Those of you who have chowed down in earnest with me (is there any other way?) know that I can eat a mess o’ ribs until the pigs come home, and I can crunch me up enough Fried Zucchini Blossoms to send me floating down a river of olive oil like Veruca Salt in a mink coat, but I am not really a dessert person.
Well…except for this one teensy tiny thing: I NEED PECAN PIE!
I don’t need a ton of it, but when my iCalendar switches over from that special time of the year we call ‘Halloween Prep, Night-of & Scary Aftermath’ into the month-long, butter-filled, eat-fest we call ‘Thanksgiving’, my mind turns to – of course, yes, yes, family, friends and whatnot, but also – Pecan Pie.
Each year, my husband is in charge of the crust-making, which I know very little about. He learned ‘crust’ from his Mama and I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who can compete. We have long debates over Crisco v. Butter and I think one year I even put in a vote for Artisan Lard because that’s the way I am, but more often than not, the butter wins out.
I always buy about 10 bags of extra pecans. I fry them up with sugar, chile powder and smoked paprika with the intention of serving my guests while dinner is cooking. I usually eat all of these myself unless my mother is in the kitchen – then she gets a few. By the time dinner is served I AM STUFFED!
As with this recipe, I think Martha is a great resource for all things Thanksgiving. With a recipe or two from Suzanne Goin and maybe a wobbly surprise from La Cucina Italiana and I think you have a phenomenal Turkey Day (TD) in your future.
KILL ME NOW PECAN PIE
Serves, as usual, me + 1/2 person
1 ‘disc’ of my husband’s pie dough rolled out and fitted into a 9-inch pie plate (like I know his top secret recipe for pie dough?!)
4 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup (yes…sounds corny and Old School but it can’t be beat)
1/3 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups pecan halves + a handful for adding on top (plus the 10 bags for snacking)
Unsweetened whipped cream, which makes all foods more Thanksgiving-y
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack set as low as it goes (I’ve made the ‘middle rack’ mistake before…na’good).
- Trim the dough to about a 1″ overhang. Fold the overhang under itself to form a doubled edge. Crimp the edge with your fingertips or lightly with a fork. Transfer to the fridge. I’m happy to do this step the day before. In fact, I’m happy to make this whole pie the day before.
- The filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth; mix in pecans. Pour mixture into the chilled pie crust.
- Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. I then arrange a handful of the pecans on top to get that superific pecan-y look up there. Think Vidal Sassoon with a pair of snippers and a vision.
- Bake until filling jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken. About 50 to 60 minutes. Watch carefully that the uppermost pecans brown but don’t burn.
- Cool pie completely in plate, 5 to 6 hours.
- Serve with massive amounts of fresh whipped cream for serious TD cred.
Retire until morning, or until the leftovers begin to call…Jennifer…Jennifer…that cranberry sauce would be so good right now…and all that crunchy turkey skin…bones….leftover whipped cream…it’s only midnight, girlfriend…where are you?!
Take your boots off before you come in here!