Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pecan Pie

I can't believe how the time is flying. The year is flying by, and it's holiday time already!!

With Thanksgiving last week and December only hours away, it's a very busy time for, well, just about everyone I know. It's also a pretty busy time in the kitchen, between huge family feasts, yummy holiday treats and fun edible gifts.

I don't host the holiday feasts, though I hope to one day. We do our big holiday meals with daddy's family. But I bring dessert. I offer to make anything that will help out, but dessert is usually the key. And one dessert that is generally requested year after year, as was the case this Thanksgiving, is pecan pie.

I have been making this pecan pie in this particular crust for many, many years. I am almost embarrassed to let you know how unbelievable easy this whole recipe is. Even the crust. While I do love my go-to, all butter, normal, roll-out pie crust, I always default to this easier one for this pie. I have no idea why, it's just what I do.

And when I say easy, I mean easy.

Put all of the ingredients right in the pie plate in a big, messy clump.

Use a fork to mix it all together. Well, a fork and a teeny bit of patience, because for a minute there, it'll look like there's not enough liquid to wet all the dry...

Use your hands to press it into shape.

Prick the dough all over with a fork.

Aaaannnd.... umm... that's it. Obviously you want to bake the pie shell, especially if the pie recipe calls for a fully baked crust. But that's it. No cutting in of shortening, no resting in the fridge, no fighting with a rolling pin... a seriously easy crust that actually tastes flaky and delicious. I half bake mine prior to making the pecan pie (see recipes below), and it comes out pretty darn nicely, I think.

Now, I made this crust after dinner the night before Thanksgiving, then proceeded to make the rest of the pie after the kiddos went to bed, as it always tastes better the next day. So before sending the kids off to dreamland, I took care of the noisy part of the process - chopping the pecans in the (mini) food processor (attachment of my much-loved immersion blender).

Once the nuts are chopped, the pie is super simple to put together. Yup, even easier than the crust.

All of the ingredients go into one bowl.

Mix them until they're well incorporated, then pour the whole thing into the prepared crust.

Then put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

And don't tell anyone that it was that easy.

Pecan pie is magical to me, how the nuts rise to the surface and create that shell, and all the gooey, sweet deliciousness stays underneath...

With a bit of whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream!) it is the perfect end to a holiday meal.

So what is your favorite holiday dessert?

Easy Pie Crust
(from allrecipes)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place all ingredients into a 9 inch pie plate. Using a fork, stir everything together. Pat the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Using the same fork, poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust.
Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.
(I usually bake it for no more than 10 minutes with the pecan pie recipe that follows)

Pecan Pie
(from allrecipes)

1 9-inch pie shell
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 cup chopped pecans (I usually over-flow my cup, being very generous with the pecans...)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prick pastry shell in several places wit a fork and bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. (you can skip this step if you followed the above directions for the easy pie crust)
In a large bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt and pecans. Mix well, then pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the crust after 30 minutes - if it is getting too brown, cover the edges with foil. When fully baked, the pie will still be a little loose in the center, but will fully set as it cools - be careful not to over-bake.



  1. YUM! I love a good pecan pie, and when its super easy, its even better!

  2. Mhmm this pie looks delicious! I would have never guessed that it used oil in the pie crust.


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