We love southern cooking and Pecan Pie is a southern staple dessert. My husband loves it and I know several members in his family and my family love it. However, it is not something that I will pick out to eat in a table full of dessert selections. In fact, I have never been a fan of pecan pie. So, you may ask, why write a post about or even cook something you don’t like? Just keep reading. I’m getting there.

My parents gave me a gallon bag of pecans sometime back in March or April. I cook with pecans in some recipes, but I had never actually baked a pecan pie. Well, I didn’t want the pecans to get old because I am the type of person to put food up and remember where it’s at when it’s too late. So, I went searching my cookbooks for a recipe.

I ended up finding a pecan pie recipe in a cookbook called At Home Cafe by Helen DeFrance and Leslie Carpenter. You can find information about the book here. I bought this book from one of the authors of the book, Helen DeFrance, when she had a booth at a local flea market a few years ago. And, honestly, I had never cooked any recipe out of it before this pie, but I had all the ingredients and the time to make it, so I decided to try it out.

First, you need to make the crust or you can buy dough crust at the grocery store. I still think that I haven’t figured the crust part out completely because I ended up piecing together the dough to fit in the pie plate. I am sure with practice it will get better.

Homemade Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water
2/3 cup chilled shortening (for buttery flavor crust use butter-flavored shortening)

Add salt to flour. In large bowl, mix flour and shortening with pastry blender or work lightly with tips of fingers. Do this until crumbly. Add cold water slowly to the bowl of dough and mix well.

Gather dough into large ball. Handle lightly to incorporate as much air as possible. This will make a flaky crust. Lightly flour a work surface and roll dough into a 14-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. (If using a pastry cloth, less flour is needed on work surface.) Dust rolling pin and dough with flour as needed. (If dough has been refrigerated, bring to room temperature.) Roll from the center out. Roll continuously in the same direction, lifting your rolling pin and moving back to the center to roll again.

Fold into quarters, then unfold into a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Press lightly against bottom and sides of dish. Trim all but 1 inch of overhang with scissors, fold edge under, and crimp. If your crust tears, patch together gently with your fingers using excess dough from another part of the crust. Do NOT reroll. Yields 1 pie crust.

Now, for the pie filling.

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

1 Homemade Pie Crust (recipe above)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbps flour
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat over to 300 degrees. Using a 9-inch pie plate, prepare Homemade Pie Crust.

Mix together brown sugar, sugar, and flour, use the bottom of your measuring cup like a mortar and pestle to blend the ingredients in bowl. Mix together thoroughly. Add in corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, but do not mix. Add in eggs and stir slightly one at a time. (The more it is stirred the more likely it is to be spoiled.) Fold in melted butter. Pour mixture into unbaked pie pastry shell. Lay pecan halves on top of filling in circles, beginning at the outside and going in to the middle. Bake at 300 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until the filling doesn’t shake.

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It wasn’t too long after this picture that we cut the pie and ate a slice or two. The first bite of the sweet and warm syrup center with the crunchy, nutty top crust and the flaky, buttery bottom crust quickly melted in my mouth. I was sold on this recipe at that moment. A freshly made pecan pie straight out of the oven is so much better than any other type of pecan pie that I have ever eaten. I’m still not a major fan of pecan pie, especially given the choice between it and cheesecake, but next chance I have a bag of pecans, I will definitely make this again.

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