I hate pecan pie. Can’t stand it. The crust is always too dry, the filling is always too lumpy and the pecans never get that perfect glaze on top of them. Except MY pecan pie recipe. I set out a few years ago to perfect the pecan pie. I have tried and failed more times than thought that my husband’s gastrointestinal fortitude could handle!
The first thing I knew that I needed to perfect would be the pie crust. Behind every amazing pie is an amazing pie crust. It all starts there. Your pie can be bland, but with the right pie crust, the masses will forget your injustice to the sweet culinary mishap and remark at how perfect the crust is! Pie crust is made of butter or shortening cut with flour and water. I have tried countless of my own recipes for pie crust using only butter, which is too wet. Or endless amounts of my own recipes using only shortening, which is too dry. It must have the perfect mixture of the two. So I figured, why try to perfect perfection? If you were learning to kick box, you’d turn to Chuck Norris. If you want a good recipe where butter is the main ingredient, you turn to Paula Deen! The first part of the Articles of a Domestic Goddess Pecan Pie perfection is Paula Deens Perfect Pie Crust Recipe. Keeping the butter cold and using the ice water helps for the dough to roll out perfectly also. Anyway, butter is better for you than shortening.
The other thing that I’ve learned is this: you cannot dump all the ingredients carelessly into a bowl, mix it around, cook it a bit and serve as the back of countless cans in the grocery store will tell you. Take time and make each step count. It means the world. This recipe is NOT your basic dumped-in-a-bowl-pecan-pie.
And lastly: Select your ingredients carefully. You can’t turn dirt into sunshine! (Unless you’re Paula Deen.)
1 Paula Deen’s perfect pie shell mixed, rolled and set into a 9 inch pyrex
1 3/4 cups of pecans
* 1/2 cup of brown sugar
* 3/4 cup of light corn syrup
* 4 tablespoons of butter
* 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Preheat the oven to 350
Step 1: Baking the pie shell
Some people don’t cook the pie shell before they insert the ingredients. I personally think that this is a mistake! You want a moist, but also a tad crunchy pie shell that melts in your mouth. The butter is going to help with that! 🙂 You will want to cook the pie shell in a 9 inch pie pyrex at 350 degrees, on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Some people use beans piled in the middle on top of the pie shell to weigh down the shell so that while it cooks it doesn’t bubble up. I don’t, but it’s an option. DO make sure that you puncture the bottom and the sides a few times with a fork (but not so much that it weakens the integrity of the shell) so that the heat can come up from the pyrex and rise over the shell without the shell bubbling up.
Step 2: Cooking the filling
Take all of the ingredients above marked with an asterisk (*) and place them into a saucepan. Cook them on the stove top on low heat until all the sugars are broken down. This is going to keep the filling from being lumpy. Cool it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Toasting the pecans
Toast all of the pecans on a baking sheet @ 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
Step 4: Finish the filling
Remove filling from refrigerator. Add 3 eggs and all of the cooked pecans straight into the filling. Mix well. The pecans will rise to the top and since the sugars have broken down in the filling, it will create a nice glaze on top of the pie.
-An alternative that I’ve found works nicely is adding only 1 cup of the toasted pecans into the filling and using the other 3/4 of a cup of toasted pecans to place lovingly on top of the pie after it’s cooked 30 minutes… then return to the oven and bake the rest of the way. This takes entirely too much patience for me, although it does make a nice pie as well. 🙂
Step 5: Bake your pie
Be careful, as this pie sloshes a bit. The filling IS a bit watery. Cook in oven @ 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Step 6: Serve your magnificent pie!