Pecan Pie & New Reads

Of all the pies in all the world, the one I have yet to have eaten or baked until last week was the Pecan Pie. It’s been a rough life, clearly.

DSC_0433 With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, I figure I best catch up to all the other food bloggers out there and post holiday recipes- starting with this chewy, sugary treat inspired by a recipe via- my girl- Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

When I thought of Pecan Pie, I thought of three things: the South, cavities, and ain’t that pie hard to make? Well, I was wrong about one of those things. Yes, this pie originated in the deep south, we’re talking Louisiana deep. Yes, there’s a TON of sugar in this so you’re gonna need to brush and floss, twice. And no, this pie is not hard at all to make. It’s easy and pie…..

DSC_0440You may notice something a little funny about this photo. Well two little funny things. Yes, those are two uncooked pecans that I’ve placed “inconspicuously” to cover a gaping hole in my pie. Why? Because I have a little friend who wanted a midnight snack. My friend is named Mickey, Mickey Mouse. Or should I say he was named Mickey Mouse.

Don’t mess with a girl and her pie!

I left my beautiful pie on the counter to coo, completely forgetting that we had a mouse loose in the house. The next day two pecans were gone. I pointed fingers at everyone in the house and they all denied it. And then, my mom found two mouse droppings next to the pie. Yep, a mouse had first dibs, but by the time we realized that there were dirty mouse paws all over the cake, it was too late. We were already half a pie down.

DSC_0446 We got him though! Got that mouse real good. Anyway, this pie is easy to make, just make sure you cover it from unwanted guests.

Pecan Pie

Ingredients for the Crust

You will have extra pie dough, but you can freeze it in the freezer for up to 6 months and pop it out into the fridge one day before using.

1 1/2 Cups shortening
3 Cups Flour
1 Egg
5 Tablespoons ice cold water
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar

Ingredients for the Pie
1 Cup white Sugar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 Cup light corn syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 Cup melted butter, cooled slightly
3 Eggs
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 Cups chopped pecans
1 Cup, or so, of whole pecans to decorate the top of the pie

Directions

For the Crust: To the flour, add the salt, and shortening and cut with a pastry cutter, or use your hands, until small beads form. In a small bowl, beat an egg with 5 Tablespoons of water and the white vinegar. Add this to the flour mixture and kneed until it forms a ball. It will be softer. Cover in saran wrap and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Butter a pie pan and place the rolled pie crust down. Cut around the edges of the pan to make it look nice. Freeze any extra pie crust. Put the pie crust in the fridge for now.

For the Filling: Melt your butter and set aside for 5 minutes to cool down slightly. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the white sugar, brown sugar, salt corn syrup and butter. Beat the eggs and add it to the sugar mixture. Chop one and a half cups of pecans and add it to the shell of the pie.

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Then, pour the sugar mixture over the pecans, setting aside 1/2 of the mixture. Let it sit for about two minutes, as the pecans will begin to float to the surface.

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Then arrange the whole pecans on the top of the pie and cover with the remaining sugar mixture.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, just until the center doesn’t jiggle. The baking time varies, but if you are unsure, keep checking on it every 5-10 minutes until the center doesn’t jiggle. Then, turn the oven off and crack the oven door open just slightly. Let the pie sit in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and let get room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight.

DSC_0437 It’s been a few weeks since I’ve talked books at all. Currently, I’m reading Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. This novel is about a young girl’s journey to repopulate her small Mexican village, which has been taken over by the los banditos, by crossing the boarder into the United States and bringing back the men who left her village years ago. During her journey, she plans to bring back her father who abandoned her long ago.

I am about half-way through. Initially, I was drawn to the book because of the story of this young girl who is up against the odds and has no clue how difficult crossing the boarder into the U.S. actually is. Let alone, traveling through the U.S. to find her father, which all she knows about him is that he is in a small town in the midwest.

There are several disappointments from this novel, however, and it pains me to say it because the story line is so captivating and the character Nayeli is very interested. But I’ll keep you waiting until next week.

Until then, make a pie why don’t cha?

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