The pecan nut is native to the Americas and was an important food source in pre-colonial times. Its name is a native American word originally referring to any nut that required a stone to crack it open.
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
40 g butter, melted
110 g (½ cup) brown sugar
175 g (½ cup) golden syrup
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly whisked
200 g (2 cups) pecan halves
2 tablespoons apricot jam
Thick or whipped cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 30cm diameter circle, taking care not to overwork the dough or it will become too soft. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and ease it into a 3cm deep, round 24cm fluted loose-based tart tin, pressing it into the base and side with your fingertips. Roll the rolling pin over the tin to trim the excess pastry.
2. Line the pastry shell with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beads, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and weights. Reduce the temperature to 160°C.
3. Meanwhile, put the butter, sugar, golden syrup, vanilla and egg in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Scatter the pecans evenly over the tart shell. Pour over the golden syrup mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is browned and firm to touch. Place on a wire rack and cool the pie in the tin.
4. Put the jam in a small saucepan and heat until warm. Push through a sieve to remove any solids. Brush the sieved jam over the top of the pie to glaze. Serve at room temperature with the cream.