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Maple Pecan Pie

The Challenge

This week, as we got back into our cookbook challenge, we had two recipes: Winter Minestrone with Garlic Bruschetta and this Maple Pecan Pie, which you can find here or on page 147 of Foolproof.

Mary's Take:

Pecan. Do you say pee-can, puh-kahn, or pee-kahn? I think my Texas friends say puh-kahn (and I think there's some joke about a pee-can being what you put next to your bed). I don't think I've quite figured out which way I pronounce it. They all sound right (or wrong) to me. I might even be so confused that I use pee-cans to make a puh-kahn pie. [Lea: I just had this conversation! I say puh-kahn when they're on their own, but they are pee-can when next to "sandies" (I know this because I asked Josh where the leftover puh-kahns from the pee-can sandies were).] [Mary: I definitely say pee-kahn sandies. Pee-can sandies sounds very nasally, no?] [Lea: No, you're just a fancypants.]

Which is what I did on Sunday for the first Cleveland Browns playoff game since 2002 (and ended up being their first playoff win since 1994. Go Browns!). This recipe is super quick, easy, and uses the fabulous Perfect Pie Crust that we also made for Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream in the fall.

Once again, I want to mention that this crust recipe is so great to work with. I'm sure you can make the pie with a refrigerated crust, but this one is so easy, why would you want to? I find all Pillsbury products to have the same flavor (sorry, Pillsbury! I still love the giggly Doughboy, though! Did y'all know his name is Poppin' Fresh? I didn't until now. You're welcome.), so I avoid using them whenever possible. (I did have to buy their refrigerated biscuits recently to go with fried chicken and didn't even finish a whole one. And I'm a huge lover of biscuits! When we lived in Texas, you could buy biscuits in the bakery and the frozen bread section, but the vanilla grocery store didn't have them in either place. Hence, the resorting to the Grands. It's possible I should have followed my own advice that day and made my own.)

All that to say, make the dough for the crust. Keep the other in the freezer for your next pie. K? [Lea: Or, if you're like me, have dinner at your sister's and let her give you the extra pie crust she made.]

And since you made your crust, while it's doing its 30-minute chill, make the filling. Just whisk together the butter (I melted it in the microwave in the bowl I was using for the rest to save some washing), corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, eggs, bourbon (yum!), vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Stir in the pecans and you're done.

Roll out your fine crust and lay it in your pie plate.

You might remember from our pumpkin pie post that I didn't have a deep-dish pie plate. Guess what my clever sister got me for Christmas? A super nice one! Thanks, Lee!

(I didn't need it for this pie, but just wanted to let you know.)

Anyway, I usually crimp edges with my fingers but used a fork this time so it looked like the pic in the cookbook.

Kinda looks a little wonky in areas, but it's a fluted pie plate.

Now all you do is dump in your filling and pop it into the oven for 45-55 minutes until the filling is set and the crust is golden. I think I could have used about 20% more filling...mental note for next time.

Lea's Take:

Ok, this won't take long.

As you read above, I had the pie crust. And I had even bought all the other ingredients because I had planned to make the pie. I did NOT buy puh-kahns because I had at least a half a bag leftover from the pee-can sandies.

I got out all the other ingredients and searched in vain for the pecans. No idea what happened to them. Can I make a pecan pie without pecans? [Mary: Based on what I know about your open item/expiration date track record, I'm going to guess you threw them out because they'd been open for 3 weeks.] [Lea: Normally, I'd agree with you but they're nuts. I typically keep those for months and months and THEN throw them out.]

Well, I didn't. The end. [Mary: I want my pie crust back.] [Lea: Fair point.]

The Verdict

Mary: I think we did our southern friends proud. And who knew pecan pie was so easy to make? I could taste the bourbon and the orange easily. I had a hard time noticing the maple flavor, but that didn't detract from it one bit. The crust was again flaky, crumbly and light. I made sure not to overcook it because I read some reviews that thought it ended up being just pecan and crust; I didn't want the liquid in the filling to disappear. I think it worked...the filling remained moist. Honestly, this is the easiest dessert to make.

John (I recorded him because I liked what he said): The pie crust was flaky, perfectly cooked, and delicious. The pecans had a nice crisp to them and the filling had a great bourbon-orange flavor. The pie was perfectly sweet...sometimes you bite into a pecan pie and it's gooey and oversweet and makes it inedible, so this was a really delicious pecan pie that I would love to have again.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, John pronounces it pee-kahn.

Lea: I did have a taste of Mary's pie and it was v. good.

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