Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For the Love of Pecan Pie....

My husband once told me a story of a man....a man who walked to the grocery store in a blizzard for ice cream.  When I asked why, I was told that it was for the love...of pecan pie. can not eat pecan pie without ice cream, right?  This is a true story, the man is one of my husband's co-workers (who will be referred to as 'Mister Mambo' to protect his identity) and this harrowing journey took place during the blizzard of 2011.  

 Last week, I called my husband while he was at work and we had the following conversation:

Husband: "Oh hey, Mister Mambo wants to know if you have a recipe for pecan pie."

Me: "No.  Does he have internet access?  Because I am sure he can find one on the internet, that's what I do."  The words came out with a bit more sass than I intended but... I was at the grocery store and... bah, I have no excuse.

My husband repeated my snarky response with great relish, as he always does.  It almost disturbs me how much my spouse enjoys watching me heap abuse on others, but I guess that is what keeps the fires burning a fist full of years, two kids, and a dog later.  I guess.  I digress... 
After a few moments though, I felt the shame of it burning my culinary soul.  Me, a woman with strong southern roots, and not a pecan pie recipe in sight.  And so...after further consideration of my schedule (because, yeah, I have other crap to do besides bake pies, thank you) I took on the challenge of finding the recipe for, and constructing, one edible pecan pie.  The reason I needed time is simple...with no real clue of what goes into this particular pie, I needed to do some research.  So, as I suggested to Mister Mambo, I scoured the internet for a few different, high rated recipes.  At first I was simply going to find one that I liked and use it, but after educating myself on the finer points of pecan pie, I ended up creating a recipe all my own.  I hope you find it delicious... Mister Mambo did.

Mister Mambo's Pecan Pie


1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons of Vanilla Extract*
4 Eggs
1/4 cup of Melted Butter
2 cups of Halved Pecans
1/4 teaspoon of salt*
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (or you can make a crust from scratch if you are an over achiever *coughlike mecough*)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Mix first 5 ingredients together and set aside.  Be sure to let your butter cool before mixing with the eggs or your filling will look like egg drop soup.
3) Put the pecans in the bottom of the pie crust and then sprinkle with salt.  I read other recipes where they just fold the pecans (halves, chips, or pieces) but I like the way mine looked when I arranged the pecans and poured the mixture over them.

Feel free to omit the salt and/or reduce the amount of vanilla.  I used homemade vanilla extract which lacks the bitter aftertaste that commercial vanilla has, giving me the freedom to use more. Before mixing in the eggs, pour in a tablespoon of extract and give it a taste.  If the flavor is not overpowering, try another.  I tend to add a dash of salt to all of my sticky sweets to keep them from being -too- sugary (if this makes any sense).

4) Bake till the center is set (firm), about 45 minutes to an hour.

5) VERY IMPORTANT: Let the pie cool completely before cutting.  Leave the damn thing alone, though it may be singing to you with its amazing sugary, toasted, deliciousness.  If you attempt to cut it before it cools completely, you will have a mess on your hands.  No, I don't know this from experience, I have just heard... around.  (Yes, I know it from experience.)


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