Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Pastry: Pre-bake your own favorite pie crust in a 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
1-1/2 cups pecan halves (5.25 ounces)
4 large egg yolks (2.5 ounces)
1/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup (4 ounces)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (3.75 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream (2 ounces)
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Lace Topping (optional)
1/3 of a 3-ounce bar of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1 ounce)
2 tablespoons heavy cream, cold (1 ounce)
1 cup crème fraîche, unsweetened, or whipped cream (1 tablespoon of bourbon may be added to whipped cream)
Pecan Pie - Preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange the pecans, top sides up, in the bottom of the baked crust.
In medium, heavy saucepan, combine egg yolks, syrup, brown sugar, butter, cream and salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula and without letting the mixture boil, until it is uniform in color and just begins to thicken slightly (160¿F on candy thermometer), 7 to 10 minutes. Strain at once into small bowl and stir in vanilla.
Slowly pour filling over pecans, coating their upper surface.
Place a foil ring on top of crust to prevent overbrowning; bake about 20 minutes or until filling is puffed and golden and just beginning to bubble around the edges. Filling will shimmy slightly when moved. Cool completely on a rack, about 45 minutes, before unmolding.
Chocolate Lace Topping - Place chopped chocolate in a small microwave-proof bowl. Melt in microwave, stirring every 15 seconds.
Pour cream on top of chocolate; stir until smooth (should drop thickly from spoon). If it is too thick, add a little more heavy cream.
Pour into reclosable quart-size freezer bag. Close securely. To pipe: cut a very small piece from one corner of bag. Drizzle lines of chocolate back and forth over top of pecans, first in one direction (front to back) and then the other (side to side) to form a lacy design.
Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream.