue top option).

Serves: 12 – 16

Ingredients
For the nut crust:

  • 115g gluten-free plain flour
  • 45g porridge oats
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 75g very finely chopped pecans
  • 4 & 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 & 1/2 tablespoons maple, agave, or golden syrup; runny honey will do as well

For the filling:

  • 4 large eggs, separated (they should total 250-270g when weighed in the shell)
  • 200g white caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
  • 300ml soured cream (290g if weighing)
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (about 5 seconds’ grating of fresh nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (arrowroot powder is an adequate substitute)
  • 145g seedless raisins
  • 100g roughly chopped pecans
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • Flaked almonds, for garnish (optional)

Kit

  • A deep-sided, round, loose-based pie or flan tin
    (at least 5cm deep and about 24cm in diameter)
  • 3 mixing bowls, 2 large and 1 medium
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
  • Large metal spoon, for folding
  • Cooling rack

Steps
Making the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted).
  2. Mix the nut crust ingredients together in a medium bowl with a fork until fully moistened and combined. Press the mixture into the pie/flan tin with your hands, ensuring the crust goes all the way up the sides. Use your knuckles around the bottom edge to ensure it isn’t too thick there. Prick the bottom and sides all over lightly with a fork (it will puff up if you don’t), and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack.
  3. Turn the oven down to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).

Making the filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with 2 tablespoons caster sugar until you have stiff peaks. Start at low speed, and gradually increase to high speed as the colour and texture change.
  2. In another large mixing bowl (no need to clean the beaters from the egg whites), whisk the egg yolks, 200g sugar, soured cream, vinegar, and spices until fully combined and very frothy (about 2 minutes at high speed).
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the cornflour, raisins, and pecans with a fork until all fruit and nuts are fully coated.
  4. Fold the egg whites into the cream mixture gently, until no lumps or streaks remain. Pour this into the blind-baked crust, then sprinkle over the coated raisins/nuts and lightly press them in, smoothing over the top.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking. Turn the oven off and leave the pie in as the oven cools for another 10 minutes or so. The filling should be lightly browned and have only the slightest of wobbles in the middle. When done, remove the tin to a cooling rack and let the pie cool (about 1 hour) before turning out.
  6. You can decorate the cooled pie with a dusting of icing sugar, or sprinkle some almond flakes over the top (or both) before serving if you like.

Meringue Topping Option
Most American diners/restaurants would serve this pie with a browned meringue topping. You’re perfectly welcome to do this:
1. Put the cream mixture, topped with raisins/nuts, into the blind-baked crust and bake for about 15 minutes.
2. Turn up the oven to 220 C, with top-down heating.
2. Pile the whipped egg whites over the top of the pie, and leave in the oven until the meringue gets pleasingly browned, about another 10-15 minutes or so.

Attributions
The nut crust is from my other recipe, Sharon Fruit Pie. The filling is an amalgamation of multiple recipes from my Twitter friend Elsbeth Meier-Sam, who has Amish heritage so really knows her traditional pies.

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