One of my favorites. I made this sweet and delicious recipe for a restaurant that I worked at called Le Bon Ton in Melbourne, Australia. Just in time for the holidays.
300 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (from 3-4 oranges)
165 g dried pitted dates
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175 g brown sugar
85 g butter
170 g plain flour, sieved
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
90 g caster sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp plight corn syrup (see note)
75 ml thickened cream
50 g butter, softened
30 g light corn syrup
15 g caster sugar
80 g pecan nuts
15 g butter
60 g caster sugar
30 ml whiskey
2 tsp whiskey
250 ml (1 cup) thickened cream
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
Bring juice and dates to the boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stir in bicarbonate soda, being careful as mixture will bubble up. Cook until slightly softened (2 minutes), then remove from heat and set aside to cool completely (40-50 minutes). Coarsely mash date mixture with a fork and set aside.
- For butterscotch sauce, bring sugar and corn syrup to the boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Then simmer until amber in color and syrup reaches 180° C (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, slowly add cream and butter (be careful, hot mixture may spit), and stir until combined, then set aside to cool completely (40-50 minutes).
- For glazed pecans, preheat oven to 150° C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Stir corn syrup, sugar, and 1 tsp water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves (1-2 minutes). Add pecans, stir to coat, then transfer nuts to lined oven tray, separating each nut, and bake, rotating tray once, until nuts are golden brown (7-9 minutes). Set aside to cool (10-15 minutes).
- For whiskey glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and a small pinch of salt and 1 tsp water, stir, remove from heat and add whiskey.
- Preheat oven to 150° C and grease four 12-cm-diameter metal pie tins. Beat brown sugar and butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Add flour, baking powder, and vanilla, and mix to combine, then stir in date mixture. Spoon mixture into pie tins to three-quarters full, smooth tops, and bake until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (20-25 minutes). Brush glaze over pies while warm and set aside to cool (30-40 minutes).
- For sweet cream, whisk ingredients in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (2-3 minutes).
- To serve, turn pies out, spoon cream on top, drizzle with butterscotch sauce, and top with glazed pecans.