This recipe was #366 of my 365-new-recipe-challenge of 2010.
I really wanted to find a different pecan pie recipe to make for Christmas, but realized that I don’t actually have a standard pecan pie recipe. I just wanted to make sure that the pie I made wasn’t too runny. In the end, I just decided to make the Pecan Pie recipe from my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It turned out perfectly.
First, I decided to make the Single-Crust Pie Pastry from the same cookbook. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a crust made with shortening – I usually use margarine so that I don’t have to measure it. I used my pastry cutter to mix the shortening into the flour and salt, and then used a fork to mix in 5 tablespoons of water. I flattened the dough into a disk and rolled it out to one or two inches larger than my pie pan. I creased the edges and made the pie filling. This recipe used 3 eggs, a cup of corn syrup, and 2/3 cup sugar. It also called for 1 1/4 cups pecans, but I think I actually added 1 1/2 cups. I put the pie in a 350F oven and covered the crust edges with foil. After 25 minutes of baking, I removed the foil and baked it for 25 more minutes, for a total of 50 minutes in the oven.
This pie seemed to bake better than whatever recipe that’s on the back of bottles of corn syrup, but part of that difference might have been since I used a glass pie pan instead of a metal one. I don’t actually know what differences there are between this recipe and other recipes. The surface moved when I checked it at the minimum time, so I baked it for the full time suggested.
When I wrote about Pecan Squares, I wrote about all the pitfalls of pecan pie as I’ve made it in the past. This recipe makes me take back some of those negative words I’ve said about pecan pie. The crust, which I made from shortening, was flaky and not overdone at all. It was tender on bottom and along the sides. The pie itself was fantastic. The filling was silky, not at all runny or grainy, and tasted great. If only my pies in the past had turned out this good! I still like the pecan squares recipe because they make a dessert that’s easy to eat, whether just a little or a lot, but this pie recipe turned out really well.
Want something similar but without nuts? Try Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie. If you’re baking for someone vegan, you can try out this Vegan Pecan Pie recipe. For something both chocolatey and nutty, and just as easy to make as this, try Pecan Fudge Pie.
- 1 Pie Crust (see below for a pie crust recipe)
- 3 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups pecan halves or chopped pecans (we always think more is better)
Mix together eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla, whisking until combined. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared pie crust. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes. Filling will seem set and pie will not jiggle when done. Cool completely before serving.
This standard pie crust is adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, shortening, or margarine (cold, cut into small pieces) (butter gives best flavor; use shortening or margarine for a more tender texture)
- 2-3 tablespoons water (very cold)
Combine flour and salt. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Stir in just enough water to make a ball of dough form. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Place on plastic wrap and flatten it into a disc. Wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the butter in the crust chill.
Turn the crust out onto a floured surface, or roll it between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment. Roll out the dough into a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie pan. If necessary, pinch off ragged edges from the dough and patch them onto holes in the crust as you roll it out.
Carefully fold the pie crust in half, draping it over the rolling pin if necessary, then place it in the pie pan. Settle the crust into the edges without pushing it down or smashing it. Leaving a 1/2 to 1-inch circumference around the edge, trim any ragged pieces of dough off. (Sprinkle these with cinnamon sugar and bake at whatever temperature your recipe calls for, for 5-8 minutes while you preheat your oven. Yum!) Tuck the edge of the dough underneath itself (so the seam is against the rim of the pie pan). Gently pinch the edges of the crust between your fingertips to shape them into a wavy shape.
To make a pre-baked shell, prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork and bake at 475F for 8-10 minutes.
For a filled pie, you can prick the crust as above and parbake the crust at 425F for 8-10 minutes if desired. I usually do not. If not parbaking, fill pie and bake as specified in your recipe.