Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday's Treat: Grandma's Pecan Pie

So maybe you're thinking to yourself "Hey, I miss all the delicious foods of the Holidays"...

What? You're not saying that? I'm the only one?

Whatever, I want delicious pie....




Grandma's Pecan Pie

I've always been told that Grandma Dorothy made fantastic pies, and that pecan was her best. My dad especially loved hers because it used real butter and no corn syrup. I vaguely remember her pecan pie being delicious, but by the time I got old enough to really enjoy her culinary feats, she had passed away. I'm pretty sure she took her special pecan pie recipe to the grave with her- but that just encouraged me to try (and fail) at a bunch of other pecan pie recipes.

Finally, I found a contender. This is a recipe I adapted from this one on All Recipes, and I used my house crust recipe (which is the one listed below). The best part of this recipe is that is doesn't use corn syrup, just like Grandma's!

CRUST:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
4 - 5 tablespoons cold water

1. Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea-size.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a rough ball.
3. Wrap dough ball with plastic wrap and chill* in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
4. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
5. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the floured rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate (I use a clear Pyrex one). Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch or tear pastry.
6. Rim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry.


Dough all wrapped up and ready to chill.
 *You may be asking yourself, why can't I roll it out now?! But honey, you are using butter- not shortening, and that stuff warms up as you're forming the dough. If you were to try rolling out the dough now it won't be pretty. Don't believe me? You go right ahead- just don't come crying to me when the dough rips/stretches/tears as you're loading it into the pie pan.

PIE

Ingredients:

1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, plus extra
2 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the good kind, or it won't taste the same)
1 cup chopped pecans, plus more the decoration




Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2) In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. This may take a while, so at some point take a breather and zap the butter.
3) Once eggs are foamy, stir in melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and the flour. Mix until well incorporated.
4) Stir in milk, vanilla extract, and pecans.
5) Lightly coat the bottom of the pie crust with butter. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
6) Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes.
7) I like to sprinkle some chopped pecan or crust cut outs on top of the pie 5-10 minutes before pulling it out of the oven.
8) Let cool for an hour, then enjoy! I like mine with vanilla ice cream.

Add ons:

Chocolate chips (sprinkled in the batter, or on top the baked pie)
Pastry cutouts with any extra dough left over from the crusts (see above!)



Enjoy,
Charlotte

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