Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Pecan Pie

This year I made my first pecan pie with a homemade crust. It turned out to be delicious if not a little rustic in it's finished look (because we did not have shortening for the pie crust it came out super flaky). Everything from the famed New Orleans' Commander's Palace restaurant cookbook is fantastic (The Commander's Palace New Orleans Cookbook, Clarkson N. Potter publishers, copyright 1984).

Here is the recipe for one 8" pie:

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tablespoon salt
Dash of sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening (Crisco - this part is extremely important, do not substitute with butter)
3 - 4 tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 375F. Sift flour salt and sugar into mixing bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives in scissor action, until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add water one tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until dough holds together. Shape into rough ball and chill for 30 minutes. Note that dough can be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen for several days before using. Roll out on a floured surface into a circle two inches larger in diameter than the pie plate and 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to pan by rolling dough onto rolling pin and unrolling over pan. ease gently into pan, trim edge, and flue edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake for 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Do not turn oven off. Some hints that my gandmother taught me, via my mom, about making a pie crust: roll the crust dough on a sheet of wax paper so it's easy to lift and turn into the pie plate upside down; butter the pie plate before turning the crust into it.

1/3 cut butter softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

While crust is baking, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in corn syrup, pecans, vanilla and salt. Fill baked pie shell and decorate top with pecan halves in concentric circles. Cover with aluminum foil for first half of baking time so as not to over-brown the edges and the pecan halves. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the center of the filing is not wiggly when it's shaken a little on the oven shelf, a toothpick should come out clean, be careful not to over cook.

No comments: