The Best Pecan Pie

by Shoshana on December 2, 2009 · 8 comments

I know that pumpkin pie is the traditional dessert for Thanksgiving but to be honest I could take it or leave it. It is pecan pie that is my first choice from the dessert selections, and in my mind Thanksgiving would not be quite as sweet without it. This year I tried to convince my family to skip the pumpkin pie since there were only 10 people coming for dinner (two of them toddlers) and I had two other pies I wanted to make. That seemed like too radical a break from tradition so I ended up making all three and having a bunch left over (mmm, breakfast).

While I enjoyed the apple cranberry pie, the leftover that kept calling my name from the fridge throughout the weekend was the pecan pie. Every time I tasted a sliver I stopped in my tracks and said “wow, this is good.” Because truly it is just that good. It is extremely sweet, like most pecan pies, but has a rich praline flavor that adds wonderful complexity to that sweetness. The nuts are chopped so it is not as pretty as pies made with whole pecans, but the pecan flavor is more pronounced so I am willing to make that sacrifice. My husband (who, being the true Southerner that he is, keeps wanting me to make him a Karo pie) thought thought the nuts detracted from the pie, but I have to whole heartedly disagree. This pie is my favorite and I will make it for many Thanksgivings to come

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Perfect Pecan Pie

(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Ingredients
9-inch pie crust, unbaked and well chilled (my favorite parve recipe is posted here)
1 large egg yolk , beaten with 1/8 teaspoon water
6 tablespoons unsalted margarine , cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole pecans (8 ounces), toasted and chopped into small pieces

Prick sides and bottom of the crust with a fork and line entire crust with heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing foil firmly against crust and extending it over the edges. Prick foil with fork and return shell to refrigerator while oven is heating.

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, pressing once or twice with mitt-protected hands, if necessary, to flatten any puffing, until crust is firmly set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottom begins to color, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, brush sides and bottom with egg yolk, and return to oven until yolk glazes over, about 1 minute longer. Remove from oven, and set aside while preparing the filling.

Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees. Place pie shell in oven if not still warm.

Melt the margarine in a medium heatproof bowl set in skillet of water maintained at just below simmer. Remove bowl from skillet; mix in sugar and salt with wooden spoon until margarine is absorbed. Beat in eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla. Return bowl to hot water; stir until mixture is shiny and warm to the touch, about 130 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in pecans.

Pour mixture into warm shell; bake until center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours. Serve pie at room temperature or warm*, with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream if desired.

* If you want warm pie, cool the pie thoroughly, then cut and warm it in a 250-degree oven for about twenty minutes.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay3fer December 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Mmm… now you've got me thinking about pecan pies! Here's my standard recipe for authentic Texas pecan pie – which is totally pareve as-is, btw. Less sugar; I think it's a smaller recipe overall, but it always seems to fill the shell.
http://www.ortech-engr.com/pecans/pecanpie.html (not my own site, but a much-visited Favorite!)
Thanks as always for the inspiration!

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Louise December 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I love your website! I made the pumpkin streusel muffins and they were incredible. (though I made them dairy since I was serving fish). My question is – what type of store or place do I find mimicreme and soy milk powder – I have never seen them. thanks! Louise

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Shoshana December 11, 2009 at 2:56 am

Jay3fer,
i've never had a Texas pecan pie, but it looks delicious. I will have to try it soon.

Louise,
I'm glad you liked the pumpkin muffins. I have seen soy milk powder occasionally in large natural food stores, but I can never find it when I need it so I just order it from Amazon (I like the better than milk brand). I also order mimiccreme online. It is available from amazon but I usually get it directly from the company. It isn't really available in stores in the NY area but I did see it at the grocery in CA when I was there for Thanksgiving, so it is available in some stores.
I hope this helps, Shoshana

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Shoshana December 11, 2009 at 2:56 am

Jay3fer,
i've never had a Texas pecan pie, but it looks delicious. I will have to try it soon.

Louise,
I'm glad you liked the pumpkin muffins. I have seen soy milk powder occasionally in large natural food stores, but I can never find it when I need it so I just order it from Amazon (I like the better than milk brand). I also order mimiccreme online. It is available from amazon but I usually get it directly from the company. It isn't really available in stores in the NY area but I did see it at the grocery in CA when I was there for Thanksgiving, so it is available in some stores.
I hope this helps, Shoshana

Reply

Louise December 20, 2009 at 4:07 am

Shoshana – thank you for your reply – please disregard where I asked the same question as I had not seen this response. Which brand of soy milk powder do you prefer?? thank you, Louise

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Alice October 7, 2012 at 9:31 am

Where can I get the pie crust from ?

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Shoshana October 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

If you want to make the pie crust, you can use the recipe that is linked in the post. If you want to purchase a pie crust there are a few options for parve frozen pie crusts. I like the wholly wholesome crusts because they do not have any hydrogenated oils (I get them at whole foods), but there are also standard parve crusts available in the regular supermarket (I believe the brand is Orchard, but I haven’t bought them in a very long time so I’m not sure.) Hope that helps!

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lisa December 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I think we’ve tried a different pecan pie recipe every year and now we’ve finally found one worth keeping. We made it with a gluten free crust (from Elana’s Pantry) for Thanksgivukkah Dinner and it was a clear favorite over the (also delicious) apple and pumpkin pies.

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