I had my say about rustic pies in my last post and I’m glad I did. My Rustic Apple Pie was a good pie and my family ate every last bite before the weekend was over. We thoroughly enjoyed it! Yet while a rustic pie has its place, and I truly appreciate my family's acceptance and enthusiasm, there are times when I really want to bake a pie that looks as good as it tastes. I know it's possible, I just need to focus. So I put baking a beautiful pie on my before-the-new-year to-do list.
As I put away the Thanksgiving dishes and fall decorations this week, my mind turned toward the Christmas holiday. Ham and sweet potatoes are already on my menu for Christmas dinner and I began to think that pecan pie would be great for dessert. Having lived in the south for many years I feel a bit embarrassed to say that I really don’t know much about baking a pecan pie, so if I’m going to improve my pie baking skills that seems like a good handicap to work on. I started to look forward to the challenge of baking a pretty pecan pie.
I began by searching for a recipe. I looked through my cookbooks from the south and found a pecan pie recipe in almost every one. (The others probably had one too but some aren’t indexed so I wasn’t able to find them.) Yet all of these recipes called for a total of at least two cups of sugar or other sweeteners and that seemed a bit excessive. Finally, an Internet search turned up a recipe that sounded more to my liking. My pie is based on a recipe found on the Dohmann Pecan Farms website. It uses one cup of corn syrup plus ¼ cup of sugar (I used brown sugar) which is far less than most recipes call for.
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ¼ cups broken pecans
Line a 9 inch pie plate with a pie crust. ( I flute the edge of mine inside the rim of the pie plate. This keeps the edge closer to the pie filling and I don’t have any problem with the edge burning.)
Toast pecans. (I toasted mine in the microwave. I placed the pecans on a paper plate and microwaved on high for one minute. Then I stirred them and microwaved them on high for another minute. Depending on the power of your microwave you may want to stir them again and microwave on high for another minute.)
Spread the toasted pecans in the unbaked pie shell.
Mix the eggs, light corn syrup, brown sugar, flour, salt and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the toasted pecans.
Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes or until the filling is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. You may want to check the pie halfway through baking and cover the edge with a strip of aluminum foil if it is browning too fast, while the pie finishes baking.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Note: My sister in law told me that she likes to melt ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread the melted chocolate across the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Then refrigerate the pie shell for a while, until needed. Once the chocolate has set you can add the toasted pecans and continue according to the recipe. It sounds great. I think I will try that next time!