If there's one thing I know a thing or two about, it's pecan pie.
I've been making it every year for Thanksgiving at my family's gathering since I was 13. That's a lot of trial and error, folks. It has always turned out very tasty, due to my secret ingredient (which I'll share at the end).
Sometimes it's come out a bit runny in the middle or the crust gets a little burned. But thanks to the 16 years of pecan pie-making experience I have under my belt, I'm going to share with you the way to make the best pecan pie you'll ever eat.
It starts with a whole wheat crust.
Naysayers, hear me out. I use pre-made crusts for years, then I switched to making homemade traditional white flour crusts. But it was two years ago that I whipped up a whole wheat crust, and my dad said, in all seriousness, "I believe this is the best pecan pie you've ever made."
The only thing I had done differently was switch to a whole wheat crust. It's heartier and more rustic looking. I would tout the health benefits, but who am I kidding? This is pecan pie. We threw health out the window when we begin the next step of the recipe. I'll give you a few hints.
Two words. The first sounds like horn and the second sounds like stirrup.
That particular ingredient makes this pie syrupy sweet and decadent. It scares dentists and delights sweet tooths. It's everything you could want in a Thanksgiving dessert.
And like I said before (it bears repeating), I've learned a lot over the past few years about what it takes to get this pie just right. So read the notes. And when you're done reading them, read them again, just in case. The results will all be worth it when you sink your teeth into sweet, nutty, goodness with an earthy flaky crust.
WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST (make one 9 inch, deep dish pie crust)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. cold milk (or more as needed)
Mix flours, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until just moist enough so that dough holds together. Turn on a floured surface and knead several times. Roll dough into a 9 inch circle and transfer to a pie plate, using fingers to shape dough as needed. Use the prongs of a fork to press into the rim of the pie crust and create a lined design around the perimeter.
THE BEST PECAN PIE
This recipe is made for a deep dish pie crust and pan. The "secret" ingredient is that it uses double the pecan of most pecan recipes. This pie is SO much better when it's chock full of pecans.
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat eggs well, then add sugar, butter, vanilla, and corn syrup. Stir in pecans. Pour pie filling into a pie crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
This isn't absolutely necessary, but for best results use a pie crust shield or simply fashion one out of aluminum foil to cover the outer perimeter of the crust.
For best results, make this pie one day ahead of time and set in the fridge over night before serving. This gives the center adequate time to gel before being served.
Before serving, place pie in the oven on the "warm" setting or the lowest temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Kelly Davis is a blogger, freelance writer, food enthusiast, and native North Carolinian. When she's not training for a race or cooking something delicious in the kitchen, she's writing, reading, snuggling her dachshund, or plotting her next project. You can keep up with Kelly's antics and recipes on her blog, Foodie Fresh.