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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Easy as Pie, Pecan Pie

My husband, Chris, is VERY fond of Eckert’s Bakery’s Pecan Pie but I was lacking the perfect recipe for baking from my home. Certainly we can grab one from Eckert’s bakery and it is very hard to upstage but I was determined to make one that could compare.  A few winters ago, I collected as many pecan recipes as I could find and baked a new one every weekend. (Yes really I did!!)

The pie recipes ranged in amounts of butter and types of sweeteners including brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses etc. Chris provided feedback with each test recipe about the sweetness and the textures but Eckert’s Bakery Pecan Pie still upstaged my baking!

 It wasn’t until I made the most basic recipe- found on the Karo Syrup bottle of all things- that I received the official nod of approval! Since the “winter of pecan pie baking,” as it is called in my family, I have stopped looking for a better recipe. I am convinced the best pecan pie is made with dark Karo syrup and a blend of regular and vanilla sugars. The vanilla sugar is my own twist to this classic recipe and it too is very simple to make. I bake this pie so often that I keep pre-portioned bags of Illinois pecans and frozen pie shells in a special drawer in my freezer! In celebration of National Pi Day this Friday, I will be making it a couple times this week. Give it a try and you will understand why!!!
Ella helping in the kitchen!
Eat well this winter, Angie

1 cup Dark Karo® Corn Syrup
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ cup granulated vanilla sugar (*see recipe below or substitute regular granulated sugar)
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
6 oz. pecans (about a cup and a half)
1      (9-inch) unbaked or frozen Eckert’s pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pecans in the pie crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together corn syrup, eggs, sugars, butter and vanilla. Pour filling into pie crust. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake on center rack for 50 to 60 minutes.

Baking Note: Pie is done if you can lightly tap the surface of the pie and it springs back. The pie will slice cleaner if you allow it cool for 2 hours after baking. However, this doesn’t always happen in my house!

Vanilla Granulated Sugar
I make my own vanilla sugar and keep it on hand in the cabinet for special desserts, coffee flavoring etc. To make vanilla sugar, cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and place it in a jar or reseal-able glass container. Pour in 2 cups of granulated sugar. Allow vanilla flavors to blend into the sugar for at least 1 week. Use as you would regular sugar to add a hint of vanilla!

No time to bake this week? Stop by our bakery in Belleville!  On Friday you can take advantage of a great deal on National Pi Day. Our most popular pie, Dutch Apple Pie will be buy 1 get 1 FREE Friday, 3-14 only!

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