Friday, November 26, 2010

Pecan Pie

Precious daughter-in-law, Lisa, called about 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning to Facetime me. I looked like crap at 8 a.m., had just quickly brushed my teeth and brushed back my hair to get started baking pies for our Thanksgiving meal in Hanford at my sister’s. With iPhones in hand Lisa and I could see each other’s morning loveliness, she was still laying in bed. I reversed the camera so she could see the kitchen counter mess of ingredients for the pumpkin and pecan pies.

I’m the pie lady every year. We must have two pumpkin and two pecan pies. The pumpkin pies are made from the recipe on Libby’s Pumpkin, not the pre-made pie filling. One difference I make is to increase the spices a little, make the teaspoons slightly heaping.

Everyone loves the pecan pies. I’ve been using the Dear Abby recipe since the 1960s.  Abigail Van Buren had an advice column for years. Every year her recipe appeared and several times I cut it out, here is a scan of a clipping.

There was one thing Lisa complained about every year since she and Doug married in 1993, the whole pecans in the pie. Every year she kept telling me I should chop the pecans, chop the pecans, chop the pecans. So, maybe I was trying to make points, one year I did make them with chopped pecans and only a scattering of whole pecans on top for decorating. She still complained! She wanted every pecan chopped. I came around and must say, it is better with chopped pecans. Pecans float and every bite will have an equal amount of chopped pieces. Here is the recipe the way we like it.

Deluxe Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 cup dark Karo corn syrup
1 cut brown sugar, not packed
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt, that’s a little less than 1/4 teaspoon
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans, don’t skimp on pecans

Prepare a 9 inch pie shell, uncooked. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, beat slightly with a whisk.
Add the syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla and salt, whisk together, then stir in the chopped pecans.

Pour filling into pie shell, bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a butter knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out wet but not brown syrup clinging.