Friday, November 20, 2015

Classic Pecan Pie

-plus tips on making your own pie crust!



Another Thanksgiving recipe!

Pecan Pie is a serious favorite around these Southern parts. People around here, and especially the hubby's family, love anything pecan pie. Anything pecan, really. Pecan Pie Cake? Yes, ma'am. Pecan Pie Shortbread Cookies? Oh, yes. Pecan Pie Milkshakes? Bring it on. So needless to say, I've been working on perfecting my classic pecan pie.


I've been making pecan pie since I moved to Kentucky. Indeed, I made it for our first Thanksgiving here. I've always used store-bought crust, though. Well, last year I'd had enough. I started tinkering with my own pie crust, to no avail. Disaster after disaster. I promised myself I would work on pie crust throughout the year, but as often happens with the best laid plans, I did not. Really, I was almost there last year. I got to the point where I needed to use pie weights when pre-baking a crust. I scoffed and proceeded without any weight in the pie.

What happened?

The crust collapsed. I'm sure you seasoned bakers saw that one coming.

I gave up after the collapsed crust last Thanksgiving. Mainly because it was the day before Thanksgiving and my pecan pie had to be done ASAP. So I admitted defeat, bought the store bought crust, and proceeded with my holiday.


But this year? This year I got it down.


Flaky. Buttery. Perfection. That's basically what the crust was :-)


So, without further adieu, here are my tips for making your own pie crust. Don't be intimidated. I am the girl that ruined 15 whole chickens before I got my first one right. If I can learn how to do it, you can too.


Tip #1- Start with cold fat. Cold, cold, cold fat. Since I only eat pie, oh, once a year, I went ahead and used shortening. Good ol' shortening. Yeah, it's not healthy. But it works. Chill your shortening for at least an hour before you make your crust.


Tip #2- Use ice water to bring your crust together. Cold tap water ain't gonna cut it. Ice water is where it's at.

Tip #3- Buy yourself a clear pie pan. That was my problem with my experimental pumpkin pie crusts last year. Rawness. No one likes raw. Use a clear pie pan and all you have to do is look at the bottom of the pan to see if the crust is cooked all the way. It's fool-proof.

Tip #4- If your recipe calls for pre-baking and weighting the crust, the recipe is SERIOUS. If you don't want to purchase pie weights, the easiest solution is to cover your crust with aluminum foil and fill the shell with rice. Either way, do not skip this step if the recipe calls for it.


This was my beautiful crust for the pumpkin pie last year, right before I put it in the oven. I see 2 problems right off the bat- no pie weights. Argh! And, secondly, I didn't use the clear pie pan. Uh oh. I think this crust collapsed. It wasn't the raw one. Haha. Too many ruined pies to count!



This experiment turned out perfectly. The hubby raved. And although he raved, the way I knew he liked it was it was gone in 2 days. Not a crumb left. I didn't even get to share it with anyone! Haha. I know I'm ready for Thanksgiving though, where this will be one of the desserts.




I'm really proud that I finally figured this out. Much like I was when I finally perfected cooking a whole chicken. Life skills, man :-)


So, it's Friday! Whoop whoop! The hubby, his mother, his sister, and I are headed to Lexington today. Exciting! His sister has to get a new phone, and we are all going along for the ride. You see, the Apple store is at the Lexington Mall so while the SIL gets a new phone, I will be shopping. The hubby also promised to take us somewhere cool for lunch, so I'm excited for some different food. I can't wait to see what we get into.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Ingredients (makes 1 pie):

Crust-
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp shortening, chilled
3 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4- 1/3 cup ice water

Filling-
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping cup pecans, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Prepare the pie crust- in a large bowl, combine flour, salt, shortening, and butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut into the mixture until it forms a fine crumb. Slowly begin adding water, just until the mixture comes together. Knead dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove from fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is big enough to fit a standard pie pan. Transfer crust to pan, and pinch crust into shape.
2. Preheat oven to 350┬║. Grease a standard pie pan, set aside.
3. Prepare the filling- in a large bowl, combine corn syrup, both sugars, eggs, butter, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
4. Pour filling into pie crust. Evenly distribute pecans on top of the filling. Carefully transfer pie to oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check the pie. If the top is too brown, cover with foil. Bake another 20 minutes. Filling should just jiggle slightly, but not a lot. If pie is done, remove from oven. If filling is soupy and top is too brown, cover with foil and bake another 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool on counter. When cooled, chill pie in the fridge before serving or overnight. Slice, and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Printable Recipe

Crust recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction. Filling recipe by The Pioneer Woman

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy these-


Pecan Pie Cake


Rolo Turtles


Butterscotch Toffee Pecan Cookies

Linked to: Create It Thursday, Thank Goodness It's Thursday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Treasure Box Tuesday

2 comments:

  1. Looks incredible! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinning and Tweeting!
    ~Laurie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Laurie! I'm definitely proud of how far I've come with pie, haha. Hope you had a great weekend! :-)

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