The days after Thanksgiving may be those of reckoning for some. Having gorged on turkey, cranberries and pies galore, we may call it quits on the feasting for a bit. For others, the holiday merely kick starts our appetite for more, especially homemade pies. But making pies can be so labor intensive that we'd prefer to fantasize for a real or proxy grandmother who appears with a homemade pie to assure us that all is right in the world.
And nowhere is the pie world more right than in the South, birthplace of the pecan pie. Some say pecan pie is a product of New Orleans (likely they were the ones who thought of adding bourbon), others say the housewife of a Karo executive. Whatever its origins, you can be your own grandma and discover that pecan pie really is easy as pie to make.
You'll need a recipe - Get Baked used one from Gourmet magazine (RIP) found on epicurious.com. Just blend the ingredients and pour the mixture into a pie shell with pecans lying on the bottom. The nuts will float up to the surface on their own. Slide the pie into a hot oven and one hour later - magic. Pecan pie.
Pecan pie is liberal on those things that are bad for us - fat, sugar and more sugar - but which we all know when combined turn into something very very good. We all owe a debt to the grandmas who didn't let a little corn syrup stop them.
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie from epicurious.com
Recipe by Andrea Albin
Premade pie shell
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 & 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanila extract
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (if you're lazy, you can skip this)
1/4 teaspoon slat
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves (about 1/2 pound)
Topping: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl, then whisk into corn syrup mixture.
Put pecans in pie shell and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.