To help celebrate my husband’s safe return, I made his favorite pie as a surprise. He was happy and a little upset at the same time. He loves this pie but he had worked hard over the past year and lost 34 pounds. I kinda sorta sabotaged his hard work. Oops! This pie is great but it uses a homemade crust which means it’s bit more complicated to make. Yes, I suppose you can buy a pre-made pie crust but I don’t care for them much. Those refrigerated pie crusts are usually made with lard which is a big no-no for me and the frozen crusts don’t have any butter in the crust which means they lack flavor. So I make my own….it’s not too too hard…my biggest problem right now is that it’s crazy hot here and my pie dough can melt right before my eyes as I am rolling it. That’s just what happened to me and that is why you don’t see the pretty, fluted crust I normally make in the picture above. I wish I could have shared step-by-step photos with you but unfortunately my kitchen has no windows so that means no natural light to take decent pictures. I found some videos that might help if you are unsure about making your own pie dough.
A video on how to roll out pie dough.
A video on how to move pie dough into a pie plate.
A video on how to crimp the edges.
A video on how to bake blind…pre-bake a pie crust.
Here is the recipe for the pie dough followed by the pecan pie recipe.
Single Crust Pie Dough
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1. Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Using a stiff rubber spatula, stir and press the dough together until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does. Form the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature (about 10 minutes) before rolling it into a 12-inch circle and fitting it into a pie plate (Pyrex glass preferably). Trim, fold, and crimp the edges and freeze the unbaked pie crust until firm, about 30 minutes, before baking.
4. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the crust to a wire rack and remove the weights and foil.
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
1. After removing the partially baked pie crust from the oven, leave the oven rack at the lower-middle position and reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees. (The crust must still be warm when the filling is added.)
2. For the filling: Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer. Remove the bowl from the skillet and stir in the sugar and salt until the butter is absorbed. Whisk in the eggs, then the corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. Return the bowl to the hot water and stir until the mixture is shiny, hot to the touch, and measures 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
3. Pour the pecan mixture into the warm, partially baked pie crust. Bake until the filling looks set but yields like Jell-o when gently pressed with the back of a spoon, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.
This pie can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, for up to 2 days.