Jul 24, 2019

Let’s Talk About Pecan Pie

By MaryAnn Miano

pecan pie nj monmouth county new jersey

What would you do if you were lucky enough to live in the southern states in the summertime? You might complain about the heat as you fan yourself lazing about on the porch swing, but you also might pick nuts from the plentiful pecan trees growing in the region. And what do southern people do with so many pecans? They proudly bake pecan pies!  July 12 is National Pecan Pie day, so it’s a fitting time to bake a beautiful pie.

Pecan pie recipes can be found in Texas cookbooks dated from the 1870s and 1880s. In the beginning of the 20th century, recipes were popping up in other states, but the pie’s popularity rose during the mid-20th century after the brand “Karo” syrup began printing a recipe for the pecan pie on cans of its product. This spread the baking of pecan pie to people who would not have tasted it before the distribution of this syrup product.

Try the following recipe for an amazingly buttery pecan pie, and if pie is not your thing, try the bonus recipe for a pecan “cake ball.”

PECAN PIE

INGREDIENTS

1 prepared pie crust (deep dish frozen or homemade crust of your choice)

1 cup pecans or enough pecans to cover the bottom of your pie shell

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter-flavored pancake syrup (or light corn syrup)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly beat 3 eggs in a medium bowl. Mix in the salt, sugar and pancake syrup.  Mix well.

Slowly add the melted butter a little at a time to the egg mixture. Then add the vanilla.

Arrange the pecans in the bottom of your pie shell then pour the syrup mixture over the top. Place pie in preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set.

BONUS RECIPE:  Bourbon Pecan Pie “Cake Balls”

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup milk

½ cup bourbon

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ to ¾ cup store-bought vanilla icing

White chocolate for dipping (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10” round cake pan.

2. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until completely combined.

4. Slowly alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk to the wet mixture, mixing until smooth.

5. Stir in the bourbon, pecans, sugar and light corn syrup.

6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fully baked. Let cool.

7. After the cake has baked, slice it into four quarters. This will help it cool faster and will give you sections to pick up for crumbling.

8. After the cake has cooled to room temperature, pick up each of the four sections and crumble into a large mixing bowl using your hands. Continue to crumble the cake until you no longer see any chunks.

9. Combine the icing with the crumbled cake. Use a wooden spoon to mix, giving it a good stir until fully combined with a dough-like consistency.

10. Use a cookie scoop to portion out equal amounts of cake ball dough, about 1 ¼ inches in diameter. Scoop all portions.

11. Take each scooped portion and roll back and forth between your hands until you have a nice smooth ball. Place each ball on a tray lined with parchment paper.

12. Place the entire tray of rolled out portions of balls in the freezer for two hours.

13. Remove your cake balls from the freezer. At this point, you may dust with confectioners’ sugar and eat as is or spear each ball with a toothpick to dip into melted white chocolate. Top with a pecan half.