Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pie, me oh my

I don't mean to brag or nothing, but I make a pretty good pecan pie. It's a Thanksgiving standard in my family, and it's become my responsibility to make it. Every year I hope to have enough time to experiment with home-made pie crust, but it never comes together. It's always a rush and therefore the pie always ends up in a Pillsbury crust from the grocery store, which I think works fine. Plus who wants to experiment when you've got company to feed? Go with what works. Maybe someday I'll get around to finding that favorite pie crust recipe.

I think a very, very important part is having good pecans. Obvs I've made it in the past with regular ones from the store, but getting some fresh ones always helps. I can taste the difference when pecans are crap. You just know. My mom always used to order them from a place down south called Fry's. This year I picked up some from the Dallas Farmers Market and saved some money on shipping. I was told that these came from a farm somewhere near San Saba.

Anywho, chop 'em up nice and even. I like when you see all those pieces on top all perfect and pretty.

Creaming the butter, sugar, etc. is really important too. I have a handheld mixer and I keep after it for longer than one would think you need to. Basically I do it til I think it's done, then do it a little longer. Get it as smooth as you can. Then mix in the rest and lastly, swirl in those pretty pecans. Pour it in the shell and pop it in the oven. Watch it closely, and if it starts to get too dark, throw a piece of foil on top. I've got a new oven this year and it runs hot, so the pie just nearly burned. But turned out okay I think.

Be sure to get you a piece quick. These go fast. This recipe hails from my mom's side of the family - warm with a glass of milk is our pie-eating M.O. Folks at my dad's place this year started putting ice cream on it. WTF? Don't do that.

Maw Maw's Pecan Pie

In mixer (or with the hand-held joint), combine:
3 tablespoons of softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat until creamed on high.

Turn mixer to low and add:
1 cup of white syrup (karo)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla (I like Mexican if you've got it)
1 cup of pecan pieces

Mix well. Pour into uncooked pie shell. Cook at 425 for 10 minutes, then at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure the center isn't too wobbly - keep it cookin' if it is. Yummy yum - enjoy!

The goal is to get the Christmas cards in the mail, plus packages going overseas, by Saturday. Lots of stuff to do before then - eek. Got the cards made, just need to fill em in, gather those addresses, etc. They look damn cute, if I do say so myself. And so much easier than last year's Moo card debacle.

That was a lot of work. Turn on the Christmas music and just power through it. NPR's got this lovely collection of tunes streaming online right now called Jingle Jams. I wish they'd make a CD of this. I'd buy it. KUT is one of the stations that contributed songs. Ah KUT. I miss it. Almost as much as I miss WNYC. Sam is cool in the mornings but I miss Soterius. P.S. What kind of dork ranks Morning Edition hosts?


Elizabeth said...

The morning shows are so lame in Raleigh that I've started listening to NPR so I don't think you should feel dorky. Now I listen to it at lunch, on the way home from work, Saturday mornings....I'm turning into an old person!

floozigrl said...

i loved my moo xmas! and dammit if i don't need a piece of pie right now...