….Mmmm…. Pie. So many good ones it is hard to choose. For me, pecan pie is a necessity at Thanksgiving. It's the one I eat for breakfast the next day (more about that at the end of the post). More than pumpkin or apple, pecan pie satiates me. And it's so beautiful.
I have a secret ingredient, a twist on the usual recipe that I discovered by accident and I'm going to share it with you.
Make a basic pie crust. I have some pie crust tips and tricks in this post. Par bake the crust. Always par bake a pie crust.
Here's the secret. It was an accident. A discovery. My recipe calls for 3/4 cup of corn syrup. I didn't have any corn syrup – it's not a thing I keep in my pantry. So I scrambled to the internet to look up replacing corn syrup. It's an easy thing – roughly 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar can replace 1 cup of corn syrup. But then… I was zesting an orange to give the pie that orange essence. And I thought, “There's about 3/4 cup of juice in an orange…” It was a brilliant moment. The orange juice adds a little extra orange flavor to the pie, without making it overwhelmingly orange. It is so good.
Pecan Pie with Orange Juice
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/1 cup + 3 tbl. orange juice
4 tbl. white sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup ground pecans (as finely minced as you can get then, without turning them to pecan butter)
2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound)
Melt the butter over low heat and whisk in the brown sugar until it's smooth. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla, orange zest, & orange juice/white sugar blend. Gently whisk the eggs and add in the sugar mixture and a half cup of ground pecans. Whisk until well combined.
Cover the bottom of your pie she'll with the pecan halves. Pour the filling over. Bake at 350* until the filling is set 45-60 minutes. Store chilled, bringing to room temperature before serving.
Clearly this needs whipped cream as a garnish when serving…but you probably knew that.
Enough pie is important. We need it the next morning. We start off the official beginning of the holiday season on Thanksgiving Friday, with pie for breakfast and plenty of holiday music. It is the first time that our family brings out the holiday music – before then is just wrong. It's a sweet tradition; the other day Brother-Bug was counting down not to Thanksgiving, but to the day afterward and the official start of the Holiday Season. He's excited.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? When do you start listening to Christmas music?