Saturday, April 21, 2012

Easy and Impressive Pecan Pie - It's Not Just For Holidays Anymore

When I think of pecan pie I think of holidays. I think of times where my family and friends gather together sharing stories, great food, bad jokes, and friendly competition. I rarely thought of pecan pie as an easy “everyday” kind of dessert. Well, that’s until I made this super easy pecan pie.

As the baby of 9 children holidays, as you can imagine, were always huge in our house. Just the number of siblings alone could fill up the entire living room. Never mind, the older siblings’ spouses and children. Once you start adding those numbers, things get real crazy real fast.

My family is big, loud, loving and competitive. Everything a family should be, right? Every year we rotate houses and host for our holiday gatherings. We also try hard, very hard, to outdo each other in the kitchen. It’s just who we are. We can’t help it; not that we’ve really tried.

For many years my sister Nita has made THE pecan pie of the dinner; the pie to beat. For many years I have longed for my chance to make it. After finally coming to my senses and seeing that is never going to happen, I’ve decided this year I’m just bringing my own.


Now, don’t let all this talk about holidays turn you away from this pecan pie. This recipe is so simple you can easily make it any day of the week. Who says holidays can’t be Monday night after a tee ball game, or before a Thursday dance class. Maybe you could make it and celebrate the Naturals opening week. My point is, it’s your family, it’s your time together, and it’s always special enough for pecan pie.

For this recipe you’re going to need

An oven preheated to 350 degrees
A large mixing bowl
A mixer (I don’t do much by hand)
A large spoon
A pie pan
1 package cream cheese, softened
½ + ¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
One 10 inch, deep dish pie crust (I cheat by using store bought crust, with 5 kids I’ll take the help where I can get it.)

1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now let’s get the base of this yummy pie together. If you bought pie crust that you simply roll out, do that now and place it in your baking dish. If you bought the pie crust that’s already in a pan, well, you’re step ahead of the rest of us.

Grab a large mixing bowl and combine the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1-teaspoon vanilla, and the salt.

Once the mixture is smooth, you want to add in 1 egg and mix well.

Now you want to spread the cream cheese mixture into the base of the pie shell and set it aside.

Getting hungry yet?

With the pie shell ready and waiting you’re ready to make the filling. For this you want to combine the remaining eggs, sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, pecans, and walnuts.

Once that’s all mixed together pour it into your cream cheese covered pie shell.

I can already taste a yummy gooey slice of pecan heaven, but before you do, we should probably bake it.

You’re going to want to bake this for roughly 40-50 minutes or until center of the pie is set.

Now that your pie is finished baking, call your family, call your friends, heck call me; sit and gather together share stories of the day and of course share a slice of your easy and impressive pecan pie. You might just start some friendly competition of your own.

(This story and recipe was written for my column "Madison County Cooking" published by The Madison County Record, April 2012.)

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