The great American classic! Watch the short recipe VIDEO which is very helpful for this recipe. The all-butter shortcrust pastry is flaky and delicate (see proof in video!), just as it should be - no shortening required. If you're a pie first timer, consider using the egg pie crust which is a bit easier to roll out and handle - see recipe notes. The filling is a soft-set caramel custard with chopped up pecans and the top is decorated beautifully with whole pecans. Be still my beating heart.... this may be the mother of all pies!
Course: Sweet Baking
Servings: 10- 12 people
Pie Crust (or 9" store bought) (Note 1):
1¼cupsplain white flour(all purpose flour)
115 g / 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1cm/ ⅓" cubes
2.5 - 3tbspice cold water
1 1/4cupspecans, enough to decorate top
1 1/4cuppecans(for filling)
1 cup / 200gbrown sugar, packed
60 g / 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup / 185 mllight corn syrup(Note 2 for subs)
3tbspbourbon(or rum or marsala, or other liquor of choice, or omit)
Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse twice.
Scatter over butter. Pulse 5 times or until the largest pieces are the size of peas.
Turn food processor on low and add 2.5 tbsp water, keep blitzing for 7 to 10 seconds until it forms crumbly clumps (see video). Pinch with your fingers - it should come together - if not, add 1/2 tbsp water until it does. Don't blitz longer than 20 seconds.
Turn out crumbs onto work surface, use hands to bring together into a ball then pat into a 1.5cm / 1/2" thick disc. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Scatter 1 1/4 cups pecans on baking tray and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until you smell them.
Remove from oven and roughly chop. Set aside.
Remaining 1 1/4 cups don't need toasting - they are for the top.
Pie Crust Rollling Out (video helpful):
Dust work surface with flour.
Place dough on work surface, dust top with flour. Roll out into 25cm/12" circle, patching up cracks as required. Remember: the crumblier the dough, the more flaky your pastry which is GOOD!
Roll the pastry onto your rolling pin, then roll it out onto a 22cm / 9" pie tin. Press in, then trim edges with scissors with a 1cm / 0.3" overhang.
Turn the edges under and press down neatly. Crimp if desired (see video).
Place 2 large pieces of baking paper over the pie crust then fill with pie weights or dried beans or rice. Weight is essential to avoid shrinking pastry.
Bake 20 minutes, then remove pie weights and let the pastry cool for 5 minutes before filling.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add remaining Filling ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Stir through chopped pecans.
Pour into crust - it should fill it about 1 cm / 2/5" from the top (you may have excess if your pastry shrank).
Top with whole pecans in desired pattern.
Place pie in oven. Bake for 50 minutes, checking at 40 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle much when you shake it but the centre is still soft when you touch it (see video).
It will be puffed and cracks will look extreme, but it will deflate as it cools. If your pastry / pecans are browning too quickly, cover with foil.
Serving / Storing:
Cool completely before serving, to allow the custard to set - 2 - 4 hours.
Slice, and serve with ice cream or cream if desired - I don't need either!
Store in an airtight container - great for 2 days, but I'm perfectly happy with mine even after 4.
1. PIE CRUST: This is a classic all-butter shortcrust pastry which does require some practice, though hopefully my video and tips will help even first timers nail it! It's a bit fiddly because the dough is chilled before rolling out so it is prone to being breaking so you need a deft touch / patching it up with bits of extra dough. Also, you need to work quickly to keep the butter from melting which is how the pie crust ends up beautifully flaky and delicate. If you're a first timer, consider using this egg pie crust which has egg in it, which makes it more pliable and easier to roll out. It is not quite as delicate as the classic but it is still wonderfully flaky and crumbly, as it should be! EASIER EGG PIE CRUST: Add 1 egg instead of water, blitz until it looks like what you see in the video i.e. still crumbly but when you pinch some in your fingers, it comes together. Turn out onto work surface and bring together with hands into a ball. Then roll the pastry out WITHOUT refrigerating and put it in the pie dish, per recipe. Trim and crimp edges if desired. THEN refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then cover with baking paper, fill with pie weights and go back to following the recipe. STORE BOUGHT: Use a 9" / 22 cm store bought pie crust. 2. CORN SYRUP: I brought back Karos corn syrup from America which is a popular brand over there. However, the good news is there are some great sub options for those who can't get corn syrup! Golden syrup is a fantastic substitute, and in fact adds another layer of flavour to the Filling. There are pie experts out there who actually prefer Pecan Pie made with golden syrup rather than corn syrup, such as Smitten Kitchen. Glucose also works - as I found out when I didn't have corn syrup, and it too is derived from corn. But it is thicker so needs to be diluted - use 3 tbsp water + 1/2 cup of glucose, microwave then whisk to combine. Then use in place of corn syrup in the recipe. 3. MORE CRUST TIPS: If it's super warm where you are, place the dry ingredients in the food processor and refrigerate to make it cold. Also chop the butter then refrigerate before use. If you have hot hands (me, me!) run your hands under cold water before handling the dough. In extreme circumstances, I've been known to cradle an ice pack! Work quickly because the key to a flaky pastry is to ensure the butter bits in the pastry remain in tact and don't melt before going in the oven - those butter bits are what creates the flakiness in the pastry.4. Recipe References: I referred to many recipes throughout the creation of mine, including: Smitten Kitchen, Food Network, Ree Drummond, I Am Baker, and Cook's Illustrated ( <- subscription based so I can't link).5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 12 servings.