BECAUSE THIS IS BASICALLY A CUSTARD PIE, THE BOTTOM CRUST TENDS TO GET SOFT UNLESS THE PASTRY IS PARTIALLY BAKED BEFORE THE FILLING IS ADDED. NUT PASTRY CAN BE PRESSED INTO THE PIE PLATE WITH THE FINGERTIPS INSTEAD OF BEING ROLLED OUT. SPECIAL EQUIPM
9-INCH PIE PLATE, PREFERABLY HEATPROOF GLASS; WAX PAPER; ROLLING PIN; PASTRY BRUSH; ALUMINUM FOIL; PIE WEIGHTS OR DRY RICE OR BEANS RESERVED FOR THIS PURPOSE ADVANCE PREPARATION: PASTRY CAN BE PREPARED 1 OR
2 DAYS IN ADVANCE, WRAPPED, AND REFRIGERATED. THE PIE IS BEST BAKED THE DAY IT IS SERVED OR NO MORE THAN 1 DAY IN ADVANCE. TEMPERATURE AND TIME: PREBAKED PASTRY SHELL: 425 DEGREES F FOR 10 TO 12 MINUTES; FILLED PIE: 350 DEGREES F FOR 30 TO 35 MINUTES
How to Make Pecain Pie
- nut pastry
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (generous 2 ounces) walnuts, pecans, or other nuts
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut up
3 tablespoons chilled solid shortening (Crisco) or solid stick margarine, cut up
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) halved pecans
1/2 cup (2 ounces) halved or broken walnuts
1/2 cup (2 ounces) macadamia nuts
- 1.Prepare and partially prebake the pastry shell: In the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and nuts until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the butter and shortening and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Through the feed tube, add the yolk, lemon juice, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of ice water. Pulse a few times, stopping as soon as the dough begins to look clumpy. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time if needed, but do not allow a dough ball to form. Turn the clumpy dough out onto a piece of wax paper and gather it into a ball. Refrigerate it 30 minutes, or overnight, if time permits. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it measures about 1 inch larger around than the pie plate (set it on top of the dough to measure it). Fold the dough into quarters and fit it into the pie plate, positioning the folded point at the center. Unfold and gently drape the pastry over the pan; do not stretch it. Allow the dough to extend about 3/4 inch beyond the plate rim, then cut off excess. Fold under the extra dough, then pinch it up into points or flutes on the rim using your fingertips. Refrigerate the pastry-lined pan until the dough feels firm
- 2.Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Line the dough with a 12-inch square of foil, shiny side down, and cover it with pie weights or dry rice. Bake the weighted pastry shell for about 12 minutes. Remove it from the oven, lift out the foil with all the weights, and cool the pastry shell on a wire rack. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- 3.In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine and beat together the brown sugar and eggs. Mix in all the remaining ingredients except the nuts. Pour the filling into the pastry shell. Arrange the nuts on top, either mixing and scattering them or carefully positioning them in concentric circles of alternating nut types and colors.
Bake the pie in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a table knife stuck into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.
Bourbon-Pecan Pie: Prepare the basic pie filling but omit the lemon juice; add 1 tablespoon bourbon, and use only pecans (1 1/2 cups).