This past weekend I entered a baking contest! It was the Second Annual Great BC Bake-Off held in Langely, hosted by Well Seasoned. It was a small part of a larger event, the BBQ on the Bypass. It is an all-day barbeque competition. There were free samples of every type of pork BBQ you could think of. It was delicious! I most definitely came home that day smelling of BBQ and smoke.
We were entertained by the wonderful Karen Lee Batten, a country singer from BC who was a finalist on the first season of Canadian Idol. Mom and I even got a picture with her between her show.
I had woken up early Sunday morning to prepare. I had made the tart dough the night before so that I would be ready to go in the morning, without having to wait for it to chill. I rolled out the dough, placed it carefully in my new rectangle tart pan(!), and began making the filling. It was only 8 am, and the kitchen already smelled of browned butter pecans and orange zest. It was wonderful. I even had a small amount left over to make a ‘mini’ tart, so I could taste test it ;) That was breakfast. Adam got up a little after me, I made him taste the tart (hard life!) and then we made our way out to Langley. Entries had to be submitted before noon.
There were about 30 pies in total entered in the contest. There were three categories, Fruit Pie, Open (anything goes), and Butter Tarts (of course). When I went to drop mine off, I did notice a few other Pecan pies/tarts that were also submitted. All of the pies looked very delicious! There were several judges, one of which was Follow Me Foodie.
We made our way around the BBQ tents, tasting what each had to offer. Adam was in BBQ heaven. By the second loop, I was pretty full! Adam’s mom and my mom met us there as well, so each time we took them around to the tents we had another sample. There was also homemade Perogies, and vegetarian Borscht. I can safely say no one was leaving the event hungry.
Adam and I had to stay until the awards ceremony, which said online, and on the entry form, was to be held at 4 pm. We had gone across the street for a little bit to shop, and returned around 3 to wait for the ceremony. As 4 o’clock passed, we began to wonder if it was going to begin soon. After asking an event coordinator, we were told it was actually at 5 pm. So, we sat down for another hour and listened to some more songs by Karen-Lee. If we had known earlier, I may have gone home for a few hours and perhaps done some homework.. but oh well. We also had a family dinner to get to at 5 pm.
However, the wait was worth it! My entry came in Second place! I was secretly hoping I would make some placement, after waiting around all day it would have been a little dissapointing if I did not. But, they did call my name! I came in second place for my Pecan tart! I was awarded a lovely ribbon (my first!) and a $100 gift certificate to the gourmet kitchen store, Well Seasoned. I thought only first place was going to receive a gift cetificate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was going to be winning one as well! I have already begun thinking about what I may purchase with it..
I had only found out about the contest on the Tuesday before. So, I had to get moving! I made a whole pecan tart the next night, trying out a few new ideas and flavours. Then, the day before I made some mini tarts, using frozen dough just so I could try an idea I had after tweaking the filling recipe. That was it! I believe I had created something quite delicious.. !
me and the organizer Angie, photo from the flickr stream
So, here is my Award Winning recipe! The addition of the orange zest adds a lot of flavour to the filling! After making these brownies a few times before, I also decided to brown the butter instead of melting it in the microwave (because it also keeps exploding when I do that! anyone else have this problem of exploding butter..). I also wanted to do a tart dough with cream cheese, as I’ve heard of it before and thought it would be soft and prevent from an overly-hard crust that could be difficult to cut. I based mine off of this recipe I found.
This will definitely be making an appearance at our thanksgiving table this year :)
Royal Pecan Tart
Made with Crown Royal, Browned Butter Pecans & Orange Zest
Recipe by Bakeaholic
For the Crust
- 1/2 cup chilled cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
To make the dough:
- Place the cream cheese, butter, flour and sugar in a food processor. Process until dough starts to form.
- Pour onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a ball.
- Flatten into a disk, and cover tightly with plastic wrap, being sure to seal all edges tightly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or may be made and refrigerated for one night, or 24 hours in advance.
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Zest from 2 oranges
- 1 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Just under 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons organic blue agave syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Crown Royal Liquor
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out tart dough to ¼ inch thickness on slightly floured countertop.
I roll the dough over top of the rolling pin, and then unroll it over top of the pan. If using a round tart dish or pie plate, you would roll it in more of a circle, then fold it in half and then in a quarter, and place point in middle of pan and unfold.
Place over lightly buttered pan, and press down on sides and bottom lightly.
- Discard extra dough.
- Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat; cook two minutes, whisking until butter browns. Stir in pecans and cook a couple more minutes, continue stirring. Remove pan from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add orange zest, brown sugar, corn syrup, agave, Crown Royal and vanilla until well combined. Stir in pecans.
- Pour filling onto crust ¾ way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until dough is golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely on wire rack. Best if served same day. Can be stored for 1-2 days.
You can also make it in a round tart pan!