Saturday, November 29, 2008

Maple Pecan Pie

At long last, here is our Maple Pecan Pie recipe. It is a variation of Pecan Pie from the amazing The Best Recipe cookbook. Number One prepares this pie every Thanksgiving. It is perfectly crunchy and delicious. Number One says we are going to try making the pie with walnuts next time. Also, this is a bit labor-intensive, but worth it, and Number One says it just gets easier every time. In other words, practice makes perfect!

Maple Pecan Pie
More liquid than corn syrup, maple syrup yields a softer, more custardlike pie. Toasted walnuts can be substituted for pecans.

1 prebaked pie shell
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups pecans (6 ounces), toasted and chopped into small pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Partially bake pie shell. Press doubled 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside dough shell; evenly distribute 1 cup or 12 ounces ceramic or metal pie weights over foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place until dough dries out, about 17 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. For partially baked crust, continue baking until lightly golden brown, about 9 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium heatproof bowl set in skillet of water maintained at just below simmer. Remove bowl from skillet; mix in sugar and salt with wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. Beat in eggs, then maple syrup. Return bowl to hot water; stir until mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in pecans.

4. As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, decrease oven temperature to 275 degrees. Pour pecan mixture into hot pie shell.

5. Bake until center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours. Serve pie at room temperature or warm, with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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