Pecans are native to North America, so it is entirely fitting that a pecan pie would make an annual appearance at Thanksgiving along with our other native foodstuffs like turkey, pumpkin, and cranberries.
- 1 9-inch pie shell, frozen (freeze for half an hour if freshly made; I recommend an easy, flaky, sour cream pie crust)
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (save a few whole pecan halves to create a decoration on the surface of the pie if you want)
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses (unsulphured)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Mix pecan pie filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl vigorously mix together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, salt, until smooth. (No need for a mixer, you can beat by hand using a wooden spoon.)
2 Fill the pie shell. Spread the chopped pecans over the bottom of a frozen pie shell. Pour the filling over the pecans. Don’t worry about burying the pecans, they will rise to the surface. (If you have reserved a few whole pecan halves, you can use them to arrange them on the surface in a decorative pattern. Just dip them below the wet filling and let them rise again so they get coated with the filling.)
3 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes tent the pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the crust and pecans from getting too browned. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes until the filling has set. The pie should be a bit wiggly in the center.
4 Remove from oven and let cool completely. Note that the pie will be puffed up a bit when you first take it out of the oven. It will settle as it cools.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
No Fail, Sour Cream Pie Crust
- 2 cups (260 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt (skip if using salted butter)
- 2 teaspoons of sugar (for sweet recipes, otherwise skip)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup, 8 ounces, 225 g) cubed
- 1/2 cup (115 ml) sour cream (full fat, NOT light sour cream)
1 Cut butter into cubes and let sit for a couple minutes: Cut the butter into cubes and put in a warm spot to take the chill off (don’t soften the butter, just let it sit out for couple minutes when you take it out of the fridge).
2 Whisk together flour, salt, sugar: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, salt (omit if using salted butter), and sugar (if using).
3 Work the butter into the flour with your hands: Sprinkled the cubes of butter over the flour. Use your clean hands to squish the flour and butter together with your thumbs, fingers, and knuckles. Work the butter into the dough until you have what resembles a coarse meal with some flattened chunks of butter.
4 Add sour cream: Add the sour cream to the flour butter mixture. Use a fork to incorporate into the mixture.
5 Form dough into disks, refrigerate: Use your hands to gather the pastry dough together into a large ball. Use a knife to cut the ball in half. Form into two disks. As you work the dough into disks, it should end up smooth, having the consistency of Play-Doh. Don’t worry about over-working this dough. Form the disks so that there are no cracks.
Sprinkle all over with a little flour. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Once you wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap, you can massage the dough and the edges with your warm hands to close any cracks. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or up to a day ahead.
If you want to freeze for future use, wrap again, this time with aluminum foil and freeze (leave in refrigerator overnight to thaw before using).
6 Remove dough from fridge, let sit for a few minutes, then roll out: After the dough has been sitting in the fridge for an hour, remove it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature to become more malleable before rolling out.
If it still feels too stiff to roll out, hold your hands around the edges to soften.
To roll out, sprinkle a clean, flat surface with flour. As you roll the dough, check to make sure the bottom is not sticking. If it is, lift it up and sprinkle a little flour underneath.
Roll out to 12 to 14 inches wide, to an even thickness.