Friday, January 23, 2015

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

We love pie.  

So much so that we had it at our wedding instead of cake.  When we first suggested that we wanted to do away with the tradition of wedding cake we were met with much resistance.  

"No cake at a wedding?"  "How can this be?" "People expect cake!"
We held our ground on this one and it paid off in the end!  We had about 40 delicious homemade pies at our wedding!  I made 20 of them and a family friend made the other 20.  Our only regret is that we didn't take a pie with us when we left the wedding!
I have tried out so many pecan pie recipes, really I have.  For a while I was on this "corn syrup free" pecan pie kick.  It is also a delicious recipe, but the consistency of the filling was just always too wet and loose.  My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for brown butter so I figured since most pecan pie calls for melted butter it could probably be swapped with brown butter.  After some searching I found a few recipes for "Brown Butter Pecan Pie"
This pie is amazing.

The brown butter adds this extra layer of deliciousness to the pie that is unexpected and smooth.  The crust recipe is from  the cookbook "A year of pies" which I first found from my friend who made the most amazing apple pie one day which the most perfect crust imaginable.
Whenever an occasion calls for pie I make this recipe and am never disappointed!  This pie also freezes well - I know because I froze 20 of them for my wedding!  Just make sure you either a) bake it in a foil pan or b) bake it in a cake pan with straight edges and you can pop it out of the pan after it cools completely and freeze it without a pan (this is what I did - the pie ends up looking more like a tart with straight edges, but it still tastes amazing!)

My husband texted me yesterday informing me that it was "National Pie Day" today...a very subtle hint if you ask me to make him some pie.  This is what came up when I googled "National Pie Day"

"It's National Pie Day, a holiday dreamed up by the American Pie Council. The holiday encourages Americans to "pause amidst the hectic pace of everyday life and express their love, gratitude and appreciation for one another, for their blessings, and for the simple things in life." And enjoy a slice of pie of course."

What is the "American Pie Council" and how do I get into that club?

Brown Butter Pecan Pie
adapted from a bunch of recipes from the internet 

Crust: this recipe makes 2 pie doughs, and the filling only makes one, so double the filling if you want 2 pies, or freeze this extra crust for later.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup ice water

Make sure you work quickly when making the crust and use cold ingredients and even a chilled mixing bowl if you like.  I cheat when making crust and use my stand mixer because it speeds up the process.  In a cold mixing bowl combine flour and salt.  Stir.  With mixer running add the cold cubed butter and mix until broken into pea sized pieces.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of the ice cold water, then slowly add the additional 1/4 cup of water.  Mix just until combined and dough comes together.  If you don't have a mixer you can cut the butter into the flour/salt with a pastry blender or with 2 knives.
Place in fridge and chill for at least one hour.

On floured surface roll out the pie dough into an even circle. turning the dough and adding flour to the surface when necessary.  Quickly line a pie pan with the dough and crimp edges like you like to!


5 tablespoons unsalted butter browned
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt (not kosher)
1 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves (toast plain pecans in the oven for a few minutes)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat lightly. Add brown butter, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine. Pour toasted pecans into prepared pie dough that is in the pan. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center is set and the crust is browned. Cool in pan before serving.

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