Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pecan Pie

So I wanted to get this recipe up before Thanksgiving, but I think we all know how life tends to get in the way.  However, I believe pecan pie can be served any time of the year, and after making this recipe for Thanksgiving I will definitely be making it again for Christmas.

Pecan pie is hands down my favorite pie of all time.  Unfortunately, we never seem to eat it because the more popular and easier to make pumpkin pie and apple pie seem to take precedence in our holiday dessert spreads.  Compared to those recipes, this recipe looks very involved and complicated but believe me, it's not.  Just make sure you read through it before you plan to make it since you'll need to let the pie dough firm up in the refrigerator for about an hour, let it bake in the oven for about 20 - 30 minutes, and then bake the actual pie for about an hour.  But when you dig into this pie and taste the filling you'll realize it's so worth it.

This is the first time I rolled out an actual pie crust and it went (surprisingly) well.  I just put the pie dough in the center of this mat I got from Wilton and continued to roll out the dough, turning it as needed, until all sides reached the 12" mark.  If some parts of the dough were going over the mark, I'd just tear that piece off and use some water to attach it to another part of the circle that wasn't quite 12".

To transfer your dough to a pie plate, you simply roll it over the rolling pin and then unroll it over the pie plate.  I may be using the term "simply" loosely, since after multiple attempts at doing this the correct way, I basically ended up picking up my dough and tossing it into the pie plate.  You could also turn your pie plate upside down on top of the dough and flip your dough over with the pie plate.

Once you have your dough securely in the pie plate, simply press down the sides and bottoms of the dough to make sure there is no air trapped underneath the crust.  Then you go around the edges and fold the overhang underneath itself to create a ridge.  You can make a little design in that edge however you like.  I created this simple crimped design by placing my index and middle fingers on the outside of the crust and my thumb between my two fingers on the inside of the crust and pinched.  The act of pushing your thumb forward and index and middle fingers back creates this fluted edge.

The pie crust needs to be pre-baked, so before you put the unbaked crust in the oven you need to cover it with tinfoil and then fill it with either pie weights or dried beans/rice, which are so much cheaper.  Plus you can save the beans to use as pie weights over and over.  Baking the crust beforehand ensures that it keeps its shape when you fill it and bake it again later.  Also, make sure that the foil is flush against the edges as well or else you'll lose that pretty crimped design you made when the pie begins to bake.

The filling comes together in minutes.  Simply pour it into the center of the crust, brush egg wash over the crust to prevent it from burning, and place the pie back in the oven.  After about 45 minutes, test if the filling is set by seeing if it springs back when touched.  Oh and use a spoon, the pie is going to be super hot...

This pie may seem very involved, but believe me it is incredibly worth the time.  The filling is rich but not too heavy and incredibly luscious.  It would be the perfect thing to bring to a holiday party and I really look forward to making this again for Christmas.

Oh hey, look who came to join us.

This is a nightly occurrence at our dinner table.

Pecan Pie
Yield: 1 9-in pie

-                Pie Dough (frozen, mix, or made from scratch).
-                6 tbsp unsalted butter
-                1 c brown sugar
-                ½ tsp salt
-                3 eggs, lightly beaten
-                ¾ c light corn syrup
-                1 tbsp vanilla extract
-                2 c pecans, toasted and chopped

Prepare the crust and refrigerate for one hour.  If using a frozen crust, let defrost in the fridge for about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out onto a floured work surface until it is 12 in. wide and about 1/8 in. thick.  Roll dough around rolling pin and unroll over a pie plate, leaving a ½ in. overhang around the pie plate.  Press dough into bottom and sides of pie plate.  Fold the overhang underneath itself and crimp the edges of the dough as desired.  Using a fork, prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  *Note: if at any point during this process your dough becomes too soft put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 

When the dough is firm, remove from refrigerator and line pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake the crust for 15 minutes.  Remove foil or parchment and weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven.

While the pie crust is baking, begin to melt butter in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan.  You want the water to be barely simmering.  Mix in sugar and salt and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Remove pan/bowl from heat and beat in the eggs (but leave about 2 tbsp in the bowl for the egg wash), corn syrup, and vanilla extract.  Return the bowl to the hot water and stir until the mixture is shiny and hot throughout, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in about 1 ½ c of the pecans. 

After removing the crust from the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275F and pour the pecan mixture into the pie crust.  Sprinkle remaining chopped pecans on top.  Brush egg wash over crust and place pie in the oven and bake until the filling is set and springs back to the touch (use a spoon!).  Baking time should take 45 – 55 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely so the filling can set. 

Slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  1. What a gorgeous pie, this looks delicious! Pecan is my favorite! :)

  2. pecan pie looks delish and your dog is so cute!!! I LOVE golden retrievers :) My fave!

  3. Okay so I live in the sticks and am culinary tool challenged so that must explain why I have never seen one of these little things. SO COOL! I must find one. Great pie, love pecan pie. Love Brown Eyed Baker. Okay love you too. I am on a roll here. Should leave before you get a restraining order.

  4. @Kim BeeHaha seriously it's so handy. It makes everything so much easier.

    And ok I love you too :D

  5. It's true the apple and pumpkin pies take a lot of the spotlight come the holidays but we have always reserved a special place for Pecan Pie. It's a tradition in our home and one that would be met with howls of disapproval if broken.

  6. I've been wanting to make this pecan pie for a long time!! :)
    Thank you for sharing your recipe!


Comments may take a little while to show up, but don't worry they'll be there. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I read and appreciate every one!