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December 08, 2003


Mitch Mills

Thanks for the recipe (and the underlying research and experimentation that went into it, although I'm sure it was enjoyable).

I haven't delved into the Gold Cookbook in ages, but De Gouy is truly a classic. I've made something similar using molasses and honey, but the maple syrup is a great idea and I'll try it out soon (I still haven't had time and occasion to make the Prune Whip yet though). I've never seen the floured pecans technique, but I always add about a teaspoon or so of flour to help the liquid set up; it probably comes out to about the same thing. And I never ever use Crisco, but I'm just snobby that way. I like adding a little bourbon, but omit it if anyone on the Southern Baptist side of the family will be partaking.

Also, about ten or so years ago, I was in the UK and there were no pecans available, so I substituted almonds and hazelnuts. Different, but delicious.


Um, is there anyone who hates pecans?

Regardless, nobody eats pecan pie for the pecans. It's for the sugar rush.....

Mrs Tilton

Pure corn syrup is impossible to come by where I live, so I have been making pecan pies with a cheap American pancake syrup from the 'American foods' section of the local overpriced luxury foods shop. It's largely corn syrup, but contains some sort of maple-flavoured stuff as well. The slight maple flavour isn't at all bad.

The Swiss make something called Engadiner Nusstorte, a bit like a pecan pie with walnuts rather than pecans and with a two-piece crust. Quite good, and it gives the same instant insulin rush that pecan pie does.

Mitch Mills

It can be really frustrating, but also interesting and educational, to try to make old favorites when you're posted abroad and you can't find some key ingredient or other. I had to become pretty creative at substitutions while in China, although towards the end I was in Shanghai and you could, for a hefty price usually, find many "American" ingredients.

Now that I'm back in the states I'm sometimes in the reverse situation when trying to make Chinese foods, although my town (Austin, Texas) now has decent Asian markets.

Whereabouts are you making those pecan pies these days, Mrs. Tilton?

Mrs Tilton

In Germany (which does at least give me proximity to those Engadiner Nusstorten).

It's sad, really, to see what's on offer in that shop's 'American foods' section: marshmallows, Kraft Nuclear Orange Mac-&-Cheese, Vanilla Coke, tubs of Betty Crocker cake frosting. American cuisine's not all junk, but you'd never know it from this.

Mitch Mills

I know what you mean about "American foods" as seen from abroad (or right here at home in most of the supermarket, sadly).

As for substitutions, when I was in the UK I remember something called Golden Syrup (I think the brand name was "Lyle's" or something very like that). I'm pretty sure it was cane syrup but would probably work about the same as corn syrup. Also treacle, which was very like molasses, maybe a bit stronger. I don't know if those are available in Germany, but what with the common market they might be more available and cheaper than American stuff.

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