Friday, December 18, 2009

Classic Old Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie

Follow this recipe and these tips and you'll have yourself a perfect Southern Pecan Pie

Perfect Southern Pecan Pie

Ah, southern pecan pie - a classic no doubt. It is no secret that we love our pecans down south. We use them on top of pies, in the crusts of pies and of course, in pies.  We use them as a topping, in cookies, and even in cookies you might not expect them in. We make glazes with them, put them in cranberries, and even add them to pasta! Heck, we even put 'em on bacon. I could go on. All I can say is thank goodness they are plentiful down here!

But truly, the king of pecans is found in the simple, classic, unadulterated southern pecan pie. I think a lot of people end up with runny pecan pie for a couple of reasons. Too much butter, overbeating and impatience to name a couple. I assure you, this pecan pie is fail proof, it really is! Just make note of the tips, don't make adjustments in the ingredients and your pie will be a perfect pecan pie.

Now, there are all sorts of variations of pecan pies out there that use different ingredients - adding chocolate, whiskey, bourbon, coconut and a wide range of add-ins. This recipe here is just good ole, classic and plain, old fashioned, southern pecan pie, based on the old Karo syrup recipe from a hundred years ago, but with my own twists, tips and pie success variations! I've included some of the most popular variations.

I've also included a cooked filling variation in the notes. Cooking the filling changes the texture a bit by dissolving the sugar and making for a smoother filling, more gooey and custardy in a way, almost caramel-like. The filling is also a little richer in flavor from cooking it. You can also sub in rice flour in the original version to adapt that along with a gluten free crust for that variation.

I like using the chopped pecans personally. They float to the top as they cook and to me that's pretty enough, and they make the pie much easier to cut than one topped with whole pecan halves. You can use the pecan halves arranged nicely on top instead though, if you prefer.

Recipe: Classic Old Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 8 servings

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of cane syrup or light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 unbaked homemade or commercial pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pie crust by placing it into an ungreased, regular 9-inch glass pie plate and fluting the edges.

Whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the sugar. Stir in the syrup and the softened butter; mix well. Add the flour and the vanilla; combine well and fold in the pecans.

Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for about 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Shield outside edges of the pie with a pie shield or aluminum foil about halfway through cooking to prevent overbrowning.

Cook's Notes:: I recommend Pillsbury pie crusts, Karo syrup and Land O'Lakes butter. Cane syrup provides a much deeper, richer and stronger flavor. I prefer corn syrup.

Cooked Filling Version: Whisk the sugar and corn syrup together in a saucepan and bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute only. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and very slowly drizzle some of the syrup into the eggs, while beating constantly, to temper. Once syrup is incorporated well into eggs, whisk eggs into the remaining syrup mixture. Omit flour and increase butter to 1/2 stick. Stir in the butter, vanilla and pecans and bake as above.

Chocolate Pecan Pie: Reduce pecans to 3/4 cup and add in 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with the pecans.

Bourbon Pecan Pie: Omit the vanilla extract and add 1 tablespoon of a good quality bourbon.

Pecan Pie Tips:

►Toast the pecans for extra flavor.

►Don't use a blender or a mixer. Use a whisk and a wooden spoon and hand mix only ... and don't beat it to death! Many pecans pies end up runny due to over-beating.

►Shield the edges of the pie about halfway through the cooking time to prevent over-browning.

►Let the pie cool completely before slicing. You should be able to hold the pie pan flat in the palm of your hand and it not be uncomfortable. If it's still too hot to do that, it's too hot to cut!

►The pie is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out fairly clean. The filling will still seem a bit jiggly as a whole, but that's normal and remember, it will continue cooking a bit even after removed, so you don't want to overcook it!


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 18, 2009

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