A rich flaky crust boasting the indulgently deep flavour of toasted pecans, and a heady caramely filling, topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream, touting a bit of a coffee kick.
These moody Spring days of late overflow with the gentle excitement of the golden warmth of the days to come, but happily, also invite down home, comfy-in, days. Enter Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie is definitely nostalgic, down home comfort food for me, but also has a delicious elegance, or something of that sort, about it.
Did you know that this classic pie goes waaaaay back? Pecan Pie is an American creation. Pecans are native to North America, and grew along areas watered by the Mississippi River. The first recipe that most closely resembles what we know today, as pecan pie, was published in 1898 in a church charity cookbook in St. Louis, but was sent in by a Texas woman.
A classic indeed, that has deliciously sailed through the tests of time. Such nutty, gooey goodness is hard to beat!
Plus, everyone just loves it when a fresh pecan pie is baking, in the oven, moody Spring day, or not. Then to top it off with cream that has been whipped with a smidge of sugar, a sprinkle of instant espresso and a dribble of good vanilla. Oh Mama!!
I've been making this Pecan Pie for decades, so do not remember if this recipe was written by a particular cook/chef, if it was just like my Mom always made, or if I took a bit from here, a bit from there. However I came to settle on this stand-by Pecan Pie recipe, evidence has it that I'm not the only one who is glad I did.
OUR PECAN PIE with Coffee Scented Whipped Cream ~ Makes one 9-inch pie
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (my pastry recipe, below)
1 1/3 cups pecan halves
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 heaping teaspoon instant espresso
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Spread pecans on rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 5-10 minutes, watching closely. Pecans burn easily! Remove from oven and let cool.
Beat or whisk eggs in medium bowl, until well combined. Add sugar and beat, or whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter, until combined. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla, until combined.
Plop pecans into unbaked pie shell and pour filling over pecans. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until all golden brown and just right. Let cool to room temperature. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with lotsa' coffee scented whipped cream.
COFFEE SCENTED WHIPPED CREAM
Using cold cream, add to medium bowl, along with sugar, instant espresso and vanilla. Using an electric mixer whip the cream until it reaches your favourite consistency. Plop a dollop on each piece of Pecan Pie, and serve.
This recipe is enough for a double crust pie. You only need 1 crust for this Pecan Pie recipe, so you can cut the recipe in half, OR freeze or refrigerate the other half of the unused pastry, for another pie.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
scant teaspoon salt
1 cup cold lard, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water, mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add cold cubed lard and, using your fingers, work the lard into the flour mixture. Keep breaking the lard down into the flour, until mostly evenly distributed, with some of the pieces resembling oat flakes and some about the size of peas. Add ice water and vinegar mixture. Use a fork to bring dough together.
Plop half the pastry onto a well floured work surface. It will be moist, just as it should be. Keep your work surface and top of the pastry floured, as you roll pastry into a large round, to fit pie plate. Rotate dough circle as you go, and add additional flour as needed to keep from sticking. Gently lift round into pie plate to form bottom crust.
Trim the crust leaving about 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under itself, tucking it into the pie plate. Crimp the edges.