nuts

Bourbon Pecan Pie

bourbon pecan pie This pecan pie is crunchy on top, melty in the middle—mostly because of the maple syrup—and boozy with bourbon. I tweaked my Dad's recipe, which has always been a Picard family favourite. For the ultimate dessert experience, serve this pie with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy! bourbon pecan pie

To make your own pie dough, see here.

Ingredients

• 1 pie dough in a 9" pan, pre-cooked for 10 minutes. • 1 cup maple syrup • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 shot bourbon • 3 eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1 1/2 cups pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix all ingredients but the pecans. Add 1 cup of pecans, lightly crushed. Pour over the pre-cooked pie dough and top with the remaining pecans. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the center is no longer wobbly.

bourbon pecan pie

Watercress Pesto

The peppery flavor of watercress and its juicy leaves are terrific in pesto. Think peppery, lemony, garlicy goodness together with toasted nuts and punchy parmesan. If you want a quick, crowd-pleasing appetizer or a spread for that grilled tomato sandwich, give watercress pesto a try. You even have the option of drizzling some with added oil on your meat or fish. Pesto is versatile, and since the greens and the garlic remain uncooked, it's also very healthy. Enjoy! Yields about 3 cups

Ingredients

• 1 cup pecans (or walnuts) • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds • 2 cups packed watercress • 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan • 3/4 cup olive oil • juice of one lemon • 3 garlic cloves • salt + ground black pepper

Dry toast the nuts and seeds in a pan, shaking, until they're ready. In a food processor, whizz the nuts and seeds until finely shredded. Add all the other ingredients, and whizz again. Season with salt and pepper and adjust to desired consistency with olive oil. Serve with fresh bread.

Maple, Apple, and Pecan Turnovers

It's maple syrup season. Time to enjoy some local sweetness. Time to get sappy by surprising your loved ones with turnovers for dessert--or breakfast. It's also time to make more of your own pastry. Practice makes better! I usually make my dough/pastry a day in advance, refrigerate it, and then take it out an hour before using. Also, prepare your sauce while the turnovers are in the oven. You'll have just enough time. Enjoy! Yields 8 turnovers

Puff Pastry

• 250g white flour • 250g unsalted butter • ~100ml cold water • 2 tablespoons sugar • pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter with your hands. Not too much, though--you still want clumps of butter. Add the water and work until you have a smooth dough. Add more water if it’s too stiff. Chill for 30 minutes.

Flour your work surface. Now the trick is to have nice layers of pastry. To do that you just have to roll the dough into a rectangle, about half an inch thick. Fold the left end towards the middle, and then fold the right end on top of it. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, roll again and repeat the folding. Do that 4-5 times. Then chill the dough for another 30 minutes or more.

Filling

• 4 medium apples, sliced • 2 tablespoons butter • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the apples with the cinnamon on medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Add the maple syrup and simmer for another 2 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool.

Putting it together

• You'll need 1 egg

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Roll out your dough to a 1/4" thick rectangle and then cut into 8 equal squares. Roll each to about 4" diameter square. Fill each with a heaped tablespoon of the filling. Bring the dough back over and seal with your fingers. Brush the top with the beaten egg and cut up holes on top. Put the turnovers on a pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until crispy. Make sure to keep the juice that's left from the apples.

Maple-Pecan Caramel

• 1 cup pecans • 1 cup maple syrup • leftover juice from the apples • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

You can choose to chop the pecans a bit if you like. Toast them in a pan for a couple of minutes then add the maple syrup and juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Lemon-Almond Cookies

We wanted lemon cookies, so I took my great-grandma's "mabelle" cookie recipe and added lemon. While at it, I rolled them in ground almonds before baking. The result is a soft but zesty cookie. I also included a variation with a maple-almond filling.

Yields 30 cookies

Ingredients

• 1 cup salted butter • 1 cup brown sugar • 1/4 cup hot water • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • zest of 1 lemon • 3 cups white flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 cup almonds, grounded

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients. Add the baking soda to the flour, then add to the other ingredients. Mix well until smooth. If the dough seems to loose, add some flour. Roll balls about 1" in diameter, then roll them in grounded almonds and place them on a baking pan. Tap down each cookie to flatten them a bit. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Maple-Almond Filling

Proceed as above, but mix the leftover grounded almonds with 1/2 cup maple syrup, press a little hole into each cookie, and fill it with the mixture.

Goat Cheese, Walnut and Apple Salad

Here's a quick and healthy salad fix. The goat cheese and walnuts are really the major flavors here - that's why the vinaigrette is so simple. This takes about 5 minutes to put together. Serves 4-6

Ingredients

• 4 handfuls (about 150g total) mixed lettuces • 1 cup walnuts • 150g goat cheese, crumbled • 2 red apples, chopped • 1/4 cup oil (olive, sunflower or grapeseed) • 3 tablespoons lemon juice • chopped cilantro (optional)

Mix the chopped apples with the lemon juice. It'll keep them from browning. Put all the ingredients (including the apples and the lemon juice) in a large bowl and gently stir together. Serve and top with cilantro.