I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my family was always a big pie family when I was growing up. I remember often having various pies at celebratory events and everyone has their own favorites. For example, I love chocolate cream (which is 100% a real pie, regardless of what my sister says) and my mom is a big fan of coconut cream—with no whipped cream, and lemon meringue—no meringue. My dad loves him some berry pie. I’m not sure what my brother’s favorite is, but I think he’s a berry fan also. Either way, we all love pie.
That means when it comes to Thanksgiving, we take dessert pretty seriously. There are always a few pies to choose from and we tend to stick with the traditional ones: Pumpkin, Pecan, and Apple. Sometimes we change them up a bit like making a pumpkin cheesecake or a chocolate pecan pie, but the traditional base is always there.
This year will be no exception. I’ll be making a pumpkin pie, this pecan pie, and my sister-in-law is bringing a caramel apple pie that sounds devine (seriously, who doesn’t love that flavor combo?!).
I think sometimes people are intimidated by pies, but you don’t have to be. They are not that difficult and if you want to buy your crust to relieve some of the pressure, by all means go for it. I doubt anyone would notice. My favorite store-bought crusts are the ones you find in the freezer that are already in a dish.
I love all three of the Thanksgiving pies I mentioned, but I think pecan may be my favorite. Here’s my recipe for a delicious pecan pie:
Pie crust (store-bought or homemade. If you use my recipe at that link, make sure you add about a tablespoon of sugar since this is a sweet pie.)
2 cups chopped pecans
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup whole pecans
Chop your pecans and set aside. You can buy them pre-chopped, which is fine, but you need the whole ones anyway, so it may be cheaper to just buy a bigger bag of the whole ones and chop some of them yourself. Also, I like chopping them myself because then I get different sizes some are teeny and some are just small, so it adds to the texture of the pie.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt your butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat.
Add the salt, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk. In a small bowl, beat your eggs. Slowly add them into the corn syrup mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Remember this is all off the heat. You don’t want to make scrambled eggs.
Add your pecans and stir.
Pour the filling into your prepared pie crust and top with the whole pecans in whatever design you’d like. The filling is thick, so the pecans should just lay right on top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes, or until the filling is set.
TIP: Check about half way through. If the crust is already nicely browned, wrap it with some foil to keep it from burning while the rest of the pie finished baking. You can do this with any pie.
Serve with some whipped cream and enjoy!
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving pie/dessert??