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Perfect pecan pie. November 8, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. One of our friend Ben’s favorite desserts is homemade pecan pie. OFB is really fussy about his pecan pie, and has failed (after, admittedly, extensive trials) to find a single storebought pecan pie that measures up to his exacting standards.

Which might make you think that OFB’s idea of pecan pie required Herculean efforts and a shopping list as long as your arm. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. The perfect pecan pie uses just six ingredients (not counting the piecrust) and presents the perfect blend of luscious filling and yummy pecans. Heaven in a piecrust, and it takes just minutes to put together!

Here’s the recipe for my Mama’s classic Southern pecan pie. Now that it’s November, nights are long, dark and cold, and everyone could use a slice of rich, comforting dessert, it’s the perfect ending to supper. Also ideal for holiday celebrations and get-togethers. It’s so luscious, no one will think it was so easy to make!

                         Mama’s Perfect Pecan Pie

1 pie shell

1 cup dark Karo syrup

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

generous pinch salt

1 1/2-2 cups broken pecans

3 tablespoons melted butter

Use your favorite pie crust recipe or fuggedaboutit and buy Mrs. Smith’s frozen pie crusts if you’re not into making piecrust or are really pressed for time. Melt the butter; browning it adds extra-rich flavor, so I always do that. Beat the Karo syrup, sugar, eggs, and salt. Add the melted butter, beating it into the filling. Then fold in the broken pecan pieces. How many you add is up to you; you want plenty of pecan flavor and crunch, but you also want a nice layer of rich, gooey filling. I’d suggest either starting out with 1 1/2 cups of broken pecan pieces, or doing as I sometimes do and folding in a cup of broken pecan pieces, pouring the filling into the unbaked crust, and then pressing whole pecan halves into the top for a beautiful presentation.

Bake the pie at 325 degrees F. for 45 minutes or less, until set. (If the crust starts getting too brown, cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent further browning.) Don’t bake more than 45 minutes under any circumstances. You want the filling to be soft and luscious but not runny; you absolutely don’t want it to be hard! If you think it’s too runny, add more pecan pieces next time. But admittedly, a runny filling is delicious with vanilla ice cream!

Serve your pecan pie warm or cold, with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or—as my Grandaddy preferred—with sharp Cheddar and apple slices on the side. Trust me, it’s yummy just by itself, too.

             ‘Til next time,





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