I have been waiting for this day for quite some time now. Not my birthday, no. My perfect excuse to make pecan pie for my birthday. I used to buy myself gifts for my birthday, but this year, I decided I would make myself a dessert. I contemplated cake, the typical dessert, and even thought up some pretty original ones, including the "Yipy" cake (Yipy is a vanilla wafer cookie sold here, with vanilla cream in between the layers and the outside coated with milk chocolate), consisting in a vanilla cake with vanilla pastry cream filling and milk chocolate frosting. I could also do the peanut butter cup cake, which would be a brownie-like cake with peanut butter frosting… way over the top? No way.
But pecan pie kept on coming back to my mind, just like when you go shopping and don't buy something and keep thinking about it. So I settled on it and found a great (and pretty simple) recipe on Ree's blog, The Pioneer Woman.
Pecan pie has not always been my favorite. I don't think I tried it until i was a teenager, and although I didn't dislike it, it was a bit rich for me, and I was more into chocolate anyways. However, being in a country where pecans are not all that common, a bit hard to find and expensive, maybe that's why I can appreciate it more now. And in the last year or so, most of the cute little cafés sell it, which makes me want it even more, and makes me want to make it on my own.
This was one of the big highlights of my birthday.
This pie is LOADED. If your diet can afford it, ignore the fact that it has 1 cup each of corn syrup and sugar. Your taste buds will appreciate it. The pecans are chopped so that they can float to the surface of the pie.
Sylvia's perfect pie crust
The Pioneer Woman blog
- 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
- 3 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 whole Egg
- 5 Tablespoons Cold Water (should be ice cold)
- 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
In a medicum- large bowl, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes with a pastry cutter until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into 2 pieces. Form 2 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill. Like Cindy Mushet says, make this your mantra- "Cold dough, hot oven".)
When you are ready to use the dough, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes (if it's frozen). I like to roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. If you prefer, you can roll it out on a clean, floured surface. My only warning is that this dough is very sticky, it even sticks a little to the parchment. If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.
Note- my dough turned out delicious and flaky, but not exactly beautiful. This was my first time making a vegetable shortening crust, and it was a bit of a mess, but it's worth it. Also, the original recipe says to separate the dough into 3 balls, so I used one third of the dough for the crust, resulting in a very thin crust that didn't reach all the way up the sides of the pie dish.
The Pioneer Woman Blog
- 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (I Use "sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust" Recipe)
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- 1 cup Corn Syrup
- ⅓ cups (6 TBSP or ¾ stick) Melted Butter (salted)
- 3 whole Eggs, Beaten
- ¼ teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans
First, make your pie crust using “Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust” found originally on Tasty Kitchen.
Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. (I found that whisking is easiest).
Spread chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
Pour syrup mixture over the top. The pecans will float to the top.
Bake pie at 350º for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans and crust.
This pie needs to be cooled for at least a few hours so that it can firm up a bit, and it's even better the next day. If, however, you are like me and can't wait, it still tastes delicious fresh from the oven, just a bit jiggly. Don't burn your mouth!
If this pie doesn't make me fat… this sure will! (Delicious chocolate cake that Gustavo's aunts made for me, and Belgian chocolates Gustavo's dad gave to me). It was a very yummy birthday.