Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Pecan Pie

I have always thought that pecan pies were too sweet, but then I tasted the pies Chris made for Thanksgiving this year using maple syrup and no corn syrup. They were very good. He used a recipe from The Best Recipe Cookbook by Cook's Illustrated magazine. I looked at other recipes and basically went with the recipe Chris used, but added a couple of ingredients from the recipe in the cookbook from Tartine Bakery. The taste was great and I wouldn't change the ingredients. The crust was somewhat soggy. The filling was pretty cool by the time I poured it into the crust and that may have been the problem. Best Recipe's recipe is the only one I have seen that uses a low temp (275) to bake the pie. It is hard to believe that other cookbooks I respect would have recipes that produce inferior pies and they all use higher temps. Tartine uses 350 and I think next time I will go with that. The directions I am giving are therefore based on the Tartine method, not Best Recipe's low temperature method.

Pecan Pie
3 lg eggs
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp bourbon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
finely grated orange zest (from about 1/2 a large orange)
2 cups chopped pecans
prebaked 9" pie shell

In a saucepan, combine sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 min. Take pan off heat, add the butter, and whisk as it melts. Let the mixture cool to room temp. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add vanilla and eggs to cooled mixture and whisk to mix well. Stir in pecans and orange zest.
Bake until filling is just set, 40 to 60 mins. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil.

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