Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Unlike pumpkin pie, pecan pie has always been an absolute favorite of mine. Given my long-running love affair with nuts, I’d gobble up as much pecan pie as I could around the holidays. I loved the combination of the sweet filling with the salty nuts. Pair that with a buttery, flaky crust and you pretty much had heaven as far as I was concerned. This ranks up there with pumpkin in terms of standard Thanksgiving pie fare, so I thought it would only be fitting to share my favorite recipe as we close in on the holiday.

I adore this pie for two primary reasons:

#1: There are tons of chopped up pecans all throughout the pie and not just in a little layer on top; and

#2: The filling doesn’t have that fake, gelatin-y, super firm set consistency, which can sometimes be a little off-putting.

I basically can’t get enough of this and am making it my New Year’s resolution for 2011 to make pecan pie outside of the month of November. It so deserves it!

One year ago: Lebkuchen – German Christmas Cookies

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Pecan Pie

A pecan pie studded with chopped, toasted pecans all throughout the pie.


Ingredients:

1 recipe Pie Dough (for single crust)


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

¾ cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces


Directions:

1. Prepare the crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


2. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.


3. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.


4. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil/parchment and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 15 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate from oven.


5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer. Remove the bowl from the skillet; stir in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs, then the corn syrup and vanilla. Return the bowl to hot water; stir until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat; stir in the pecans.


6. As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. Pour the pecan mixture into the hot pie shell.


7. Bake on the middle rack until the pie looks set and yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed with the back of a spoon, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack; cool completely, at least 4 hours.


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(Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated)


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