Monday, February 7, 2011

National Pie Month.

February is National Pie Month! Several food sites have declared pie to be the new trend for 2011. The month of pie in the year of pie. The mind reels! I should probably do something to celebrate. Being a food blogger and all.

My gal Elena over at "Biscuits and Such" has vowed to create two pies a week, one sweet, one savory. You might remember her from the Charlottesville Pie Fest in October where she won awards and praise for her Caramel Green Tomato Pie.  I figured I could manage at least one a week...being a pie baking apprentice and all. I may do one extra....February is such a short month :)

First up? An oldie but a goody. Craig Claiborne's Pecan Pie. I made it for Thanksgiving where it was promptly devoured by the Hubby. When I told him I was doing one pie a week for the month of February his first remark was, "Um, will you be making that pecan pie?" This pie has the two components I think make a great pie. It's easy to make. It's delicious. Really really delicious.

Next week I'll be attempting Mollie Cox Bryan's take on Red Velvet Cake. Her Red Velvet Lovey-Dovey Pie seems perfect for "Valentimes". Plus, um...............it's RED VELVET PIE! HELLO?

Wish me luck. In the meantime, if you find you just can't bring yourself to *make* pie, how about buying some? In a jar. Marijean Jaggers, another local pie maven, has begun selling jars of her brownie pie. Nom nom nom nom...put me down for two at LEAST.

Craig Claiborne’s Pecan Pie
(click the link - the story behind the recipe is great)

Pastry for a one-crust pie
1¼ cups dark corn syrup
1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
¼ cup (one half stick) butter
4 eggs
1½ cups coarsely chopped or broken pecan meats
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup unbroken pecan halves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a 10-inch pie tin or plate with pastry. Neatly trim or flute the edge of the pastry. Prick the bottom of the pastry with the tines of a fork. Place the pie tin or plate in the freezer for 10 minutes. Do not freeze.

Line pastry with parchment paper and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully pull out waxed paper with rice or beans. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, combine the corn syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until it melts. Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and beat. Pour in the syrup mixture, stirring. Add the chopped pecan meats and vanilla extract. Stir to blend well. Pour this filling into the partially baked pie crust. Arrange the pecan halves over the top.

Place in the oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set. It will be soft and jiggly, a little bit like jello and will set as it cools.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Tips from the cook: (the cook being Sue Doeden, author of the article)
  • I didn’t measure out ½ cup pecan halves for decorating the top of the pie. I used just what I needed to make the design I wanted.
  • Use a crust shield to protect the crust from getting too dark, or make your own shield by cutting a foil ring, using a light touch to place it on the crust. Since the recipe I received did not include the pastry, I made my own and included instructions for the way I baked the crust in this recipe.
  • Served warm, the pie is like pudding. At room temperature it is soft and flavorful. Right out of the refrigerator, it’s like eating candy.

3 comments:

Becky said...

I know they say pie is the new cupcakes, but I'm not buying it. Love pie, but cupcakes are perfectly portioned, freeze beautifully and travel well. Can't say that about pie.
Unless of course, I figure out how to make smaller pies....maybe in my cupcake tins?
Still not entirely buying it....

Bradical said...

There's also a GREAT recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup here: http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/10/pecan-pie-corn-syrup-free/

His rationale for this is that corn syrup can make the pie too sweet and ruin the other flavors...I tend to agree. I also love that he recognizes that there are pecan pie "purists" (of which I am one) that think adding chocolate is a big no no. Get a Derby Pie if you want that. :)

Libby said...

What can I say? I'm a piekindagirl. Even as a kid when Momma asked me what kind of birthday cake I wanted, I told her I'd rather have pie. Coconut cream to be exact :D