I made that!

PreThanksgiving Day Pie Camp – Part 3

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Certified Pie Ninja by brandi on November 11, 2009

This was my 3rd pie for PreThanksgiving: A browned butter pecan pie. I made this one because according to John, it would be mean to NOT make it. I think it’s safe to say that this is HIS favorite pie. I start this pie the same as the others, by fully pre-baking the crust. Since my dough puffs up quite a bit when baking, I hold it down by placing inside a cake pan filled with beans (and I think there’s some rice in there too) on top of a parchment circle.

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Once baked and cooled I pour in some pecans that I roughly chopped, since it helps the pie slice a little neater.

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Then comes the gooey filling. I take pride in this recipe, I’ve tweaked and tweaked it until I think it’s just the right balance of sweetness, saltiness and nuttiness. They key is in the browned butter, which I think adds depth.

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Then I pour the filling onto the pecans.

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And since it is thickened with eggs a custard, I bake it at 350 instead of the higher heat some recipes call for. It’s finished when it just starts to show signs of cracking, and when it feels firm in the middle.

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BROWNED BUTTER PECAN PIE RECIPE:

1 single crust pie pastry

4 oz unsalted butter

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 vanilla bean

3 large eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

– Roll out pastry into a 12-13 inch circle, transfer and center into 9 inch pie pan. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.

– Line with foil, fill with weights (dried beans) and then bake in 400 degrees oven for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown and look set. Lower temperature to 350 and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and continue baking for another 10-20 minutes, until fully baked. Set on wire rack to cool.

– Using a shiny skillet or saucepan to melt the butter over medium heat. Stir butter and keep an eye on it as you wait for it to brown. You want the butter to be a good dark brown, but you need to catch it before it burns. Use your nose as your guide, it well smell nutty as it begins to brown. Once browned, transfer butter to a bowl to let cool slightly.

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use fingers to rub seeds from vanilla bean into brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Combine eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk well to blend. Add the browned butter and whisk again until evenly combined.

– Place the nuts in the cooled pie shell and pour in the filling.

– Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake until the filling, including the center, is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Rotate pie 180 degrees about halfway through. When done, the pie will have puffed slightly and developed cracks around the perimeter.

– Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool thoroughly.