We continue our Thanksgiving road trip with a stop in Texas. What could be better on Thanksgiving than Pecan Pie? It just happens to be the state pie of Texas…
The Texas climate is ideal for the pecan tree and it is thought that they grew in Texas in prehistoric times. The name “pecan” apparently comes from the Algonquian word “pakani” which means “a nut that it takes a stone to crack”.
Indeed, the pecan nut (and the wood of the tree itself) are quite robust. The wood is prized for the making of furniture and the wood chips are often used in smokers.
While the pecan has been around for a long time, Pecan Pie became popular only in the 1920s. A recipe for the pie was printed on bottles of Karo corn syrup, a main ingredient in many versions of the pie.
Our version of Pecan Pie has a little bit of bourbon in it, but that can be omitted easily.
Single-crust 9 inch pie shell (recipe below, oe use a premade one if desired)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 c dark corn syrup
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled
3 T Bourbon (optional – if omitting Bourbon, increase vanilla to 1 T)
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Combine eggs, sugar, butter and both corn syrups. Add Bourbon (if using), vanilla and salt and mix all together well. Put the pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell and pour mixture over the nuts. Bake pie at 375 F for 40-50 minutes until center is nearly set. As the pie cools, it will finish setting.
Let pie cool completely (at least 4 hours) to fully set before cutting.
Single Crust for a 9-inch pie
1/2 c butter, chilled and cut into small (ie 1/2 inch) pieces.
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
3-5 T ice water (amount depends on humidity)
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and salt. Add butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas (this takes about 20-30 pulses). With the food processor running, add the water through the feed tube 1 T at a time until the dough comes together. Flatten to a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough out to a 9 inch circle (it will be about 3/8 inch or 4 mm thick) and fit into pie pan.