Maple Syrup Pecan Pie
Thanksgiving. What a wonderful time of year. It marks the beginning of the holiday season as well as the beginning of my temporary waistline expansion. Nothing says it’s holiday time like a rich, decadent pecan pie. I remember watching tv on many late November evenings as the smell of something wonderful was wafting from my mother’s kitchen. It was that smell!!! It was that time!!! PECAN PIES!!! Well, my mother, being the wise woman she was (and still is wink, wink) knew that I couldn’t possibly let the pies wait until Thanksgiving. She always filled a ramekin full of pie filling and baked it along side the pies. Thus ensuring that the pies would remain whole for our guests and my appetite would be appeased, for the time being.
I never wanted to make a pecan pie myself because I always thought it took so much effort and time to make until I found Cooking Channel’s Chuck Hughes’ recipe for Maple Pecan Pie. He made it look so easy, so I thought I would try it. I do have to say, at this point in my culinary creations, I haven’t tackled making my own pie crust so I’m using a frozen one. I’ve taken most of Chuck’s recipe and put my own twist on it based on the way my mother used to make it when I was little.
You will need the following ingredients to get started:
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup pecans (halves)
- Deep-dish pie shell
Set your oven to preheat at 350 degrees.
Pour the maple syrup into a medium mixing bowl. I use glass bowls so I can check the bottom to ensure there aren’t any dry ingredients clumped to the bottom that didn’t get mixed in with the wet ingredients.
TIP: Mold is natural on maple syrup, especially if you’ve had it for a while. This is not dangerous but you do need to get rid of it before you use it. Simply empty the entire contents into a saucepan and bring to a slight boil. Once the mold has risen to the top, skim it off and dispose of it. Let the syrup cool. Once you’ve used what you need, put the remaining syrup back in an airtight jar and place in the fridge.
Crack the egg directly into the syrup. Whisk the syrup and the egg together.
Gradually whisk in one cup of the brown sugar.
TIP: Be careful not to pour it all in at once; if you do, it may clump and form rocks. And no one wants to chip a tooth when they eat pie!!!
With one cup of brown sugar mixed with the egg and syrup, it should be getting really thick. Now, whisk in the whipping cream to lighten the mixture.
Add the remaining half cup of brown sugar. Whisk thoroughly!!!
Now, here is where I take lessons from Mom. It’s important to pour the pecan halves directly into the mixture and really coat the pecans good. Give it a vigorous stir but be careful not to break the pecan halves. This ensures that the pecans will have a candy coating when baked.
Pour the complete mixture into the pie shell. Use a spatula to get ALL that sweet syrup off the sides of the bowl (that’s the good stuff). The filling should settle on its own, but you may need to swirl around the pecan halves to make sure they are spread evenly. At this point, I go back to the beginning and make another one; after all, the pie crusts come in a 2-pack, right?
TIP: You’ll want to place the pies on a baking sheet just in case they get too hot and bubble over. This is especially true if you can’t find deep dish pie crusts.
Now, you’re ready to cook the pies in your preheated oven. If you’re making one pie, you’ll want to bake it for 35 minutes. If you’re like me and make two at time, you’ll want to bake them for 25 minutes, turn the baking sheet 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them during the last 10 minutes. Because oven temps vary, you don’t want them to burn. Remove the pies from the oven so they can cool. They may jiggle a little like jello. This is natural. The filling is hot and as it cools, it will firm up to the desired consistency.
Now you have two beautiful Maple Syrup Pecan Pies ready for your feast. Two, that is, unless you steal one in the night for yourself. I won’t tell anyone one, ssshhhh!!!
I would tell you the best way to store them but I don’t know. They never last that long!!!