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Positively Perfect Pecan Pie

It’s Thanksgiving Time! It’s one of my favorite holidays because family visits, there’s the Thanksgiving Day parade, a Turkey Trot 5K run and an amazing spread of food. But what’s the best part of Thanksgiving? Friends, say it with me – it’s the dessert!

When I married into my husband’s family, I brought a few of my Southern traditions with me. One of those traditions is pecan pie. In my house, it’s just not Thanksgiving without it. You’ll love this recipe for Southern Pecan Pie, as it has just the right texture and it’s not “I’m-going-to-get-a-cavity-right now-from-eating-this” sweet! My kitchen helpers and I will show you how easy it is to make this pie. I’m just warning you – you’re going to want to add this to your dessert list, so make room at the table.

If you don’t want to be rushed, you can make pecan pie a few days ahead and keep it refrigerated. It still tastes like it just came out of the oven.

My helpers are ready to get started! Heat oven to 375°F. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. My goal is to keep at least one of the boys busy at all times to help reduce the possibility of a “situation”!

With one brother reading the directions and the other responsible for following directions, I walked back into the kitchen just in time. Nope. Sorry, Bryce. “Cut in butter” means to break up the butter and combine it with the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. We used a fork – no scissors needed for this recipe!

Eventually, it looked like this.

Stir in 3 - 4 tablespoons cold water until the flour is moist. Our crust mixture took about 2 1/2 to 3 “I can do it” shaky tablespoons by a 5-year old with an older brother helping him. Independence. Sigh. After I cleaned the water off the floor and wiped down the oven, we shaped the dough into a ball and flattened it out slightly to get it ready for rolling out. Lightly flour a flat surface so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface, and get out your rolling pin.

Next, we roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. It does not have to be perfect. Trust me on this one – if I kept trying to get pie crust to look perfect, I would be rolling dough until next Thanksgiving. Homemade pie is so worth making from scratch.

When you have the pie crust rolled into a 12-inch circle, fold it into quarters. I wondered why you had to be all fancy and fold it into quarters, and then it hit me! It’s so you can easily pick it up and place it into the pie pan. Genius!

With the dough in a 9-inch pie pan, start pressing the dough against the bottom and sides so that it fills the pie pan.

Once your crust is in the pie pan, trim the extra dough from around the edges. I didn’t have a whole lot left over to trim, but that’s my error in not rolling it out a little more. Mine is not perfect, but you can fix any rips or tears in the dough as you crimp the edge.

Crimp or flute the edge – that’s a fancy way of telling you to make it look like they do in the bakery. Just pinch the crust between your thumb and first finger to make indentions like this. Then set aside your pie crust.

Now comes the fun part. Time to make the pie filling! Add 1 cup corn syrup to 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar. Based on experience with my helpers, I decided it would be quicker and cleaner to do this part myself!

Add 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Also add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

With the mixer, beat the pie filling until well-mixed, like this.

Now it’s time to mix in pecans.

Pour the filling into the crust.

Bake the pie on the lowest rack in the oven so that the pie crust doesn’t get too brown. It will need to bake about 50-55 minutes until the center is set.

I checked on my pie and noticed that my crust was looking close to being done. It had that perfect golden brown look to it. Not wanting to overcook the crust, I called the baking hotline – otherwise known as my mom-in-law! She came to the rescue with a great baking trick to make sure that the crust stayed perfect. Cut a hole in a sheet of foil to leave the center of the pie exposed and wrap the foil around the edges of the pie to protect the crust. The pie will continue to cook and the crust stays a perfect golden brown.

Check to see if the pie is “set” by inserting a table knife into the center just like you would for any cake. If it comes out clean, it's ready! Let the pie cool completely, and you are ready to serve!

It’s been a busy day, but so much fun. What’s more fun than sharing dessert with friends and family? I hope you enjoy your holiday season. Add a little bit of Southern tradition to your family by adding a Southern Pecan Pie to your dessert table. Your guests will be glad you did!

Best part of the day – sharing dessert with friends!

 

Alexandra is paid to write for the Recipe Buzz® Blog.

 

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.


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