The holiday season is here, and along with it comes lots of sweet treats! One of our newly discovered favorites is Pecan Pie. Neither Gabe or I had it growing up, and our long-loved favorite pies have always been Apple for Gabe and Pumpkin for me. But now, I think we have another contender. I made Pecan Pie for the first time, last Thanksgiving. It was surprisingly delightful. The only Pecan Pie I had tried before was store-bought and just doesn’t have the same nutty-sweet flavor and texture as homemade. This year I decided to go all out and make my own dough. And man oh man, I’ll be honest, it is a lot more work, BUT totally worth it! The flakey homemade crust is something that can’t be duplicated quite the same by store-bought. That said, if you have short time frame, by all means, go with the store-bought dough. After devouring the left over pie from Thanksgiving, Gabe and I have decided we can’t wait until next Thanksgiving for another! Pecan pie will be making an appearance in our kitchen very soon! Photos below or go straight to the recipe.
Here’s us in our Turkey hats for the 20th annual Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento.
Happy Thanksgiving from Meg and Gabe!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 35 minutes
Serves: 1 pie or about 8 servings
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick), diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Flour, for rolling the dough
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups chopped toasted pecans (toast in a pan for 5-7 minutes over medium high heat)
2 tablespoons bourbon (Canadian Whiskey can be substituted)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 bag of dried beans
Make the dough by hand: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon of cold water over the mixture.
Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling-pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. (I used parchment paper on top of the counter surface and on top of the dough, to prevent sticking). Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.
Preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
While the crust is baking, make the filling: In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, bourbon, and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil if they are already golden, to prevent very dark edges.
Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
Recipe inspired by Food Network.