Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Traditional Made-From-Scratch Pecan Pie

Make your Thanksgiving special with this deliciously sweet and nutty pecan pie
Nobody will turn down this dessert, no matter how much turkey and stuffing they ate!

This year I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner. For the first time! Yes, I've been in the US many years and every single year I managed to NOT cook on Thanksgiving day. Just eat! A dessert, an appetizer or a salad to bring to friends' house is all I have ever done. This year is different and I will try, really hard, not to mess it up. I have been doing lots of research on perfectly cooked turkey, deliciously tasty stuffing, and oh-so creamy gravy. I will try my best, and I will let you know. Wish me luck!
So far, the one dish I prepared is this traditional pecan pie. My Thanksgiving favorite dessert. Sweet, but not excessively sweet. Perfectly nutty and buttery. All made from scratch. And check it out: no corn syrup in this recipe!
Ingredients: to make a 11 inch tart
For the crust:
  • 1.5 cups (225 gr) of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 oz (1 stick, 115 gr) of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
For the filling:
  • 4 oz (115 gr) of butter - 1 stick
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) of granulated white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2  cup (50 gr) of chopped pecan
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • around 1.5 cups (150 gr) of pecan halves for decorating
Preparation time: about 1 hour and 45 minutes
1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter cut in pieces, and with the tip of a knife cut it in smaller pieces,mixing with the flour, until you get a  coarse mixture, with pea size small butter lumps.
2. Add cold water, about half a cup total, adding a few tablespoons at a time, and mixing with a spoon. Add enough water until the flour is all combined and the dough comes together.
3. Grease the pie pan with butter and flour. Place the dough in the middle and with your finger and palm press down evenly, all around. Sprinkle with flour the top if too sticky. Pay attention to the edges, removing any extra dough with your thumb. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350º F (175º C). Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork, bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
5. Melt the butter in the microwave, by cutting in pieces, checking and mixing every 10 seconds. In a large bowl mix the brown and white sugar  with the eggs until creamy.
6. Add the melted butter, the salt, the orange zest and the vanilla extract.
7. Mix in the chopped pecans, and pour the mixture into the crust. Decorate with the pecan halves, making circles starting from the edge, moving in. As you can see, I ran out of pecan halves, and used chopped pecans for the middle part ... yes! next time I need to carefully read the bag of pecans at the store! :(

Bake for 50 minutes, until the filling is set. Wait for the pie to cool down before removing from the pan, or it might break.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

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