Wednesday, September 7, 2011

0063: Easy Recipes - THE Best Pecan Pie!!

This is seriously one of the best pies I've ever had... and I would definitely consider myself a pecan pie expert. My qualifications include the fact that I was raised in New Orleans (my taste buds are very well developed :-), I've been eating pecan pie since I could eat solids, it's one of my favorite desserts (ala mode please), and I've simply got one a heck of a sweet tooth so I've tasted many!!
Whether you chop the pecans or leave them whole this is what it will look like.
Absolutely delicious and super EASY to make.
As some of you may know, I'm no cook. I RARELY cook but I do LIKE to cook and I LOVE easy, great tasting recipes (checkout my post 004 for another easy recipe.). When I make it into the kitchen, I want to impress and this one does it every time :-)

So, how did I get this recipe?? I am a big foodie and love to eat out. One of my favorite restaurants is Craft NYC. A few years back I got a Holiday card from them with the Pecan Pie recipe inside. It is a recipe from Karen DeMasco (only one of the best pastry chefs ever... she has a cookbook out, "The Craft of Baking" which I thankfully bought used. It's for more experienced cooks but the pictures are pretty!!). My first attempt at making this I did secretly, doubting it would turn out right but to my absolute delight it was amazing!!! It has only gotten better the last two dozen times I've made it. Prep usually takes me about 30 - 40 minutes  depending on my focus level on that day, the rest is bake time. Here is the recipe, enjoy!!!

PIE CRUST:  {I use pre-made, I definitely haven't mastered the crust but I am still trying and I do tackle the filling from scratch... but if you want to try...)
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup cold water
9" pie pan

In the food processor, pulse first 4 ingredients until the butter pieces are the size of small pebbles. Slowly add cold water until dough begins to come together. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour. Roll out to 1/4 inch think and about 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Press into pan. Chill until firm. Line the pan with foil and pie weight or dried beans and bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from the oven and let cool. It should be very light in color. 

FILLING: {No healthy substitutes here, this is one dessert you are better off having a small slice but enjoying the true depth of its deliciousness!)
4 ounces butter, browned
3 large eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups chopped pecans (I find that the South Georgia Pecan Co has great tasting pecans...)

Whisk together all ingredients, folding in the pecans last. Pour into lightly par baked pie shell. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 325 degrees or until the edges of the pie are completely set and the center is slightly jiggly. 

Beginners note: let the pie cool down, I usually allow for 45 min - 1 hour. The first time I made it I couldn't wait to try it and it was a bit runny but I served it with ice cream and the flavor was amazing. Later when I went back for more it was much firmer. 

The final step - PRESENTATION... just serve with ice cream and dust with powdered sugar and a sprig of mint - you can also include whipped cream like the picture below.

This is SO yummy it will impress almost anyone, even the pickiest Southerner!!! Bon appetit...

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