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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pecan Pie

I used to make pecan pie using the ubiquitous corn syrup recipe. Pecans made the pie a favorite with me, in spite of my aversion to overly sweet desserts (just today I read a description of this American specialty as "candy in a pie shell"). About 10 years ago I discovered the following recipe and have made it most years since. There are more nuts than usual which makes it all the better.

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Pecan Pie


Adapted from:  David Rosengarten's Taste: One Palate's Journey Through the World's Greatest Dishes
Yield: one 9-inch pie

One unbaked pie crust:  see either Vodka Pie Crust or Grandma's Old Fashioned Pie Crust  
6 T unsalted butter
1 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teas salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c light corn syrup
1 T vanilla
1 c finely ground pecans
1 1/4 c coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 F. Prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell with a fork and line the shell with some oiled aluminum foil (oiled side down). Add some pie weights (or rice or beans--at least an inch deep). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove shell from the oven and lower the heat to 275F.

In the meantime, start the filling: In a metal bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in the sugar, salt, eggs (one at a time), corn syrup, and vanilla. Replace the bowl over the simmering water, and stir until the mixture is shiny and quite warm to the touch (about 130 degrees). Remove from the heat and stir in all of the pecans.

Pour the filling into the partially cooked pie shell and return to bake on a rack placed low in the oven. On the lowest rack, place a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center feels set but still slightly soft. Cool at least 4 hours. Serve with barely sweetened whipped cream.

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