Friday, March 29, 2013

Baking: Pecan Pie

One of the things my sister once asked me to make was a pecan pie. That really surprised me. She's not a big sweets person and she definitely doesn't love nuts. But she requested it so I made it. To be honest, I've never made pecan pie or any nut based pie. I enjoy pies very much but mostly fruit based pies. But as they say, there's a first time for everything.
The pie crust was pretty simple. The usual flour, cold butter, cold water, etc etc. It didn't need a blind bake (baking the shell before adding the filling) but it did need a bunch of small holes poked into the bottom to prevent puffing.
And now the filling which really were just a few ingredients: pecans, corn syrup, orange zest, vanilla extract, brown sugar, eggs, salt, and melted butter.
I mixed a few of the filling ingredients together on the stove then added the rest, except the pecans. Once slightly cooled, I added the pecans and carefully and folded them in.
Into the pie shell with the filling. The pecans tended to float to the top. The filling went about 60% of the way up the pie shell. So I added more and more until about 80% filled. I thought that left enough room for the filling to rise.
Then into the 350oF pre-heated oven for about 1 hour until browned and no longer liquid in the middle. Set on rack and let cool completely. My pie took overnight to cool off. In the morning, the poof flattened out and the pie looked good to me.
So how'd it taste? Wow, so incredibly sweet with the corn syrup. The additional pecans were a good idea. The orange zest was a little strong so I'll put in less next time. I tend to go overboard with zest sometimes. Overall, I was satisfied with the pie. I don't know I would make it again for my own pleasure. But if someone asked, I would oblige.

Recipe below adapted from's recipe for Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
4 cups pecan halves (1 pound)

Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
1. Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir until incorporated. If dough feels dry, add more ice water tablespoon by tablespoon.
3. Gather dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, around 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture. Carefully fold in pecans.
6. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, about 1 hour. Cool completely or overnight.

1 comment:

  1. Mixed Berries pie all the way!!


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