February 25, 2009

Recipe of the Day - Pecan Pie

If I had to pinpoint the one baked good I've made that probably started my whole love affair with baking/pastries, it would have to be the pecan pie. After successfully making a pie crust for the first time, my confidence in my pastry abilities sky rocketed.

I first made the pie for a pre-Thanksgiving potluck at the apartment of my good friends David and Sayaka. I was a little nervous about people liking my pie as I hadn’t really tested out the recipe on anyone yet, and more importantly, this was the first baked good I had unleashed on the masses. Well, the “masses” being the 15 or so people that attended David and Sayaka’s party.

When dessert time rolled around, I unveiled the pie to the obligatory “ooo”s and “ahhh”s that everyone gets when you reveal a dish at a potluck (unless your friends don’t have any manners – mine do!). It wasn’t until one girl, whose name I can’t remember, said, “Who made this pie? It’s really good!” did my heart beat go back to normal. A handful of other compliments came my way, and to be honest, I was shocked that I was getting this kind of response. Not bad for my first public dish.

The only real competition of the night came from a couple that showed up at the party late. They too had prepared a pecan pie, and admittedly, theirs was a lot fancier looking. For some reason, they chose a sailor theme for their pie. I’m not quite sure how Thanksgiving equates to a nautical theme, but regardless, the anchor shaped crust on the top of the pie, accompanied by seagulls, was impressive. I didn’t stick around to taste their pie as it was the end of the night and I had already unbuttoned the top button on my jeans, but I have to say that my confidence dipped a bit when I saw their creative crust.

It wasn’t until the next day when I received a text message from David that my fears were put to rest. The text said:

“We did a pecan pie taste test after you left. Yours won hands down.”


Below is the recipe I used, which I am happy to share with all my readers. I generally see pecan pie as an Autumn/Winter dessert, but if you’re from the South, I guess it’s an all year treat. Regardless, I think this pie tastes good 365 days a year. Enjoy!

My Pecan Pie Tastes Better Than Your Sailor-themed Pecan Pie Recipe

Equipment Needed
Mixing Bowl
Rolling Pin
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cups
Dough Blender
Cutting Board
9 Inch Pie Pan
Cooling Rack

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
I Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter (not unsalted)
6 Tablespoons Shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons Ice Water

Pie Filling:
1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs
2 Cups Roasted Pecans

Step 1: Roasting Pecans
Put 2 cups of pecans in the microwave for one minute. Then take them out and turn them over a few times with your hand and put them back in for another minute. The second time you take them out, if they don't look done, put them in for another minute; otherwise, go on to step two.

Once cooled, take a knife and chop the pecans so that each of them has been chopped in half.

Step 2: Making the Crust
Warm the butter in the microwave until it is soft but not melted.

Mix in a large bowl:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
I Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Then mix in:
6 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons Ice Water

Next, wrap your pie crust in plastic wrap; then, place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or as long as it takes you to make the pie filling.

Step 3: Making the Pie Filling
Put the butter in the microwave until it is completely melted. During this step, preheat your regular oven to 350.

Mix together in the mixing bowl:
1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Mix (slightly beat) eggs until they look like the ones shown in the picture to the left.

Add the eggs to the batter and stir until the batter looks as it did before you added the eggs.

Take your pie dough out of the refrigerator, and roll it out till it looks like the picture at the left. It should be about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Then, apply more flour to the rolling pin. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin, and unroll it onto your pie pan. Cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie pan so that the crust hangs 1 inch around the edge. We use a pan with a gully around the edge to catch anything that overflows.

Pinch around the edge of the pie dough so that it folds in half. If you did not leave a one inch border, you will not have enough dough to do this. If this happened to you, just take it out of the pan and roll it out again properly.

Now, go around the edge and pinch it as shown here to create a wave shape. This is an important step; it will impact the final look of your pie.

Pour the pecan pie filling into pie shell.

Sprinkle the 2 cups of roasted pecans on top of the pecan pie filling. Some pecans will sink into the filling; while, others will remain on top. Now, put your pie in a preheated oven set to 350F for 1 hour to an hour and 10 minutes.

After the pie has been in the oven for about 30 minutes, take it out, and put strips of tinfoil around the edge to keep the pie crust from burning. Be careful not to spill you pie! The filling is runny and quite hot. Then, put the pie back in the oven.

After you put the pie back in the oven, it will need another 30 to 40 minutes. After about 30 minutes (a total of 1 hour in the oven) test the pie to see if it is done. You can test the pie by sticking a knife in the middle. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done; if it comes out dirty, it needs about 10 more minutes in the oven.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails