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Birthday Pie

p4170114Pecan Pie just seems a little weird to me in the spring-time, but, ahh, the things I’ll do for love!  Scott loves pecan pie and has been begging for one ever since the “Pecan Pie Shortage of Thanksgiving ’08”.  There wasn’t really a shortage per se…it’s all about perspective- see?

So anyway, I figured that spring or not, he was owed a pecan pie for his birthday. And he was in heaven.  Apparently it was the best one yet.  Shrug.  I’m not really a lover of pecan pie, you see.  They’re good an’ all, but a lover, I am not.  But I make them anyway since as you know, my lover is a lover!

I’ve always followed the recipe out of Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best Recipe, which was practically my first cookbook, back before I even went to culinary school.  You’ve got to hand it to ’em for explaining their thought processes through all their testings, and for baked goods they do a pretty darn good job.

Pecan Pie adapted from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

I used my own flaky pie dough that I so love and just poured in all that nutty goo. Make once recipe of the dough and partially blind bake it.

The only real change I make to their recipe is that I substitute brown rice syrup for the corn syrup.  There’s a huge flavor difference that I love…(well, maybe I am becoming a lover after all!)

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, barely beaten
  • 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans (8 oz), toasted and chopped into small pieces

While you are blind-baking the pie shell, melt butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water.  Remove bowl from pot; mix in sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs, then brown rice syrup and vanilla.  Return bowl to the pot of hot water and stir until mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130 degrees. (Be sure to watch this mixture closely and stir often so that the eggs don’t curdle.)  Remove from heat and stir in the pecans.

As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275 degrees.  Pour pecan mixture into hot pie shell.

Bake until the center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50-60 minutes.  Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours.  Serve pie at room temperature, with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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