My husband is starting a new job on Tuesday (a promotion! Yay!), & upon hearing he was leaving, his coworkers offered the appropriate congratulations and speeches of woe, the latter of which included, “b..b..but…but…pecan pie…???”
So I’m making them a pecan pie, & have finally perfected my process for the recipe I invented several years ago. It is as follows, although it should be noted that I tend to make deep-dish pies, and for your average 9″ pie this should probably be cut in half. Or you should make two. Also an excellent option. :)
CATIE’S PECAN PIE
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/8 cup water
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups pecans, chopped
First off, spray a measuring spoon with cooking spray or something so the molasses will come out of it easily, otherwise you’ll be here all day. Don’t worry about being too exact with it, though. If it’s two tablespoons, ain’t nobody gonna cry. After some experimenting on my end, though, be a bit cautious in going too far over that, because molasses is a very strong flavor and can get a little sharp in the background of the pie.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan with the sugars, molasses, and water. Bring it to a low boil; we’re just trying to make sure the sugars aren’t crystallized in your custard. Okay? Okay. Good.
Put the pan aside to cool a little while while you make your crust & custard. And look. The custard? What I’m gonna describe is ever so slightly finicky. I know, I know, does it REALLY matter? But it does, because this keeps the flour from lumping. So trust me, okay? Okay. Good.
Put the flour in a medium-small bowl. Add the milk & vanilla. Whisk these 3 ingredients into a paste. It’ll only take a minute and the vanilla will make it smell good.
Break one egg in. Whisk it in completely before doing the next, and the next, and the next, and the last.
I know, I know. Does it REALLY matter? I’ve made this pie a dozen times. Tonight’s custard turned out better than any other I’ve done, because I used this process. Trust me. Trust me.
I’m assuming you already chopped your pecans up. If you didn’t, go ahead and do that. Or don’t, as you prefer. I actually like to chop about, IDK, 2/3rds of them? And then leave the rest verging on whole, for Big Chunks Of Pecan. Om nom nom.
Make your pie crust (go on, it’s not that scary. Give it a try).
Then pour the warm sugar mix into the custard, and listen, amis. Again, this is sort of a pain, but it’s the Right Thing To Do: drizzle it in while whisking briskly.
Obviously it takes longer that way, sure, of course it does. But you don’t want to cook the egg with the warm sugar mix, so go slowly. We’re only talking 2-3 minutes anyway, not, like, an hour. Enjoy the scent, bc it’s gonna smell SO GOOD. All that butter & molasses. Mmmm.
Then pour your pecans in & mix until they’re thoroughly covered. Do not, for the love of heaven, whisk them in. I keep doing that and then there’s goddamn pecans stuck in the goddamn whisk and nobody’s happy. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Okay? Okay. Good.
Oh, shit, I told you to preheat the oven, right? Right, go back up to the top and preheat it. 425°F, A Hot Oven. Et voila, by the time you get this far, your oven is preheated. Great.
Pour your pecan custard into the pie shell & put it in the oven. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
REDUCE THE HEAT to 325°F. Bake for at least another 30 minutes, probably more like 45, until a fork inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool. Eat with whipped cream or ice cream, as you like it.
Ted says this is the best pecan pie he’s ever had. I hope it’s the best you’ve ever had, too.