Mini Spicy Crust Bourbon Pecan Pies
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
For the Crust:
1 cup Brown Rice Flour
¼ cup Sweet Brown Rice flour
¾ cup sorghum Flour
2/3 cup Cornstarch
¼ cup Arrowroot Starch
2 tablespoons Tapioca Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder (make by grinding ancho chiles in coffee or spice grinder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted Butter (8 tablespoons), cold
1 Egg, lightly beaten 1/3 cup cold
Water (plus ¼ cup cold water in reserve)
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
For the Filling:
¾ cup Dark Corn Syrup
¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
¾ cup granulated Sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, cut into tablespoons
3 large Eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons Bourbon
Pinch of Salt
1 ½ cups Pecans (half of quantity chopped, remaining half of pecan halves)
Yield: 12 muffin tin pies
Preparation of the Crust:
Mix the dry ingredients either using the dough attachment in a food processor or by hand. Cut the stick of butter into small pieces (into tablespoons, then cut those into fourths) and incorporate into the dry ingredients using a food processor with dough attachment or a pastry cutter if doing it by hand. The end result should be crumbly. In a separate small bowl, mix together the egg, and vinegar. Add to the dry mixture in the food processor, along with 1/3 cup of water and pulse until it has fully combined. Note: If the mixture seems overly dry you may add additional water in tablespoon increments until is stays together lightly (this may also be added when removing the crust from the refrigerator before rolling out instead if unsure). Remove from the food processor, form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled (about 30 minutes).
Preparing the Filling:
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tin by spraying with no stick cooking spray. Cut one inch wide strips of parchment paper, enough for the number of pies you are baking. These will be installed before baking to ease removal of mini pies after baking.
Over low heat, combine the dark and light corn syrup with granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil without stirring mixture (note: it may take a bit of time when you see small bubbles you can proceed to the next step).
Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until butter is fully melted into the sugar mixture.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and bourbon until fully combined. Add egg mixture to the sugar-butter mixture. Using a whisk in an ‘S’ pattern until all ingredients are combine do not over mix. Allow to cool.
Preparing the Mini Pies:
Roll out chilled pie crust so it is approximately 1/8 inch thick. Cut out a round of dough about 5 inches in diameter. Using a small bowl turned over as a guide works well.
Take the strips of parchment paper and place one in each muffin cup so there are a few inches extending on either side of a given cup .
Place a round of crust on top of the muffin tin and form it into place with your hands. You can repair holes with more dough and just smooth is out with your fingers. Leave about ¼ inch outside the top of the muffin cavity as you would with a full size pie. Repeat for all muffin cavities.
Spoon 1 ½-2 tablespoons of the pecan mixture into each muffin cup. Briefly whisk the filling (is can separate as it sits) and pour in each muffin cup to fill to the top.
Place muffin tins on a baking sheet and place in the heated oven for 25 minutes. At this point the crust should be done and the tops of the mini pies dome-shaped. Remove for the oven and allow the muffin tin to sit on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes until close to room temperature. Remove the mini pies by gently grasping either side of the parchment strip for a given pie and lifting it out of the tin.
Crust Substitution options:
Gluten Free: If you don’t want to mix your own flour, substitute your favorite gluten-free flour blend for the first 6 ingredients in the same quantity. With gluten: Substitute your preferred baking flour for the flours and starches (same quantity total) and omit the xanthan gum from the recipe. ‘Don’t want to make dough’ gluten and gluten free bakers: Buy frozen pie crust, let it thaw and roll it out to use instead. Depending on how many mini pies you plan to make I’d plan on 1-2 for 6 mini pies and 2-3 for 12 mini pies.