Enjoy a slice of fresh, homemade pecan pie this holiday season
Homemade pie crusts may seem intimidating. However, once you get the technique down, pie crust making is wonderful. You can bake a pie the same day of a holiday dinner party. You can make pie crust dough the day before, store it in the refrigerator, and roll it out and make your pie the day of your gathering.
Now, let’s talk about making a holiday pecan pie. Pecan pie is great to make a day or two ahead of the holiday and also travels very well and makes for a nice gift. Complete with sweet and crunchy pecans, smooth and creamy maple custard and a crispy, buttery crust, this show-stopper pie is fantastic baked at home.
This pie is the perfect end to a meal.
Holiday Pecan Pie
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, small cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
4-5 tablespoons of ice-cold water
¼ of a teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of maple syrup
3 large eggs at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
¼ of a teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of bourbon; optional
Whole pecans, as an optional pie top decoration prior to bake
Flaky sea salt, optional sprinkle garnish but not too much
In a medium bowl, place your flour, sugar and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until chilled, approximately 30 minutes. Put your food processor bowl and the blade in the refrigerator, too. You want these ingredients and your tools cold for pie crust with best results.
After these items are cold, add your flour mixture to the food processor bowl. Process ingredients for a few seconds just to incorporate. Add the cold shortening and butter. Pulse for a few seconds, until the butter is about the size of peas.
While pulsing, gradually add in the water until all the water is combined. The dough holds together a bit at this stage. Yet, do not over-pulse. Take your crust out of the processor bowl. Set the crust dough on a clean surface. Take a piece of plastic wrap large enough to work with. With your crust section resting on the piece of plastic wrap, fold your crust together in the piece of wrap just enough to form a dough disc. Cover the disc with the plastic wrap. I use a rolling pin to roll out the crust to make an even disc. Store the crust disc in the refrigerator. You can store your crust disc in the freezer for about one month or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a sheet pan on the middle shelf of your oven. Roll out your cold pie crust evenly. If the dough is too difficult to roll out, set it out for a few moments prior to rolling. Place the dough into your large glass pie pan and form into the shape of the pan. Place your pie crust into the refrigerator for a little bit, about 30 minutes lightly covered.
Mix the maple syrup, eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, vanilla, salt and bourbon together.
Add in your crushed pecans and evenly distribute them on the bottom of your crust. Then pour in your maple syrup filling. The pecans will float nicely. You can add some whole pecans on top and make a decoration if you wish.
Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes, until the filling is puffed and has a slight jiggle to it in the center. Serve garnished with a scoop of vanilla bean or eggnog ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Sarah Schweitzer is dual-certified in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Sarah is currently working as a Sous-Chef at Ateira’s on First and has her own blog simplysarah.online. She can be reached at email@example.com.