I grew up in Mississippi surrounded by pecan trees. It seemed as if there were always bowls of these whole nuts sitting around with crackers and picks for anyone who had a craving. And sometimes it just won’t do to have any other dessert other than a freshly baked pecan pie. While there are many options for enhancing the end result (see notes below recipe), I prefer it the old-fashioned way with pecan halves covering a silky smooth, buttery sweet filling. My husband has to have vanilla ice cream with his, but I’m fine with a simple sliver of this Southern favorite.
Southern Tradition Pecan Pie
Yield: 8 servings
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 recipe Single Crust Pie Pastry
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups pecan halves
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the syrup, sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Set aside to cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the pastry in a 9-inch pie plate, crimping the edges as desired. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, extract, and salt into the syrup mixture until well combined. Stir in the pecans and pour into the prepared pastry shell.
Bake 55 minutes or until the pie is set. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Note: For a Chocolate Pecan Pie, reduce the pecans to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips.
For a Bourbon Pecan Pie, omit the extract and substitute 1 tablespoon dark bourbon. Then brush the top of the pie with another tablespoon of dark rum when finished baking.
For a Raisin Pecan Pie, reduce the pecans to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup of golden raisins.