I am usually the one that brings the desserts to the holiday gatherings. A few years ago I stumbled upon this amazing Classic Pecan Pie recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. And thank goodness I did because it taught me how to make the perfect Classic Pecan Pie! Seriously it’s perfect! Science says so!
Did you know that partially baking the crust helps keep the crust nice and crisp?
Also, that by adding the warm pecan filling into the warm pecan pie crust helps keep the crust from getting soggy? That’s something I have always hated about pecan pies. The crust was either soggy or under baked.
Something else I also have never cared for are overly sweet pecan pies! I used to think I just didn’t like pecan pie, but I was wrong. I just never had a good one. By reducing the amount of brown sugar this helps the pecan flavor come through as well and keeping the pie from being overly sweet.
Another great tip I learned is cooking the filling in a double broiler over gentle heat and baking the the pie low and slow keeps the pie filling from curddling. Classic Pecan Pie perfection! Well, at least I think. Maybe give it a try for yourself and tell me what you think!
Classic Pecan Pie
SINGLE CRUST PIE DOUGH (this recipe should be used with a food processor only)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, about 1/4 cup
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
- 2 tablespoons vodka, chilled
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
- Process 3/4 cup of the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the butter and shortening on top and continue to process until combined and mixture begins to form uneven clumps, and no flour bits remain, about 10 seconds.
- Scrape down the bowl and evenly distribute the dough around the bowl. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the dough and pulse until the mixture has broken up into pieces and is evenly distributed around the bowl, about 4 to 6 pulses.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle vodka and ice water over the mixture. Press and stir the dough together using a rubber spatula until the dough sticks together.
- Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten out into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling out the dough, let the dough sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes. (The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, be sure to let the dough thaw completely on the counter before using.)
- Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured counter. After rolling the dough out, loosely roll it around your rolling pin and gently unroll it onto your 9 inch pie plate. Gently ease the dough into the lower creases of the pan and press lightly to adhere it to the sides and bottom of the pan. Leave the excess dough hanging over the sides of the pan in place. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough it firm, about 30 minutes.
- Trim the overhang to about 1/2 –inch beyond the edge of the pie plate and tuck the overhang under itself. Crimp the dough around the edge using your fingers. Wrap the dough lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes before using.
- Line the chilled pie shell with a double layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges to prevent burning and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
- Bake your pie shell until the pie dough looks dry and is pale in color about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil and continue to bake until the shell is golden brown, about 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pie crust to a wire rack and set aside. Immediately start on the pecan filling. Your pie crust must still be warm when the pecan filling is added.
- Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and turn your oven down to 275 degrees. Melt the butter in a heatproof large bowl set in a skillet of water maintained just below a simmer. Remove the bowl from the skillet and stir in the sugar and salt until the butter is absorbed. Whisk in the eggs, corn syrup and vanilla extract until smooth. Return the bowl to the hot water and stir until the mixture registers 130 degrees. Turn off the heat and stir in the pecans.
- Pour the pecan mixture into the warm pie crust and bake until the filling looks set and resembles gelatin when pressed with the back of a spoon, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let the pie cool on a rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours. Serve at room temperature.