Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a staple for Thanksgiving, and a lot of times Christmas, or just a necessity in the South. I know I had my whole Thanksgiving here in Spain, but corn syrup (main ingredient in pecan pie, besides the pecans, of course) is non-existent here. So I did my pumpkin cheesecake, which was not a bad choice either. This meant that I had to make a pecan pie when I went home for Christmas.

I like to use a cook book called “Cook ‘Em Horns” (yall Texans will get it). They have a basic ‘Texas pecan pie’ recipe and then two pages of variations. I like to follow the basic recipe and then throw in a little Jack Daniels and some chocolate, because what isn’t made better by Jack and chocolate? I actually ended up making two pies, the second for my parents to take to their friends’ ranch. It had a few adjustments, and got better reviews than the first one, I think because I learned from the first one. For example, it called for 2 Tbsp melted butter and vanilla extract (which all add liquid), and I threw in some Jack, which made the end result pretty liquidy, even after being out of the oven for a while. So for my second one, I cut back on butter and took out the vanilla completely. I was also low on light corn syrup, so used half dark and half light, which I think adds maybe a bit more depth (I don’t know, they might be the same, but as I said, people liked this one better). And finally, it did not contain chocolate. I will not concede that this makes a better pie. This last change, I think is a matter of personal preference. I love chocolate, and I think it goes well with the pecans, but some might not.

So I’ve changed the recipe a bit from the original, mainly to make that goo that is pecan pie be a little thicker. So good luck to you in your pecan pie endeavors, maybe even give a shot with brown sugar and let me know how it goes.

Pecan Pie
Adapted from Cook ‘Em Horns

½ c light corn syrup
½ c dark corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 c sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 glug Jack Daniels
1 c pecans
½ - 1 c chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust (you’ll find my recipe here)

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: mix the corn syrups with the sugar and eggs, then the butter and Jack, and finally the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 400 F, then 30 minutes at 350 F. And you can always take it out a few minutes early, that’s my philosophy, just to be sure it’s a tiny bit underdone and moist.

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