A couple weeks ago it was time for J.’s company annual pie contest. After coming in 3rd last year, I was out for some major redemption. I’ve stuck with fruit pies the last three times, so I wanted to branch out and dip my toes in a new category. Nothing seemed better than attempting a classic pecan pie.
Homemade Pie Crust
*This makes enough for 2 pie bottoms or 1 bottom and 1 top, depending on what type of pie you’re making
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 TBSP ice water (fill up a cup or small bowl with ice and then fill with water)
In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl) mix together the flour, salt, and butter. Mix it together until the butter has been incorporated. One TBSP at a time, add in the ice water, mixing slowly. Once the dough begins to come together and doesn’t crumble, you’ve added enough water. (Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will be really tough).
Lightly flour your counter-top and divide the dough into two spheres. Softly flatten the sphere into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Pecan Pie Filling
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 lb. pecan halves
As you approach the end of your hour for your dough to chill, preheat your oven to 350, placing a baking sheet on middle rack.
Lightly flour your counter-top again and roll out your dough. Roll into about a 12 inch round and fit it into your pie plate. Trim the edges, fold the overhang and crimp if desired, for decoration. Prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove the saucepan from heat and mix in corn syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt.
Lightly beat eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.
Once the dough has chilled, put pecans in the pie shell and pour the corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven and cook until the filling is set, about 50 minutes.
I love this pie because it was so simple to make (especially if you buy a pre-made crust)! I’ve had some sickeningly sweet pecan pies before, but the orange zest added just amount of citrus flavor and acid to help cut all of that sugar. Serve this with a little whipped cream or ice cream and you’ve got a perfect dessert!