Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pecan Pie Perfection

If you love pecans as much as I do, pecan pie can be a bit of a trial. My problem is that I don't really like the gooey, too-sweet gel on which the pecans rest in most pecan pies. I only really enjoy the crust and the pecans.

We had dinner this week with the delightful Naomi and her beau Sam, a couple of students it has been my pleasure to befriend; they gave up a precious afternoon and evening to cook for and entertain us two old fogies despite the fact that Sam is only here for a few days before he has to head back to "pahk his cah in the Hahvahd Yahd" - he's doing a post-doc at Harvard and they let him off the leash only briefly and infrequently.

Sam and Naomi put on quite a spread - roasted sweet potato rounds as an appetizer, pork roast with homemade wheat yeast rolls and roasted acorn squash - and, hallelujah! a bourbon pecan tart for dessert. They said they got the recipe from epicurious.com and the closest one I can find there is this, only Naomi subbed out the bourbon with brandy instead (good choice!), and added a dollop of spiked whipped cream. The crust she used was seriously buttery and the tart was mostly pecans, with just enough sweet stuff to hold the nuts together - just the way I like it. If you're looking for a great recipe for a Thanksgiving pie, give this one a try - it's as close to pecan pie perfection as a pecan lover could wish for.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Is it pronounced pecaan or peecan? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger kudzu said...

May I get sassy with an answer for Greg? I grew up in Georgia. My grandmothers always pronounced it "pe-caan," saying that "peecan" was something that belonged "somewhere else".

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Cranky pronounces it PEEcan, which sounds like the emergency container (a coffee can) my parents kept in the car when we were little kids and they didn't want to find us a bathroom. So I say peKAHN.
Hear, hear, Kudzu's grandmothers!

Zoomie, that sounds nice! I have a recipe for a pecan pie made with cranberries. That'll cut the sweetness!

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger kudzu said...

Ha! Cookie's right: I just didn't go into the details (nor would my genteel grandmothers)! Actually, when they pronounced it, it was a softer version, sort of like
"p'caan".

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, Kudzu, Cookiecrumb, apparently there is controversy here. I think I say it closest to Kudzu's grandmothers.

Cookiecrumb, cranberries would help, but then you still have that gelatinous sweet stuff... better when it's all nuts!

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Oh decadent and divine p'caan pie - I do not want a good recipe. I do not want to be tempted but man or man, that pie looks delicious. I've made a combo pie with pumpkin mouse topped with glazed pecans. It's lighter than the traditional pecan pie and you can cut back on the sugar to make it less sweet. These days, I think that I like an apple/cinnamon/pecan cake better - it's more like a coffee cake but still rich and buttery. Needless to say, I only make it when I'm going to have company over. It's way too tempting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, but Zoomie. That gelatinous sweet stuff is the shoo-fly pie part! Yum.

Sunday, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, your cake does sound delicious - care to share the recipe?

Cookiecrumb, um, yes, it is... ulp.

Sunday, November 15, 2009  
Anonymous Naomi said...

Pam, you found the right recipe on Epicurious! The only changes I made were the substitution of brandy for bourbon (due to last minute scotch/bourbon confusion) and the addition of a handful more pecans (like you, I love a pecan pie that is more pecan than anything else). Sam and I finally polished off the last remaining slice as part of his breakfast yesterday, before he headed off to the airport. Yummy!

So glad you enjoyed it!

Monday, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Naomi, I knew it was special for lots of reasons - that extra handful of nuts was perfect!

Monday, November 16, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I can't find the recipe! Darn! But it's just a simple coffee cake with about 3 (?) cups of apples folded in plus a pecan/brown sugar crispy topping. I also put a cup of chopped pecans in the mixture. I like a cake with a lot of crunch.

Monday, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, if you find the recipe, please send it along. I notice that you seem to have a "basic" recipe for coffee cake in your head so you can just switch out ingredients as you like - I wish I knew how to cook generically like that. I agree, texture in cake is a bonus!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009  

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