Friday, November 8, 2013

Southern Pecan Pie with Glazed Pecans

It was Thanksgiving weekend a little while ago here up north.  And it was also the last weekend Meow's parents were staying here before their big move into retirement.  So, one last dessert before they go to accompany a simple Thanksgiving dinner of halibut, farm fresh brussel sprouts, and organic candied carrots from the backyard.

Mr. Meow had been going on about pecan pies just a little, I think he was craving some southern, New Orleans style food because he was going on about gumbo as well.  So, that plus Meow's mother being a nut fan, plus Thanksgiving, Meow would try a pecan pie.

After scouring the internet for a good, reliable recipe, many of them I noticed contains corn syrup along with brown and white sugar, which equals to teeth rotten sweet.  Meow does not need that, so I found one that did not use corn syrup and still cut down on the sugar.

The overall process also seemed simple enough and hassle-free, and the modified bake times/temperature also gave confidence that a pre-cooked pie shell was not necessary.

With chestnut ice cream
Extra nutty

Southern Pecan Pie
Adapted from All Recipes

1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (113 g) butter
2 eggs
2 tbsp (30 g) flour
1 tbsp (15 g) milk
1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 9" pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy, stir in melted butter. Then stir in brown sugar and flour and whisk until fluffy. Finally, add milk, vanilla, and nuts.

3. Pass the mixture through a strainer to remove much of the foam. Foam will cause the filling to form a crust when baked

4. Pour into an unbaked 9" pie shell and bake for 10 minutes in 400F, then 20 min in 350 degrees, 20 minutes in 325 degrees

5. While pie is baking, prepare glazed pecans

Glazed Pecans
Adapted from Southern Living

1 cup pecan halves (or up to 2 cups)
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
6 tbsp (122 g) dark corn syrup

1. Mix everything in a thick bottom pot that gives enough room for nuts to spread out and to stir

2. Heat on stove over medium-low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly

3. Grease and line a large sheet of parchment on a pan

4. Pour glazed nuts onto greased sheet when syrup has become extremely sticky and stringy (short strings)

5. Before nuts cool, use a wooden spoon to break up clustered clumps of nuts and then allow to cool

*CAUTION: Glazed nuts are extremely hot!! You are dealing with molten sugar here that is well over 240F*

6. Arrange cooled nuts onto the pie and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 325F.  Pie top should be solid before placing nuts on top.

My lame attempt at imitating a lattice top
These glazed pecans also resemble cockroaches,
so Meow nicknamed it "cockroach pie"

The resulting pie was not too sweet and had a good balance of flavour.  Meow Mother loved it because it is full of nuts (she's a nut freak).  Meow did not like have the crushed pecans inside the filling as I prefer to enjoy my fillings smooth.  To each their own.  You can stir in crushed pecans or only use the glazed pecan halves as your nut requirement.  Mr. Meow also prefers no nuts inside the filling, but I think he's going for authenticity rather than anything else.  Though he did say that the texture of the filling itself was right.  I have never had a proper southern pecan pie before, so I'll take his word on it.


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