Pecan Pie

Happy Pi Day! I can't believe I've never posted a pie recipe in honor of this day. Dave's sister Donna gave me a book called Vintage Pies: Classic American Pies for Today's Home Baker for Christmas last year. The author spent forty years collecting heirloom pie recipes and the book details the origins of each recipe. All are surprisingly simple and start with the same basic pie crust. It's a beautiful book and although this pecan pie isn't one of the more adventurous pies in the book, surprisingly I had all of the ingredients on hand making this an easy Sunday night baking adventure for my office colleagues.

I hate making pie crust, so I cheated an used a pre-made crust, if you'd like to follow the recipe from Vintage Pies which I've included below.

Recipe by Anne Haynie Collins as published in Vintage Pies: Classic American Pies for Today's Home Baker.

-1 pre-made pie crust or recipe from Vintage Pies**
-1/3 cup salted butter
-3 large eggs
-1 cup cane syrup or dark corn syrup
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup pecan halves or pieces

-1 cup unbleached flour, plus 1/2 cup for kneading
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-7 tablespoons shortening
-1/4 cup cold water.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Divide the shortening among the flour/salt and use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture is full of pea sized crumbles. 
Next, sprinkle the cold water on top of the flour mixture and stir until the dough just holds together.  
Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out of the bowl onto the floured surface. Use your fingertips to knead the dough until smooth, about 10-15 strokes should be enough, you don't want to over work it. Then form the dough into a ball and flatten into a thick circle. Roll the dough out, fold in half and transfer to your pie plate and lightly press the crust into the pie plate. 
Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. While the butter melts whisk the eggs in a medium sized mixing bow. Then add the syrup, sugar, and melted butter whisking to combine all three ingredients. Gently fold in the pecans, and then pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling is set in the middle...this took about 55 minutes in my oven. Like most baked goods, if you insert a knife into the center, it should come out clean. That will help give some indication if the pie is done or not.

Dave and I had a test slice before I brought this to work and it got a two thumbs up from both of us. Happy Pi Day! Look for more recipes from Vintage Pies here in the future.


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