Welcome to my blog! I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my adventures in baking and writing. You’ll find lots of recipes along with the latest on my quest to make my dreams of becoming a published author a reality. There will also be stories about my visits to restaurants and the food that I order through the mail. It’ll still be evolving for awhile, but I hope you’ll enjoy this journey with me. While I’ll be baking all kinds of desserts, I thought it would be fitting to begin with a pie, and this happens to be one of my favorites.
I love the gooey, super sweet filling, matched by the pecans, most of which are coated in a crunchy coating of sugar, and of course the crispy crust. I don’t discriminate against pies, but very frequently I get a craving for pecan pie that can’t be satiated unless I eat a piece. I don’t think I’ve ever met a pecan pie I didn’t like, but this one is the best.
This is the third time I’ve made it, and I have a confession to make. The first time I was a novice pie baker, it was probably the second or third pie I ever made, and it came out perfectly. The second time as well as this time, not so much. While baking, the pie looked amazing; the same when it came out of the oven. Looked picture perfect, good enough to devour right then and there. But when I cut into it, somehow the bottom crust had floated to just under the pecans, leaving the goo at the bottom. I checked the crust over and over to make sure there were no holes for the goo to leak through after this happened last time. The pie is still unbelievably delicious; I can’t wait to have more, but I can’t explain what’s going on. I may try to blind bake the crust the next time. But until then the pie is very tasty, I’m actually learning to like it this way, and I’m thrilled it’s the first recipe I am sharing with all of you.
It also exemplifies what baking means to me. Things don’t always come out perfectly, but as long as they still taste good, it doesn’t really matter. Enjoying the process and the end result are the most important components of baking. This is also the reason why I don’t sift dry ingredients or worry about putting my flour and sugar in the refrigerator before making pie crust. Baking is when I relax. So don’t sweat the small stuff when you’re in the kitchen, or anywhere else. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing it’ll turn out just fine.
The flavor of the bourbon really comes through in this pie, helping to cut some of the sweetness. I used pecan halves and pieces rather than all halves because it works just as well. I also like a rustic looking pie, it is homemade after all, so I do not arrange the pecans in a pattern on top of the pie. They make a beautiful pattern naturally.
I really like this pie when it is chilled. The flavors really come out in just the right way.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup cold shortening
- 4-7 tablespoons water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large whole pasteurized eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups pecan halves and pieces
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Make the crust. Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the cubed butter and clumps of shortening. Pulse until the butter and shortening have been broken into small pieces and are mostly incorporated into the flour mixture. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time, and pulse until mixture comes together when pressed. Dump onto plastic wrap and press into disc. Refrigerate at least one hour before rolling.
- This recipe makes a top and bottom crust, but only the bottom will be used, so the other half may be frozen for a couple weeks, double wrapped in plastic and place in a zipper bag, for later use.
- Roll half the crust on a floured surface so that it fits into a pie plate. Crimp the edges together to make a decorative border. Put the pie pan with the dough in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- For the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the sugar, butter, eggs, corn syrup, bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla until fully combined. Carefully stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Brush the crust with cream or milk using a pastry brush or dab with your finger. Chill the pie for 30 minutes.
- Place pie pan on foil lined baking sheet to catch any spills while baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for an hour to an hour 15 minutes more. Rotate pie halfway through if necessary. Tent crust if it is getting too brown, possibly at the halfway point. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, or frozen for up to three months if wrapped in parchment and foil, then placed in a zipper bag. Pie can be frozen whole or individual pieces.