Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pecan Pie (without gelatin, of course)

I have an incentive for everyone to read my blog.

And that is, when I make a recipe, I can tell you honestly which instructions you need to follow, and which ones you don't. We want to bake, not wade through a set of directions that could fill a small pamphlet. I can think of maybe one recipe where the outcome is materially benefitted by sifting the flour beforehand, and a good dozen where dumping all the ingredients in the bowl together in no particular order produces a quite lovely batter, thank you.

Well when I made the crust for this pecan pie it was 9:30 on the eve of Thanksgiving and I did not want to wait for my dough to chill for an hour before I rolled and baked it, so I rolled and baked it on the spot.

So you should chill your dough before baking it.

Pretty much what happened is that A) my dough did not roll out as neatly and B) my shell was not sturdy enough, so when I poured in the filling I got leakage. (Sorry to dissappoint, but I didn't take pictures of that part.) The filling is really runny before baking, because its pretty much composed of eggs, sugar, and melted butter. The leak stopped up soon enough once I put the pie in the oven.

Patchy crust :(
It is a testament to this amazing recipe that the finished product still looked stunning, but in the interest of avoiding a crispy corona around the base of your pie, I recommend chilling your crust.  Just follow the instructions below!

Pecan Pie

I really like this recipe. The crust is unsweetened, which is appropriate when coupled with the sweet filling. The interior is crumbly and caramelly, and (which you wouldn't think for this type of ingredients) even light. I recommend using a tart pan, not only because it looks so mucy prettier, but also, the filling exactly fills the pan, which is so convenient for YOU.

Ingredients (makes one 10-inch pie)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt (unless you're using salted butter)
4 tbsp chilled butter, cut into chunks
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp ice water

4 whole eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups chopped pecans
A generous helping of whole pecan halves, to decorate the edges
Whipped cream or ice cream to top

Instructions (to be followed exactly!)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor.
3. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal.
4. Add yolks and water until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the food processor and form a mass.
5. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for an hour.
6. Roll out the dough until it is about 3/8 inch thick and will fill a 10-inch tart pan. Butter the tart pan and transfer the dough in one sheet.
7. Poke holes with a fork in the side and bottom of the crust. (At this point, you will have to add pie weights, which I find makes it difficult to bake the bottom of the crust, or while it is baking, you will need to tamp down the bottom of the crust with the back of a fork.)
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the crust firms up.


1. Keep oven at 350 degrees.
2. Fill your baked pie shell with the chopped pecans. Put your
3. Whisk together the eggs, syrup, and vanila until slightly thick.
4. Melt together the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, stop stirring long enough for the mixture to begin to brown around the edges and form bubbles in the middle.
5. At that point, add the butter mixture to the egg mixture. The butter and sugar mix may seize up upon hitting the cold egg mixture, so you'll probably have to the put the whole thing back in the saucepan for a minute until everything is melted and stirred together.
6. Pour the liquid filling into the pie shell on top of the pecans. There should be enough liquid to fill the shell comfortably and to soak/immerse all the pecans.
7. Decorate the pie by creating a border with the pecan halves.
8. Bake for about an hour until the pie is firm to the touch.
9. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and brag.

Eggs, syrup, and vanilla whisked together

Butter and brown sugar melted together

Let the butter and sugar sit until it looks like this, whereupon...

Egg and butter mixtures stirred together

Pie shell and filling, unbaked

Decorated with the pecan halves

If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments!

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