'Tis the season for pies. Today is apparently National Pie Day, so I could not let this pass without a post. I love pies -- custard pies, nut pies, meat pies -- what have you. And my family loves pies, too. Our Thanksgiving table was filled with pies (and a couple of cakes). My contributions were a pecan pie and a chocolate pie. We also had egg custard pie, French coconut pie, sweet potato pie and, of course, pumpkin pie.
|Thanksgiving dessert spread. Yum!|
Now, to the pecan pie -- the star of the show in my mind. Being a Georgia girl, naturally, I love pecans. I say "pa-kahn," some people pronounce it "pee-can." How do you say it? Pecan pie is one of my all time favorite pies and an absolute must for Thanksgiving -- and Christmas, too. This year I think I made my best pecan ever. I cannot tell you how to make the crust because I am a failure at such things. I'm working on it. I even tried to cheat and use refrigerated pie crust and I couldn't even handle that without it breaking apart and causing a great deal of cursing. I ended up sending my husband on an emergency mission to the store for some pie shells. I know, I know -- they aren't as tasty, they have bad things in them -- but sometimes you have to just keep your sanity. I did hand shell the pecans. Talk about losing one's sanity! Fresh-shelled pecans do taste remarkably fresher, though. Just be prepared to do a lot of digging.
9-inch deep dish pie crust (homemade or frozen)
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup corn syrup (I like to use half dark and half light)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups pecans (halves or pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie shell on a metal cookie sheet. Melt butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Whisk in corn syrup, sugar, salt and vanilla. Slowly beat in eggs until mixture is smooth. Place pecans on the bottom of pie crust and pour filling over them. (Don't worry, the pecans will rise.)
Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. If you find the crust is getting too brown, cover pie loosely with foil and continue baking. It's somewhat tricky to know when it's done, but look for it to be firm but still a little jiggly in the center. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Tips and Tricks
- Consider using a mix of dark and light corn syrups for a nice balance of flavors. However, if I had to pick one, I'd go with the dark.
- Using brown sugar as opposed to white sugar gives it a great caramel flavor. Again, dark is my favorite. This is the first time I used brown sugar for pecan pie and results were fantastic.
- I must give credit to the October/November issue of Garden and Gun magazine for the idea of using brown sugar and placing the pecans on the bottom which allows them to get fully coated and toasted with the delicious sugary filling. The cover of the magazine featured a beautiful pecan pie from Wildflour Pastry in Charleston, South Carolina. While it did not contain the recipe, the article did contain these two tricks.
I hope all of you here in the U.S. had a wonderful pie-filled Thanksgiving. Happy Pie Day!