8/18/10

Pecan Pie - Perfect for Autumn


Although most of the country is enjoying the last two weeks of summer, school in our area has begun. Yes, yesterday was the first day of school, which means no matter the temperature, it already feels like 'Fall' to us!

With fall comes a change in cravings. A thick stew. Homemade bread. Pies. Tuck this one away for after your children start school and it feels like 'Autumn' to you too!








Pecan Pie

1 1/4 c flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 t salt
1/2 c cold lard, or shortening cut into pieces
2 T cold butter, cut into pieces
3 to 4 T ice water

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup toffee bits
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 c 'pretty' pecan halves, for garnish

For the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in lard and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about the size of peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix lightly with a fork after each addition, until it forms a dough. Turn out dough onto plastic, shape into a flattened disk, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim, fold under and crimp edges.

Preheat oven with a rack set in the lower third to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract, toffee bits, and chopped pecans.

Pour filling into pie crust. Top with pecans in a circular pattern and bake for 1 hour until the center is set and knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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