‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Great Pecan Pie Experiment

A few years ago I thought it would be a swell idea to try a bunch of different pecan pie recipes until I made The Perfect Pie and I'm just now getting around to it. I should mention right off the bat that I don't make pie crust, so that was not the issue. Not that there's an issue. I just want a delicious pie.

It's Chris' birthday, so I got him a chainsaw and made him a birthday pie. No, they are not related. We have a woodstove now (not the one that was in the driveway) and Chris has been going around tidying up friends' fallen trees. Thanks to fallen trees, we haven't turned on our heat yet. Every time the oil truck drives down our street and doesn't stop at our house, I feel weirdly victorious. Anyway, his Polly Pocket Little Helper Chain Saw wasn't doing the trick, so I went to the hardware store and told them I needed a chainsaw for my husband for his birthday. They promptly hoisted me onto their shoulders and marched me through town with a big "Wife of the Year" banner waving over my head.

It's been a busy day.

I didn't have dark corn syrup, so I switched up the recipe a bit. And pecan pie can get a little teeth-itchy, so I tried to tone down the sweetness with a substitute that would still do the trick. Finally, don't put birthday candles into a pie that's fresh from the oven unless you like eating wax. Things they never told me in Home Ec.

Pie Number 1:

1 unbaked pie crust (I get the rolled-up kind)
3 eggs
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup rice syrup
1 cup brown sugar (scant)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teas. vanilla extract
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat together the eggs, corn syrup, rice syrup, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.
Roll a pie crust into a pie pan and make it look like you made it.
Dump the pecans into the pie crust and shuffle them around so they cover the bottom.
Pour the egg mixture over the pecans.
Bake for 1 hour or until you can stick a knife in and pull it out clean.
Allow to cool before adding birthday candles.

Mine didn't spill over, but if you want to avoid having your oven catch fire, put foil on the lower rack. Trust me on this.

The verdict? We're looking for something a little beefier. I'll try a fourth egg (overkill?) to make it more of a custard.

Any suggestions?


Greg said...

...perhaps a splash of bourbon in the egg mixture...? Sorry I missed the Wife of the Year parade.

Keep me in mind if you need someone to help objectively evaluate the various recipes. I live to serve.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Greg beat me to it. Bourbon. You need bourbon. (Or rum.) And just a little salt will give it a back.

Your husband and my husband should get together. I think they have a lot in common.

Celia said...

Bourbon is great in pecan pie. I love Cooks Illustrated because with ONE exception in five years, they always and forever have the best recipe for everything. Every time. They are OCD and it is awesome. I know they revamped pecan pie recently.

Susan said...

Greg - I knew it was missing something. I thought it might have been chocolate chips but now I see it's bourbon chocolate chips.

Tamar - Like awesome wives?

Celia - I love Cooks Illustrated, too. They saved my first Thanksgiving of married life. Three cheers for OCD cooking!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I don't do pies, so nothing from me on this one.

But I did buy my husband a chainsaw for his birthday (which, coincidentally, is today) about five years ago. A Stihl chainsaw. For farmers. That's like the CADILLAC of chainsaws. I suspect I could have never gotten him another present ever again and it would have been okay after that one.

He uses it a lot. To say the least.