Pecan Pie and Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine

Caroline: It’s been so cold lately I’ve been really craving some Christmas time foods. I think the reversed seasons is still the weirdest thing about living far from home for me. It’s August and it feels like there should be Christmas music playing and eggnog in the grocery store….


I decided to make myself a pecan pie to soothe the homesickness.

Me and Kris recently got a great cookbook aptly called “The Great American Cookbook;” a revised edition of ‘How America Eats’ by Clementine Paddleford. Even the authors name screams Americana right?
It’s a great book that is divided up by states and their regional specialties.

Apparently Pecan Pie is a specialty from Georgia. Here is the recipe:

3 large eggs

2 tbs unsalted melted butter (I used salted, I like a bit of salty contrast in my sweets)

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup (I couldn’t find this in Tasmania but you can’t, use Golden syrup, which I did, or molasses in equal measure)

1/2 cup sugar (I did 1/4 c white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar since golden syrup isn’t as dark a sweetener as I wanted)

8 inch pie crust (store bought or home made)

1 1/2 cups broken up pecans

Preheat oven to 220C or 425F

with electric blender beat eggs.

beat in melted butter, flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, and syrup. Set aside

(make you pie crust or whip out your store bought one)

dump all of the pecan pieces into the pie crust relatively evenly across the bottom

pour the mixture gently over the pecans (I thought this step was sort of weird at first but the pecans actually float up through the syrup to distribute themselves. GENIUS)

bake for 10 minutes

reduce heat to 165C or 325 F and bake for another 40 minutes

if you notice the top starting to brown too quickly you can cover it with foil

I also recommend placing pie tin on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper incase of any spillage

when done the center should be puffed and set but still a little wobbly

(I had to bake mine for an extra 15 minutes)

let cool so it firms up and enjoy! I had mine with a scoop of wattle seed and macadamia iceream.

Kris: What a treat! I’m a lucky man. As I have said it  before, I am not a huge dessert eater, but the pecan pie was hard to resist. I l also had a bottle of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine in the cupboard that I bought back from the States to enjoy with my slice of pie. It is brewed in Pennsylvania. It’s 11.1% and has a big sweet malt profile with dried fruit and fig flavours and aroma. It complimented  the pecan pie perfectly and was a great treat on a chilly winters day.

Thanksgiving Part II: Everything else!

Kris:Thanksgiving would be incomplete without lots of side dishes. Scotty and Caroline (the 2 Americans) find cranberry sauce especially essential.

Scotty and Kates’s Hefeweizen Cranberry Sauce

500g of dried cranberries

330ml hefeweizen


Soak the cranberries in the hefeweizen for 1 1/2 hours

Simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes before serving

Kris : It was amazing that the cranberries started fermenting in the beer for the first half an hour. The main thing is that the recipe worked. The fruity/estery taste of the Hefe and the sweet/tart flavour of the cranberries tasted great with the turkey.

Caroline’s Sweet Potato Casserole

200g softened butter (salted or unsalted, but salted adds a nice contrast to sugar in my opinion)
2 large sweet potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup brown sugar (to taste)
Crumbly Top
100g softened butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw sugar
crushed pecans


Preheat oven to 350F  or 170C

Mix casserole ingredients and pour into casserole dish.

Mix crumble ingredients and pour on top of sweet potato mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes.

My Pumpkin Pie

2 sheets of good quality short crust pastry (or if you have time make your own)

700g cooked pumpkin (cooled)

3 Tbs honey or golden syrup

2 large free range eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cream

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

butter for greasing the cake pan


Preheat oven to 180C

Grease a cake pan with butter

Place the pastry in the pan and trim the edges

Line the pastry with baking paper

Fill with dried beans or rice

Blind bake for 15-20 minutes

While this is baking, cream the eggs, brown sugar, honey and spices with electric mixer

Add the pumpkin and beat for a couple more minutes

Fold through the cream

Remove the pastry from the oven and take out the baking paper

Allow it to cool and then spoon in the pumpkin mixture

Bake at 180 C for 1 hour

Allow to cool before serving

Kris: I am a sucker for Barley Wines, and pumpkin pie and Barley Wine is a match to die for. I would go for an English style Barley Wine that is more focussed on the malt sweetness, as opposed to a dry hopped American style which is more hop driven. Anytime is a good time for Barley Wine. We drank a flying Dog Horn Dog Barley Wine from Frederick, Maryland and Widmer Brothers’ Reserve Galaxy Hopped Barley Wine from Portland, Oregon.

Caroline: I must admit I was very skeptical about this dish, back home you can pretty much buy pumpkin pie in a can. I wasn’t sure about making it from scratch with actual pumpkin…

Kris converted me! This pie was AWESOME. and even better with the barley wine (which I am not usually a fan of) but the spices in the pie totally mellowed it out..delicious match!
Caroline: LOOK! You know who else loves Thanksgiving? GEORGE! Well, maybe it wasn’t so much Thanksgiving as it was all the beer boxes we had around the house for him to make forts with…patriotic nonetheless George, well done.

Kris:The two Barley Wines were amazing! I think that the Flying Dog, being more an English style, was the better match with pumpkin pie, but I did love the citrus/fruit hop character of the Widmer Brosthers reserve, and it’s toffee/caramel malt backbone.

Caroline: Can you tell we are all in a turkey and beer induced coma? It lasted about 2 days, totally worth it though…yum yum yum