Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TWD: Dorie's Favorite Pecan Pie

First off, I feel like I need to address the shittiness of these photos, lest you think I'm unaware of the shittiness. Trust me, I'm aware. FULLY AWARE and a wee bit embarrassed. But, ehhh.. what the hell, right? Everyone knows what a pecan pie is supposed to look like.

So, Pecan Pie is my absolute favorite dessert. I love the crunchy hard top, the flavor of the pecans, and the sweet jelly type of filling and I absolutely love the way that the jelly-like filling softens the buttery crust. I have been known to inhale an entire pie in one sitting. No joke.

It's because of this undying love for this baked good that I never, ever make pecan pie. Because I can't trust myself around them. One minute there's an entire pie coming out of the oven, 5 minutes later I've got my face buried in the pie plate licking every last crumb out of there. It's sick.

So, when Beth of Someone's in the Kitchen with Brina picked this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe and it was pecan pie I became excited. One, because I had a REASON to bake a pecan pie and two, because I had a Christmas party coming up that I could take the pie to.

Now, this posed a wee bit of a problem. Taking a pie to a cocktail party is... not the greatest idea. I mean, sure, it can be done and sure, in hindsight, I should have done just that... but, my idea of a perfect cocktail party dessert is a finger food. Something you can casually pick up a piece of as you head over to the bar to pour yourself another glass of wine or what have you. So, my brilliant idea was to make pecan pie squares out of the recipe! I'd just prepare the entire pie in a 9x13 inch pan and cut them into little bite size bars! Brilliant!

Except, somehow in the baking process the crust kind of completely disintegrated into the pie itself so instead of becoming easy to pick up and transport bars, they became gobs of stickiness. Delicious gobs, but messy ones.

I was horrified at how these things looked. And even more horrified that I was cutting them up about 20 minutes before I needed to leave to get to the party, so no time to whip something else up. Fortunately, these things tasted absolutely amazing. Granted, I love pecan pie, but wow. Probably the best pecan pie I've ever tasted (and folks... I've had a boatload of pecan pie). It's a shame that the bar treatment didn't work out, because I'm sure most people shied away from them at the party because well... who wants to dive into a mess of sticking gobs at a cocktail party (besides me)?

I will be making this recipe again, except the traditional way: a real pie. If you like Pecan Pie, you should do yourself a favor and try this recipe sometime. It might just become your favorite, too.

Dorie's Favorite Pecan Pie
recipe by Dorie Greenspan

First of all, I omitted the espresso powder, cinnamon, and chocolate and opted for the traditional version of pecan pie. Which means I also opted for her "sweeter" and more traditional route and upped the corn syrup to 1 cup and I may have added a little bit extra brown sugar than called for. Pecan pie, to me, is supposed to be cavity-inducing sweet.

Second of all, for the crust, I substituted 2 tbsp of water with 2 tbsp of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. And while you couldn't really taste the actual bourbon, you could certainly smell it and I do think it offered a bit of something extra to the flavor of the pie without actually overwhelming it. I'll try this again when I make an actual pie and not bars.

Recipe found here