We’re at ONE WEEK and counting until Thanksgiving. That means if you haven’t already started, it’s time to get thinking (daydreaming?) about what’s going on your table next Thursday.
One thing’s for sure: there will be pie.
Oh, yes. There will be pie.
We like to add a new surprise or two to our menu every year—maybe change up what goes in some old favorites or add a brand new something altogether. But the spots of honor are always reserved for a few dishes that Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without. Whatever these dishes might be in your family, you know what we’re talking about.
And for us, one thing that we nevereverever do without: Lou’s Pecan Pie.
This pie and us. We’ve got a good thing going—as in, we’re going on, what? About 30 years running without this pie missing a Thanksgiving beat. This pie predates Lee as part of our family. Lou sold it—and sold out—at her store back in the day. Every year, there it sits on our dessert table: simple, lovely, and waiting. And then someone who’s never had a bite has a bite and OHHHHH, OKAY. It’s amazing. And just like that, the most unassuming dessert on the table is the first to disappear into first/second/third helpings and incredibly thankful stomachs.
Pecan pies can be gluey or tasteless—filled with unappetizing, translucent, overly sweet what’s-that-stuff stuff. But THIS. This is the pecan pie that reminds you why you ever wanted to try pecan pie in the first place. It’s toasty and nutty and rich with a great caramelized flavor. It’s like you’ve packed every November day into a pie crust and then topped it with homemade bourbon whipped cream.
You look like you might need a moment?
Well, while you collect yourself: here’s the recipe. We often make an olive oil crust, and this year, Lou decided to go for a half sprouted whole wheat flour (which we like way better than regular whole wheat flour both for its taste and texture), and half all-purpose flour crust. It has a great nutty flavor like the filling, and goes really nicely with the pecans. If you’re not feeling the whole wheat, just use all all-purpose flour—or feel free to use your own favorite crust! It’s what’s inside that really counts, after all. (But, you know, make sure the crust is delicious, too.)
Wishing you all a very, very happy Thanksgiving!
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Tried & True Pecan Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Makes one 8 or 9 inch pie
Notes: This year we used a mix of sprouted whole wheat and unbleached all-purpose flours for the crust. Give it a try or use all-purpose flour only. If you go entirely with all-purpose flour, start with 3 tbs of milk and add more as needed.
Either an 8 or 9 inch pie or tart pan works for this recipe—the 9 inch version will just be slightly thinner (but not too thin at all), which works just fine since the pie is rich.
Sprouted Whole Wheat Olive Oil Pie Crust
Makes enough dough for one single 8 or 9 inch crust pie/tart
– An 8 or 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom or pie dish
– Pie weights (we use dried chickpeas)
– 2/3 cup sprouted whole wheat flour
– 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup olive oil—we use a mild extra virgin (but you can use safflower or another mildly flavored vegetable oil if you prefer)
– 4 tbs cold milk + more as needed
– Pinch of salt
* Preheat oven to 350 °F. Add the milk and oil to a small bowl or large measuring cup.
* Combine flours and salt in a larger bowl.
* Add the oil and milk mixture all at once and mix by hand until the liquid is incorporated.
* If the mixture seems dry, add very small splashes of milk until it holds together well enough to roll out.
* Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. It’s helpful to use a large cutting board or marble slab and tuck the bottom sheet under the edges so the dough stays put while rolling.
* Carefully place the dough in your pie pan or tart tin and fit it to size, leaving the edges slightly higher than the rim since the dough will shrink a bit during baking.
* Prick the bottom and line it with parchment, if you are using pie weights.
* Fill with pie weights and pre-bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and bake 10 minutes more, covering the rim with foil if the edges are browning.
* Remove crust from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.
Tried & True Pecan Pie
Makes one 8 or 9 inch pie
– Blender or food processor
– 3 eggs, slightly beaten
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
– 1 tbs unsulphured molasses (not Blackstrap—it will add a bitter taste)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup pecans + 1/2 cup more for garnish (check for shell pieces!)
– 2 tbs unsalted butter cut into small pieces
* If it’s not already on from making the crust, preheat your oven to 350 °F.
* Place the first 6 ingredients into your blender or processor and blend briefly to mix. Add the remaining 2 ingredients, the butter and pecans, and pulse a few times to incorporate. The nuts should be coarsely chopped, but not pulverized—you want pieces of pecans in every bite. Pour the mixture into your prepared tart or pie crust.
* Decorate top with extra pecans.
* Bake until the center is set, about 40–50 minutes. Check periodically to make sure the nuts on top and crust are not browning too much. If they are, carefully tent with foil.
* Remove your pie from the oven. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
* Eat topped with bourbon whipped cream (recipe below)!
Homemade Bourbon Whipped Cream
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 tbs bourbon
– 1 tbs maple syrup or powdered/superfine sugar (or to taste)
– tiny pinch of salt
* Whip cream to soft peaks using a whisk or the whisk attachment on your hand/stand mixer. (If you over-whip, you’ll make butter!)
* Fold in the bourbon, maple syrup/sugar, and pinch of salt until fully mixed.
© 2015 Lee and Lou Cook. All rights reserved