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La Belle Cuisine
Texas State Fair Pecan Pie
Food & Wine, November 2007
Recipe by Dean Fearing
Food & Wine - One Year Subscription
"This extraordinarily rich and sweet dessert was the winner at the 1996
State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped
judge. 'Out of 140 pies, this one was it,' he says. 'Her name was Bobby
Lee; she never told me her last name.' "
ACTIVE: 40 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 30 MIN
SERVINGS: One 10-inch pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 4 tablespoons unsalted
butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
(5 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Make the pie shell:
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar
and salt. Add the
butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add
the ice water
and pulse until the pastry is evenly moistened. Turn it out
onto a work
surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together.
pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm,
about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll
the pastry 1/8 inch thick; transfer into a deep 10-inch glass pie
trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold the edge of the pastry
crimp the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork in a few places.
for 30 minutes.
Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned around the
edge. Remove the paper and weights and bake the shell for 15 minutes
longer, or until it is lightly golden. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a pie plate, toast the pecans for 8
minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool.
In a medium saucepan,
melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup,
milk, flour, vanilla seeds and salt. Cook over moderate heat just until
the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for
In a heatproof bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Gradually whisk
in the hot sugar mixture until thoroughly blended. Spread the toasted
pecans in the bottom of the pie shell and pour the filling on top. Bake
for about 45 minutes, or until the center is just barely set and the crust
is golden brown. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. Serve
with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The pie can be baked up to 1 day ahead. Store, covered,
at room temperature. The pie shell can be wrapped well and frozen for
up to 1 month.
A Muscat’s citrus and honey notes will accent the flavors in this
pie. The vibrant 2006 Travis Peak Select Muscato D’Arancia from
Texas’s Flat Creek Estate is terrific. Or look for the gingery 2004
Terre Rouge Muscat à Petits Grains, from California.
Featured archive recipes:
Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie
Pecan Truffle Tart
Southern Pecan Pie
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