September 23, 2013

Azrak's Pecan Tart: Worth the Trip to Baabdat

Like the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. I can safely use this expression here. Last Sunday, we received a pie in a white simple box. The first impression was neutral, up until I opened the box and laid eyes on this beautiful piece of creation from Azrak, one of Baabdat's most popular pastry shops.
Azrak_Baabdat_Tart_Pie_Dessert10
Azrak was known as an ice cream parlor in its first location years ago in the Badaro area. But they now offer a wide selection of sweets and pastries in Baabdat along the famous ice cream. One of Azrak's famous items is their Pecan Nuts pie. Close to the Alcazar tart which is constituted of walnuts and covered with bananas, this pecan pie is like no other. The adventure starts the minute you lay your eyes on this circular cake: thick, solid, fresh and generous.
The pecan is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America. "Pecan" is from an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack. A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower, while the part known as the nut develops from the endocarp and contains the seed. The husk itself is aeneous, oval to oblong, 2–6 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The outer husk is 3–4 mm thick, starts out green and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in four sections to release the thin-shelled nut.  
Azrak_Baabdat_Tart_Pie_Dessert16 The seeds of the pecan are edible, with a rich buttery flavor. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts, but also in some savory dishes. One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie, a traditional southern U.S. recipe. Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline candy, most often associated with New Orleans. Pecan pie is a pie made primarily with corn syrup and pecan nuts. Variations may include sugar syrup, molasses or maple syrup. It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe. Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream.   Azrak_Baabdat_Tart_Pie_Dessert15 Let me tell you a bit about Azrak's Pecan Tart: This circular 30cm pie is beautiful in color and texture. It is surrounded by a thick border and covered with more than two dozen pecan nuts. With a thickness of around 1,5cm, the inner filling is rich and condensed. A batter of pecan and corn syrup mix overlays the crunchy dough underneath and covered with a crispy goldish cover and decorated with fresh pecans. An adequately sweetened mix combines crunchiness on the sides and chewiness on the inside making of this dessert a simple yet innovative homemade creation that will blow your mind away.
I won't go into more details, giving you the pleasure of tasting and discovering the hidden wonders this pie offers.
Azrak Baabdat
Update: I went up to Azrak to discover the shop and ask about the price of the pie but it was unfortunately closed. Neighbours asked me to ring the bell as the owners might be home having lunch: it seems like a common thing.
Categories: Tasty Discoveries

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been there? what was your impression? (10/10)

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