Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I love pecan pie.
This is interesting, because I couldn't stand pecan pie when I was little. It wasn't until I married Mark that I learned pecan pie is supposed to be soft, rich, and caramely rather than dry, overbaked, and flavorless. It's actually Mark's favorite pie, and if it hadn't been, I probably wouldn't have taken so much time to perfect it. He chose it as his birthday dessert, because as much as he loves a really good chocolate cake, he loves good pecan pie more.
Sunday, I worked on refining the recipe. In 4-oz. ramekins, I made 6 variations of pecan pie fillings, varying the type and quality of sugar, the amount of butter, and the eggs. We tasted each of them and to our great surprise preferred more butter over less and more expensive, unrefined sugar to ye olde C&H golden brown. Okay, not to our great surprise.
I'll tell you what I know about good pecan pie. Toasted pecans are better than raw pecans. Overbaked pie is dry and certainly not worth the calories (because, in case you're wondering, it does have at least a few calories). You need to prick your crust before adding the filling. It should be served cold, though for most pies I prefer room temperature since the crust is more flavorful that way. It should be served in small slices since it's very rich. It's best with whipped cream, but also good by itself. I should not be left alone for a whole day with the leftovers and be expected to save a piece for someone else. And, of course, you need to start with a fabulous crust, which I already have.
So, what is the perfect pecan pie recipe? Well, I don't exactly know yet, but I'm very close. I would say very, very close. So close I can taste it.