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Wednesday, October 27

Pecan pie

Flaky pie crust, unbaked, chilled
Eggs, lightly beaten
Brown sugar, dark
¾ cup (packed)
Corn syrup
½ cup
Cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (scant)
Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (overflowing)
Butter, unsalted, melted
2 tablespoons
Pecans*, coarsely chopped
1 cup
Pecan halves
1 cup
Heavy cream
1 cup (optional)

*Unlike most pecan pies, this one is about the nut and not the sugar. Having been raised on gathering native Oklahoma pecans on my family farm, I’m exceptionally picky about this particular nut. Nothing (except a block of real butter) can match the oil in native Oklahoma pecans! If you can, locate and use the smaller native pecans (often from the southern U.S. region) instead of the mammoths ones you see at the grocery store.
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F, and ensure an oven rack is available in the lowest position.
  2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla, butter, and salt, and then stir in the chopped pecans; pour into the pie shell.
  3. Arrange the pecan halves side by side on the surface of the filling, creating a sunburst design.
    Note: Trust me on this step. Do not get lazy and skip the sunburst design. Yes, it takes a little extra time, but it wins presentation points, and it creates the needed barrier for the filling to bake properly.
  4. Place pie on the lowest rack of the oven, and immediately lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  5. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and the filling sets, approximately 45 minutes.
  6. Place on a wire rack to cool before serving.
  7. If whipped cream topping is desired (the answer is always YES in my house), then beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form; no need to sweeten.
  8. Apply cream topping generously until you can no longer see your slice of pie, consume, and repeat.
Recipe from Classic American Cooking from the Academy by the California Culinary Academy.

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