If you’ve read even just a few of my posts, you know that I live across the world from my family. There are times when I can handle the distance and times that it feels near impossible.
Holidays (generally happy times for most) are the hardest for me. They put the large hole I have in my heart in front of a mirror, in front of my face, that says “hey, look, you’re alone”.
The thing is is that I’m so not alone. I have an amazing group of friends who have recognized my need for family and attempt to fill that gap, all throughout the year, not just on holidays.
Three years ago I decided to give back to those friends and spoil them with a traditional American style Thanksgiving feast. I made everything from scratch, and even found one very large turkey (hard to find in Israel), that fed my 18 guests.
I decided I was going to make it a tradition. To give back to my friends every year.Well, the year after I was 7 months pregnant, working like crazy and not feeling up for the challenge. Last year my husband was out of town, which made cooking with an infant not my idea of fun. This year I’m in New York.
To my incredible friends (you know who you are). Next year, be prepared. Thanksgiving feast is coming back!
This is a recipe that Danya perfected taking both her mothers and mother in laws classic pecan tart recipes and turning them into the perfect mix.
Ingredients for one 9-inch/26 cm. tart pan:
For the crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
200 grams / 7 oz. unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
A pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
50 grams/2 oz. salted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 eggs, at room temperature
80 ml. heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.5 cups pecans, coarsely chopped plus, 1.5 cups pecan halves
1. Butter a 9-inch tart pan.
2.Using a food processor, mixer, or your hands, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and salt until large crumbs, about the size of peas are formed. Add the egg and mix just until dough is formed. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
3.Working on a lightly floured workspace, roll out the dough to 1/8 in. thick. Place the dough into the prepared tart pan. Make holes on the bottom of the dough using a fork. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180*C/350*F.
5. Prepare the filling: in a medium pan over low heat, cook the brown sugar, butter and maple syrup until the sugar has melted. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes and then add the eggs, one by one, whisking vigorously until combined.
6. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
7. Remove the dough from the freezer and evenly sprinkle on the chopped pecans. Pour the prepared filling over the chopped pecans. Arrange the pecan halves in a fanlike manner on top of the filling.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and set. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.