Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, Snack

While my first two choices were both too busy – being a monarch and a queen, respectively – to catch-up, my old faithful Keira Knightley was free. And it was wonderful to see her again.

I first met Kiz while protesting against her playing Lizzie Bennet in Pride & Prejudice – because no one would ever be able to top the sublime Jennifer Ehle. Oh … and I stole Jamie Dornan away from her. It wasn’t a strong start to friendship, by any stretch of the imagination, but it does highlight how sweet dear Kizza can be.

But I guess I wouldn’t hold a grudge if someone bought you your first Academy Award nomination to apologise.

After working through our rocky start, we became the best of friends and I became the toast of ol’ London town. We laughed, we partied and, after she discovered that she didn’t earn her first nom, vowed to secure her a legit Oscar nom. While it took me nine years, her performance in The Imitation Game was exquisite and I was glad to see her get the recognition she deserved … and to clear my debt.

It was such a treat to see her again and catch-up on what she’s been doing since she was in town for the scandal plagued last Pirates movie. Given how thankful we were to see each other, I was inspired to whip up my  Thanksgiving approved Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls.

 

 

Bringing a little bit of festive spirit to the Australian classic, these rolls are near culinary perfection. Flakey pastry, spiced, moist turkey and plump warm cranberries? Delicious and oh so comforting.

Enjoy!

 

 

Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup craisins, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 eggs, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the turkey, onion, garlic, craisins, sage, pistachios, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl and scrunch to combine.

Cut the pastry sheets in half and split the meat mixture into two, shaping into a long sausage to fit the length of the pastry. Place on the pastry, wrap tightly to combine, brushing the seam to help seal the sausage roll.

Slice each into two or three, place on a lined baking sheet and brush with remaining egg. Place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and the pastry is golden.

Devour, festively.

 

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Pirates & Prejudice

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After an upside down week, I decided I needed something with a little more pomp and circumstance this week. And there is no one I know with more pomp or circumstance, than Keira Knightley.

Well other than Lizzie and the OG (and best) Lizzie.

Since those two were busy, I swallowed my pride, got rid of my prejudice and bent my calendar like Beckham to fit her in.

What says I’ve missed you the last couple of years and not, get your lesbian feet out of my shoes Jesminder?

Image source: Focus Features.

 

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Winona Spyders

Dessert, Snack, Stranger Feasts, Sweets

Given the fact she is the reason we’re holding this entire Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration, Stranger Feasts, it should come as no surprise that I’m wrapping things up with a date with my dear, dear friend Winona Ryder. Nevermind the fact that Joyce’s love for her son is the heart and soul for the entire show.

It feels like only yesterday that I caught up with Shan, Mil, Gats, Cal, Noah and Finn. Well, it was yesterday for Finn, but you get what I meant!

And by that, I meant to shamelessly cross promote.

I’ve known Winona forever, after we met on the set of Beetlejuice with my other dear friends Alec and Geens. As I was her stunt double slash stand-in we were inseparable on set and thankfully that developed into the closest, dearest friendship of our lives.

Given how long we’ve both been in Hollywood, we have a shit tonne of mutual friends – Leo, Kirsten, Claire, Pete, Al, Brit, Whoopi, Jeff, Simon and Retta, but to shamelessly name drop a few – so it was great to catch-up on all the gossip and throw some shade at their lesser career trajectories.

I mean, not even our biggest scandal could hold us down.

As you would all know, Winona was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. What you may not know but surely would have guessed by now, I too was caught up in the arrest … and may have been the cause of the entire thing (I wanted a new wardrobe, sue me). And our flimsy ‘method acting’ excuse.

In any event my nemesis Mark Geragos – aka half of the inspiration behind Piper Perabo’s horrid Notorious – did not help the case and Wins completed her community service with me by her side. Despite the fact I wasn’t even convicted thanks to my lawyer John someone? He said something about being shocked that referencing a glove not fitting getting his two worst clients off, but I digress.

I haven’t seen Wins in the last few months, so I am thrilled that she picked up the phone and asked for my promotional skill. Slash to help her celebrate Halloween slash her birthday. Given how many slashes were involved, I knew there was only one thing I could whip up – a big batch of (Chang’s) Winona Spyders.

 

 

While these are quite possibly the most basic thing you could ever make, they are also one of the most delicious. I mean, peanut butter and chocolate. Does it get any better? Yes, yes it does – crunchy noodles.

Enjoy!

 

 

Winona Spyders
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
400g milk chocolate
200g Chang’s Fried Noodles

Method
Place the peanut butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave until combined.

Fold through the noodles.

Spoon a tablespoon (or two) of the mixture into muffin cases and place on a baking sheet. Once done, place in the fridge and chill until set.

Then devour, greedily.

Happy Halloween!

 

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Whoopi Goldberg Pies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Snack, Sweets

Oy vey – it’s the end of the road. You ready to let go?

Given that we kicked off this year’s Emmy Gold with such an icon, in the form of Reets – followed by Jack, Chevs, Luce and Ty – I knew we could only wrap-up Game of Golds with another EGOT winner. And there is no EGOT winner more iconic than my dear, dear, DEAR friend Whoopi Goldberg.

I first met Whoops in the ‘80s while she was filming The Color Purple. While I was mentoring my girl Oprah at the time, I saw Whoopi as a bright talent and endeavoured to make her a star. She wasn’t convinced Ghost was a good idea, but thankfully I was able to talk her around and well … Oscar came knocking. So, well, you’re welcome Whoops.

But in all seriousness, she has been extremely grateful for the career success I bequeathed her and is eagerly awaiting my screenplay for Sister Act III: Saving Lauryn Hill. In the meantime, she was thrilled to drop by and run the odds for the final time this Emmy season.

For the final time, I’m going to run the odds. So starting with the obvious, Outstanding Limited Series is going to Big Little Lies and Drag Race is taking Reality Competition. I’m praying Black Mirror will take out Outstanding Movie, though Wizard of Lies wouldn’t shock me and Coat of Many Colours would give me life. Saturday Night Live will win Variety for Kate McKinnon’s Hillary, Variety Talk is anyone’s game though I root for Colbert, Atlanta will win Comedy and The Handmaid’s Tale will win Drama.

Or This Is Us. Or Stranger Things. We really couldn’t decide.

Busy work, calls for a bit of a sugar rush, so thankfully Whoops was hella keen for some of her favourite treats – my Whoopi Goldberg Pies!

 

 

The earthiness of the rich chocolate, with the sticky muscovado and the sweet marshmallow filling, work together to fill your heart with joy and stomach with goody, goody, Goody Procter goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg Pies
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
½ cup valrhona cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
200g white marshmallows
30g butter
60g white chocolate, chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined, in another bowl slowly whisking in the buttermilk and vanilla. Then in a third bowl, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for five or so minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to until combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk-vanilla alternating between the two, in threes.

Spoon ¼ cup mounds of batter on a lined baking sheets and baking for ten-fifteen minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the pies are chillin’, place the marshmallows and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir until combined. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re good to go, spread half the biscuits with icing and sandwich with a bare half. Then, devour – oh happy day!

 

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Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Soup

I’m most oft described as being an old man trapped in a young(ish) man’s body. In turn, that old man that lives inside me is most oft described in more detail as (extremely) grumpy. Whenever I’m told this, or catch myself shaking my fist at youths in the street, I am reminded of my dear friend and co-star in the movie series based on my life, Grumpy Old Men, Jack Lemmon.

While Jacky boy, as I used to call him, is most famous for his success on the silver screen – two Oscars, what a card! – one of his final awards was his Emmy for his turn as Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie. As such, I decided to whip out the time machine and pay him one last visit.

I first met Jack on the set of Some Like It Hot in the ‘50s where I acted as a drag coach to Jack and Tones. Yes – I was a drag icon in the 50s and Ru is my drag daughter. Jacks was taken by my talent and we became extremely close during filming, being dear friends ever since. After finalising my first autobiographical script, I knew I needed to get Jack onboard and the hit franchise Grumpy Old Men was born.

Given the fact the catch-up was occurring via time-travel, I couldn’t run the odds with Jack so I utilised my time in the delorean – fun fact: time travel takes a lot longer than Back to the Future would have you believe – to run the odds of the male counterparts of yesterday’s discussion with Rita.

While I really want Milo to take out Best Actor in a Drama series and make Jess and Rory Emmy winners in the same year, I struggle to go past Sterling K Brown. In any event, This Is Us’ to lose. Riz Ahmed should take Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie, Ron Cephas Jones will narrowly best Jeffrey Wright for Supporting Actor in a Drama and Skarsy will take out Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

All that talking to myself really took it out of me. That, coupled with the fact we’re both elderly, led to me whipping up a big ol’ delicious batch of my Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup.

 

 

Oldies like Jack and I – I should mention, I travelled back to the late ‘80s when he was yet to become an Emmy winner – love a good soup, and there is no better than a Lemon Chicken one. The sour lemons, creamy eggs, sweet mint and delicate chicken come together to make you forget the fact you’re eating a mother and her children and feel content.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 lemons, zested and juiced
2L low-salt chicken stock
a good whack of salt and pepper
1 cup white rice
500g chicken breast, diced
3 eggs
a small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the juice, zest and stock in a large pot with salt and pepper over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the rice and chicken, reduce heat to low and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until the rice is tender and the chicken cooked through.

Beat the eggs in a small jug and slowly, still whisking, add about a cup of stock until a white, creamy mixture forms. Transfer said white, creamy mixture back into the pot, while stirring, until well combined.

Remove from the heat and stir through the mint leaves before serving. And then devouring.

 

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Margarita Moreno

Drink, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds

As you know my life’s dream – which I fulfill in 2032 – is to achieve the pinnacle of global success, the EGOT. Some may covet a Nobel prize, or a Presidency – but not me, the EGOT is where it’s at / is the most worthy of respect.

Despite this, winning the EGOT hasn’t always my dream, it wasn’t until my dear friend, icon of stage and screen, Rita Moreno, took at the quinella that I was inspired to achieve true greatness. I’d been friends with Reets for close to 30 years by the time she secured her first Emmy and completed the square, and seeing the joy it brought to her made me so happy … and insanely jealous, which eventually turned to inspired.

I first met Reets in the ‘40s – Stockard Channing? She was well into her 50s – while appearing on Broadway. I knew I had a star on my hands and vowed to take her to Hollywood and make her universally beloved. Which I did, yay me.

Anyway, West Side Story Came and went and I disappeared in and out of rehab, with Rita’s support and love becoming my only constant.

Given the fact she is experiencing quite the career resurgence, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like, so she jumped at the opportunity to join me to kick off our Emmy Gold party. While her victorious categories have already been held at the Creative Arts Emmys, I opted to run the Drama and Limited Series Actress odds with her instead. Like me, she has recently reconciled with Nicky Kids and as such, is proud to back her for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her harrowing turn in Big Little Lies. Elisabeth Moss is taking out Best Actress in a Drama, despite the fact we find out it is a documentary from the future. My girl Millie Bobby Brown is going win Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her breakout turn as Eleven and Queen Laura Dern is going to snatch Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for playing me in Big Little Lies.

While we eventually agreed on the victors, it did take some hearty discussion to reach consensus over some delicious booze. And there is no booze more delicious than my Margarita Moreno.

 

 

A little bit tart, entirely refreshing and oft a bad choice, tequila and margaritas are kind of the personification of dating me. Though instead of being refreshing, people tell me to stop getting fresh … with them. In any event, a marg is something you definitely want to take down your throat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Margarita Moreno
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
ice
2 parts tequila, only Patron for us obvi
1 part triple sec
1 part lime juice
2 lime wedges
salt for your rim

Method
Chill your glass with ice for a minute or so.

Transfer it to a cocktail shaker and add more until it is full. Pour over the tequila, triple sec and lime juice and shake, hard, until it is well combined and chilled.

Run the lime around the edges of your glasses, dip them in some salt and strain the marg into the glass.

Then, obvi, down.

 

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Linguine Truffle Miranda

Main, Pasta, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold, Vegetarian

Guys, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here – happy Tony’s Eve. Sadly though, that means our Tony Gold coverage is about to come to a crushing end but I can assure you, I am not throwing away my shot.

In addition to it being the pinnacle of Tony Gold, today also marks our 400th – yes, four FUCKING hundredth – recipe. And when a milestone like that rolls around, I am not throwing away my shot. He yo, I don’t like the country, I’m young, scrappy and this is fame hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot celebrating this milestone, so invited my dear friend and true Broadway treasure Lin-Manuel Miranda.

But seriously can you take a brief pause here to think about the fact that I’ve had this many celebrity friendships survive my horrific behaviour? Say what you will about the entertainment biz, but those people truly have the patience of saints when it comes to my transgressions (I guess that comes with the territory when you’re a white male).

Anywho, I’ve known my boy Linny-Mans for years, having grown up together in the heights which inspired him to write his first hit musical In the Heights. It would come as no surprise that the character of Sonny was inspired by me and my sassy attitude.

Given the phenomenon of Hamilton and the fact that it inspired this year’s celebrations, I knew we had to finish the celebrations with my dear, sweet friend who I love is love is love so damn much.

Oh and I had to honour the fact he inadvertently inspire my high school drama teacher to write an original musical compiling the plots of Blood Brothers, Bootmen and Romeo & Juliet that I played as high comedy, to distract from the fact it was poorly written.

Sorry – I mean it was wonderful and Trapt is essentially the Tweed Heads/Banora Point version of Hamilton, Muriel’s Wedding be damned.

Since we’ve pretty much covered all the major categories, Lin-Man and I only had to look at the OG Score. While he is more forgiving and has chosen to back the men that robbed him of his EGOT for Dear Evan Hansen, he know how far I’ll go … and that is to undermine their chances and back Come from Away our my compatriot Tim-Min for Groundhog Day.

After getting the serious part of our date out of the way, I got to work whipping up a meal while he toasted the success of this patch of future-Peabody-winning cyberspace. He then said something about looking forward to the next 400, though he could have been saying something about looking forward to 400g  of my Linguine Truffle Miranda.

 

 

Full disclosure, this is a Nigella Lawson recipe with minimal – emphasis on minimal – tweaks, but even the domestic goddess herself has said that she enjoys seeing how people adapt the recipes to suit their tastes. And it isn’t like I’m slumming her as recipe 392 or something – this is a milestone, dammit!

While Nige’s is a little more delicate,  I go for an aged parmesan that smells like your feet and shoes died six months ago and have been rotting in tropical heat and an extremely generous lug of truffle oil, meaning the pasta punches you in the mouth in the best way possible.

Happy Tonys / thanks for reading / enjoy!

 

 

Linguine Truffle Miranda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g linguine
4 eggs
¼ cup double cream
¼ cup grated aged parmesan, plus more to serve
2 tbsp white truffle oil, or to taste
60g unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place a big old pot of salted water over high heat and bring to the boil.  Once bubbling like a revolution, add the linguine and cook as per packet instructions.

While the paste is cooking, combine the eggs, double cream, parmesan and truffle oil in a jug, and whisk to combine.

When the pasta is good to go, drain it in a colander, reserving a cup of the boiling liquid. Place the butter in the pan with about a quarter of a cup of the aforementioned – or abovementioned if you’re a moron trying to sound smart while defending yourself in legal proceedings – cooking liquid. Add the pasta, stir and then add the creamy liquid, still stirring, to combine.

Place the pasta over low and heat and cook stirring for a minute or so. Remove, serve, cover in more old-foot-smelling parmesan and devour, ok?

 

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Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman

Main, Poultry

Now that I’m 30, I feel that I have unlocked a new depth to my emotional intelligence that allows me to share my rawest of emotions. As such I feel completely comfortable (and brave) to share, oy how my heart breaks from losing Phil so soon.

While it was such a treat to go back, catch-up and share a meaningful – albeit extremely puzzling for him – goodbye on the set of the Hunger Games, it was painful knowing that I couldn’t help him or change his fate.

Lest I risk setting off a chain reaction worse where Ashton Kutcher becomes a celebrated actor and Donald Trump becomes … actually, it probably couldn’t get worse.

I first met Phil whilst Annelie and I were working as Jami Gertz’s assistants on the set of Twister. While Hellraiser Hunt was the only person that could keep us from ruining production – it is rumoured our feud was being eyed as the first season of Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology – it was sweet, kind Phil that truly took us under his wing and attempted to help us find a sense of calm belonging and help us process life in an appropriate manner.

I didn’t even realise how fitting it was that I visited him to aid my transition to adulthood.

Given that I didn’t want to let me grief spook him, I stuck with whipping up our celebratory Chicken Filo Seymour Hoffman.

 

 

While it was our traditional celebratory dish, I love it so much that it was the perfect cover for my tears – “they’re happy Philly!”

As it should be clear by now, I love anything hot enough to liquify my organs and I love buffalo chicken. This little parcel is a bit of a posh update of the spicy wings, all the better from the lack of bones and the addition of pastry.

Who ever would have thought I’d prefer something without the bone? Old age, I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
100g blue cheese, crumbled
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Using the back of a heavy based frying pan, bash each of the chicken breasts until an even 1cm-ish thick.

Combine the blue cheese, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic and hot sauce in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four and line across the centre of the chicken breasts and wrap/roll to enclose.

Place two sheets of filo on a bench and place a rolled breast at the centre at one end. Gently roll the breast and pastry to just enclose. Fold both sides in and then continue rolling to enclose. Place on a lined baking sheet, repeat until done and top with a little bit of extra blue cheese.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes … before devouring with mash and/or veggies.

 

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Along Came Philly

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

So I have something to share – I am turning 30 this week. Yes, I know, I am getting old – thank god I’m a man and aging as a male is accepted in Hollywood!

Given it is such a milestone, I thought it best to take the old time machine out for a spin and to visit one of my dearly departed best friends.

Philip Seymour Hoffman – or Philly as I, his bestie, called him – left the world way too soon and I was so heartbroken that I never got to say goodbye. As I want to enter my 30s with minimal regrets, I felt that going back and having a meaningful goodbye would be something of an easy fix.

What says I miss and love you, without giving away the future and setting off a butterfly effect that results in another Butterfly Effect movie for which Ashton Kutcher wins an Oscar … or something equally horrific?

Image source: Chris Weeks / WireImage.

 

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Melissa McPumpkin-Pecanthy Pie

Baking, Dessert, Oy with the turkeys already!

It is without a doubt that my dear friend Mel has had the most stratospheric rise since Gilmore Girls tragically came to an end.

I mean yes Loz had Parenthood, Ed now lives on in our heart, Yanic opened a spin studio, Scott appeared on 90210 (he is definitely her closest competition), Kelly had Bunheads, Keiko guested on Shameless and Liza is getting away with murder, but Mel was nominated for a damn Oscar so it is no competition.

As you can probably guess, I played a huge role in Mel landing the role after Alex had to vacate after the pilot. We had met at one of her cousin Jen’s parties and quickly became friends because we are hilarious, charming and are both future Oscar winners. Obviously only I knew that at the time.

Given Mel has been super busy – so busy she almost missed out on filming the revival … although I’m gutted the scandal wasn’t all an elaborate lie to hide her involvement – we haven’t been able to see each other as often as we would like.

Oh and there was that little fight we had when she wouldn’t let me on the set of Ghostbusters due to “making Chris uncomfortable.”

Thankfully, the holidays cure all and allowed us to heal the wounds, celebrate the revival and more importantly take some time to remember why we are such damn good friends. Obviously all of those things require splitting a delightful Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie.

 

melissa-mcpumpkin-pecanthy-pie-1

 

So you know that awkward moment when you buy all the ingredients to make a Pecan Pie only to remember that AJ McLean vowed to disown you if you ever made one for someone more famous than he? Well this little festive gang-bang is sure to act as a perfect loophole.

Plus … the only thing better than a pumpkin or pecan pie, is a pecan-pumpkin pie. Just don’t tell Vandy.

Enjoy!

 

melissa-mcpumpkin-pecanthy-pie-2

 

Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
125g unsalted butter, cold and diced
225g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml cold water
Filling
250g pecans
1 cup pumpkin puree
340g muscovado sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
70g unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
115ml cream
6 eggs

Method
Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar in a bowl before adding the butter and pressing with your fingers until the dough resembles wet dirt – not sand due to the cocoa, obvs. Mix in the vanilla extract and water, bit by bit, until the smooth dough just comes together.

Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C, spread the pecans over a lined baking sheet and cook for ten minutes while the oven is coming to temperature. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine the puree, sugar, salt, cinnamon, butter and vanilla in a large saucepan over low heat and whisk until combined, butter melted and sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat, whisk in the cream and allow to cool for about ten minutes. Once cool, whisk the eggs through, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.

Get the dough out of the fridge and roll-out between two pieces of baking paper until it is 3-5mm. Press the dough into a 26cm pie dish, trim the edges, line with baking paper, fill with baking weights  and blind bake for about fifteen minutes. Remove the weights/paper and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for about ten minutes.

While the crust is settling, add the pecans to the filling, stir thoroughly and add to the crust. Smooth out the top and bake for about 45 minutes, or until set and browned.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about half an hour and devour with ice cream.

 

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