Spiced pecan pie

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Give pecan pie a flavour twist with cloves, cinnamon and star anise.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 370g/12½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 180g/6¼oz salted butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 small cloves, finely crushed
  • pinch ground star anise
  • 8-10 tbsp chilled water

For the filling

To serve

Method

  1. Make the pastry first. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the cloves and star anise.

  2. Using a spatula, mix in the measured water a bit at a time until a dough forms. Bring it together using your hands. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry so that it’s large enough to line a 23cm/9in tart tin and overhang the sides by about 2cm/¾in.

  4. Crumple a sheet of baking paper and use it to line the pastry case. Fill with baking beans, uncooked rice or chickpeas. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2 and bake for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then remove paper and beans.

  5. Increase the oven temperature to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5.

  6. To make the filling, put the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Beat the eggs in a bowl until light and frothy. Gradually pour in the warm sugar mixture, folding it together with a spatula as you do so.

  7. Chop half of the pecans and stir them into the egg mixture along with the cinnamon. Pour into the baked pastry case and arrange the remaining pecan halves on top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes, until bubbling and golden-brown. Set aside to cool and firm up.

  8. Trim off the excess pastry, then remove the pie from the tin and serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh cream, if you wish.