Thursday, November 25, 2010

GF Pecan Pie, a Southern Tradition

Despite the fact that pies have become the new bakery front fad, replacing all sorts of gourmet cupcake concoctions, I have to admit that I have never been a real fan of pie…except pecan pie. Now that, in my opinion, is PIE. I didn’t even know what pecan pie was until I went away to college in New Orleans, where authentic pecan pie making is considered an art. It didn’t take me long to place pecan pie right up there with boiled crayfish and Oysters Bienville.

There are essentially two kinds of pecan pies: those that use corn syrup and those that use brown sugar. The former comes out a little custardy or gooey, and the latter is more like a praline pie. Once I tasted great pecan pie—the praline kind--I knew I had to find a fool-proof recipe. I found it in the Houston Junior League Cook Book from 1968, given to me by my late mother-in-law over forty years ago. The cook book makes me chuckle for a number of reasons, but it is the pecan pie recipe page that I love. The top billing is for “Southern Pecan Pie” and underneath is a recipe for “Yummy Yankee Pecan Pie.” Guess which one includes white corn syrup as an ingredient? I can only imagine the two recipe authors (probably a native Texan and a “transplanted” Yankee) having a tiff over which was the best pie, so readers are given a choice. The “Yankee” recipe includes maple syrup; I can’t imagine how a) maple syrup could be desecrated by corn syrup, and b) it would taste anything like a real pecan pie. I can just hear my mother-in-law grumbling from her grave about those “damn Yankees thinking they can come down here and improve things.”

We have a Thanksgiving tradition in our household that everyone can pick one food for the dinner, aside from the main course. And yes, we went through a few years when the kids were younger and pizza was on the menu (although I always managed to relegate it to the appetizer category.) I never have to ask Tom his choice. It is always pecan pie, and that hasn’t changed in the six years we have been gluten free. I simply make my no-fail pie crust recipe and fill it with my favorite pecan pie recipe. No gluten free compromises here. And what were the four menu choices for 2010, aside from the pecan pie? Potato, bacon and kale (from our garden) casserole, pumpkin pie, and garlic bread made from Against The Grain Gourmet baguettes. Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours. An d now you know what I do while the turkey is cooking—catch up on my blogging!

Southern Pecan Pie

1 unbaked pie shell
1 C light brown sugar
½ C white sugar
1 Tbsp GF flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ C butter (softened)
2 C pecans (1 C chopped and 1C whole for topping)

1. Beat brown sugar, white sugar, and flour with softened butter until creamy.
2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes on high.
3. Fold in chopped pecans.
4. Pour into unbaked shell.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes (until center of pie is set.)
6. Top with whipped cream or serve with ice cream, if desired.


Kelly said...

Do you have any ideas for making this without Refined Sugar as well? Maybe Agave? Thanks!! I've been looking everywhere for my beloved Pecan Pie!

TLC said...

Yes, I have recently discovered organic palm sugar. I think it would be a great, low glycemic substitution for brown sugar.