Friday, December 30, 2011

Perfect Pecan Pie

As much baking as I've done over the past couple of weeks, I should have been blogging twice a day! I thought about doing a Christmas cookie series of posts, but I might wait till next year since it's almost January now.

For one of the Christmas dinners that we had, I made a pecan pie from this old cookbook that I found when I helped one of my SC friends clean out a trailer full of junk. It's Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook, published in 1961.

My favorite thing about the book is the introduction. Mrs. Vanderbilt talks about how cooking and housekeeping are the best feminine virtues. The only place for a man in the kitchen is in buying and carving meats. Men are best suited to changing fuses and chopping wood. The whole thing is hilarious.

Despite the rampant sexism and condescension, this was probably the best pecan pie I've ever had. Ever. You should probably make it for the next party you're invited to... or just to eat yourself. It's full of pecans... it's totally healthy....

Pecan Pie

Prepared 9" pie crust
3 eggs - lightly beaten
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. dark corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 C. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. pecan pieces

-Prepare the crust in a 9" pie plate. Trim and flute the edges.
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
-Combine eggs, heavy cream, dark corn syrup, salt, sugar, vanilla, butter, and pecan pieces in a mixing bowl and mix until everything is incorporated. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
-Bake pie for 35-40 minutes, until crust is browned and the filling is puffed up. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Let me give you a few notes from my experience. This is the first pecan pie I've ever made. I didn't know that the center never gets firm while baking. As it cools, it gets less puffy and firmer. So don't wait for it to stop jiggling to take it out! As long as the filling is puffy and brown and the crust is done, the pie is done.

Another thing is the pecans. The original recipe says to use whole pecans and put all of the filling ingredients into a blender to break them up. Well, it's not 1961 anymore, and you can buy pecan pieces. If you do use whole pecans, just run them through a chopper before adding them to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Other than those little notes, it's an amazing recipe! There's another recipe in there for a "Georgia Pecan Pie" with molasses and coffee in it. I'm anxious to try it!


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