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Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Pinch of Love, A Smidgen of Joy - Pecan Pie



Living in Maine, I miss seeing groves of pecan trees that were so familiar to me down South. Harvest time for pecans is in the fall when the trees shed this beautiful, delicious nut. Thankfully, pecans keep well when shelled and frozen in Ziplock bags, so when I travel home to the South, I can bring pecans back with me and have access to freshly-shelled pecans for recipes.



 
I add pecans to salads, pop them into cookies and cakes, roast and season them for snacking, use them in pumpkin bread, toss them into trail mixes and granolas, and include them inside cinnamon rolls. But my absolute favorite thing to do with pecans is making a homemade pecan pie.



You can search high and low for the best recipe for pecan pie, but I've found that the tastiest and most memorable is on the Karo syrup label! My grandmothers used it and my Momma used it, and it always turned out perfectly sweet, gooey, and nutty. Along with a homemade crust, pecan pie is one of the best pies around! And not just for the fall-time holidays, although Halloween and Thanksgiving tend to see more pecan pies than any other holiday.



First, begin with a homemade crust. I borrowed this recipe from a friend who knows her desserts. It's flaky and perfectly flavored. And it holds up well to the syrupy-goodness of the pecan goo. Give it a try with other pies, and you'll see this is one of the best crust recipes!



Homemade, flaky pie crust
(Will make two pie crusts)

Ingredients:

1 stick of cold butter, cut in cubes
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold Crisco vegetable shortening
8-10 Tablespoons of ice water
1 Tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a large bowl, mash with pastry cutter the flour, butter, salt and shortening until pea-sized crumbles. Add lemon juice to ice water, and slowly add tablespoons of the liquid to the solid mixture, incorporating until softened but not too sticky. Combine dough in ball. Cut in half, and mash out until flat. Wrap individually in plastic-wrap, and place in freezer. Take out of freezer after about 15 minutes and flatten with rolling pin. Roll until larger than the pie plate that the pie is being baked in. Place the flattened, rolled-out dough inside the pie plate and crimp the edges. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes just before using it, or if not baking immediately, freeze and thaw 30 minutes before baking.





Karo Syrup's Pecan Pie recipe
(will make one pie)

Ingredients:

1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1/2 cups (6 oz) pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie crust

Directions: Stir the first five ingredients thoroughly using a spoon. Mix in pecans (note, to make a pretty design with the pecans, you can wait and add the pecans on top of the pie, after pouring mixture into crust before baking). Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours. Store pie in refrigerator. (Tip: Pie is done when center reaches 200 degrees F. Tap center surface of pie lightly; it should spring back when done.)

EnJOY!

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