Pecan Pie

We went to a Kentucky Derby party this year. It was hosted by the Junior League of Reno and held at the Hidden Valley Country Club. They had fun day set up with pictures with a horse, a silent auction, a hat contest, free-flowing mint juleps, and a modest buffet.  The buffet was fun because they had a build-your-own mac & cheese section. Choose your noodles, choose your sauce and toppings, and devour. Foodwise, my favorite thing they served was the amazing miniature pecan pies.  The bourbon balls were good, too but the pie was so good. I have been thinking of that pie for the last month and a half. So when that happens, I have to make some at home to quench the craving.

This pie was sweet but not toothache sweet. A scoop of ice cream was really good with it. Honestly, what kind of pie is not good with ice cream? Right?

Look at the yumminess of the sliced pie. Crisp nutty top, smooth, gooey center, and flaky crust...I think I should make another one.

1 unbaked pie crust for bottom layer
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons bourbon or whiskey, I used Seagram's 7
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Prepare a 9" pie plate lined with your uncooked pie dough. Flute the edges so it's pretty. I used Pie Crust #2 except substituted 1% milk for the water. Set aside in the fridge so it doesn't lose it's shape while you complete the other steps.

2. Combine the corn syrup, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring up to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until smooth. You want the sugar to be totally dissolved. This may take up to 10 minutes. Set aside so it cools down for another 10 minutes.

3. Layer the pecans in the pie shell. Or just toss them in.

4. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, whiskey, and salt.  Drizzle in the sugar mixture while beating. When fully blended, pour this over the pecans. If you are really particular about the visual appeal of aligned pecans, then poke all the pecans into "place" so they are perfectly arranged. Or just let them do their own thing, which is what I did
5. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 50 minutes. Check it after 45 minutes. The center should be set. If it jiggles, put back for a few more minutes. Let the pie cool at least 30 minutes before devouring, but if you wait longer, the center will be more firm and make a neater slice.

If your crust starts to brown too much, make a little shield out of thin strips of aluminum foil to cover the edges.  And Voila! Perfect Pecan Pie!


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