This was a very successful experiment. I used a basic friend recipe, replacing the ground almonds with ground pecans, and some of the sugar with maple syrup. The resulting friands were a little damper and heavier than normal ones, with hints of sticky toffee pudding. The characteristic slightly crispy outside and soft inside that you get in a friend made with ground almonds was turned up a notch with the pecan version, making them irresistible to me. I wanted a more autumnal addition to these friands- berries often make an appearance- so for this batch I stirred some finely diced pear into the batter.
I did notice that when they were cooking, the friands seemed to leak a bit of butter, and I when they were in the oven they looked like they weren’t going to work- almost as if the mixture had separated. Once they were out and cooled a bit they were fine, so don’t worry if this happens to you.
185g unsalted butter
6 egg whites
180g icing sugar
75g plain flour
80ml maple syrup
1 pear, peeled and finely chopped
Whole pecans- enough to decorate
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees. Grind the pecans as finely as you can in a food processor. Set aside. Using a pastry brush, coat the insides of a friand tin, or, if like me, you don’t have one used a cupcake tin, or mini-muffin tin. I used a 24-bun mini muffin tin, and this filled 21 of the moulds.
In a roomy bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy- not stiff, just bubbly. Sift in the flour and icing sugar, and fold in with a metal spoon. Add the ground pecans and maple syrup. Stir in the finely chopped pear. Spoon in the tin-this is runnier than regular friand batter, so a little more care is required. Stud the top of each friand with a pecan, and place in oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let them cool for a bit before gently removing, running a butter knife around the edges of each cake to loosen them from the tin. If you have been thorough with greasing the tins, they should come out neatly.