The first time I ever heard of pecan pie or pecans for that matter was in an episode of Star Trek Voyager back in 2001 when Captain Janeway serves some of it to their host alien leader. Pecans are a species of hickory native to the southern United States and northern Mexico in the region of the Mississippi River. Pecan pie would make an annual appearance at American Thanksgiving along with other native foodstuffs like turkey, pumpkin, and cranberries.
Most pecan pie recipes call for two cups of sweetener — one cup of corn syrup plus one cup of either granulated or brown sugar. Feel free to reduce further or add more to your taste. The molasses, butter, and vanilla bring out the wonderful flavor of the pecans. Nuts go rancid with storage, so make sure you are using the freshest of pecans for this pie!
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, frozen for at least 30 minutes (see recipe note)
- 2 cups (210g) pecans, coarsely chopped (save a few whole pecan halves to create a decoration on the surface of the pie, if you want)
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses (unsulphured)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F Preheat the oven and position a rack in the center.
Mix the filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl vigorously mix together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, and salt, until smooth. (No need for a mixer, you can beat by hand using a wooden spoon.)
Fill the pie shell: Spread the chopped pecans over the bottom of a frozen pie shell. Pour the filling over the pecans. Don’t worry about burying the pecans, they will rise to the surface. (If you have reserved a few whole pecan halves, you can arrange them on the surface in a decorative pattern. Just dip them below the wet filling and let them rise again so they get coated with the filling.)
Bake the filled pie: Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes tent the pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the crust and pecans from getting too browned. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes until the filling has set. The pie should be a bit wiggly in the center.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely: Note that the pie will be puffed up a bit when you first take it out of the oven. It will settle as it cools