Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Best Pie Ever!

According to Abby, as in Dear Abby, there is none better and I couldn't agree more! In the introduction to her recipe book, Abby says she asked the pastry chef of the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky for the recipe in 1959. Though the hotel is now demolished, thankfully the pastry chef turned over the recipe and the "most delicious pecan pie" lives on!

This has been my go-to version of pecan pie for years, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without it. For my mother-in-law's birthday, she requested pecan pie and since this is the first Thanksgiving in a long time I did not make one, I was happy to make one for her. Seriously, if my waist would allow it I would eat a piece of this pie every day!

Abby's Famous Pecan Pie

9 - inch unbaked pie crust
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 heaping cup pecan halves

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Prepare pie crust.

3. In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling into prepared pie crust; sprinkle with pecan halves.

4. Bake at 359 for 45 - 50 minutes or until center is set. (Toothpick inserted will come out clean when pie is 'done.') If crust or pie appears to be getting too brown, cover with foil or a pie protector for the remaining baking time. Cool pie on wire rack.

5. You can top it with a bit of whipped cream or ice cream, but even plain - nothing tops this!

Tip: Original recipe stated that the pie should be baked 45 - 50 minutes in a preheated 350 gas oven. If an electric oven is used it may be necessary to add 15 - 20 minutes to the baking time. Begin testing the pie with a toothpick after 45 minutes.

Yield: serves 8 - 10.
Recipe obtained from: Dear Abby's Favorite Recipes (Copyright 1998)

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cold shortening
4-5 Tbs. cold water

1. In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-sized.

2. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bolw. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 Tbs. of water at a time, until all the flour mixture is moistened. Form dough into a ball.

3. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

4. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it.

5. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edges as desired. Do not prick pastry. Bake as directed in individual recipes.

Yield: 8 servings (1 piecrust)
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

FYI: If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use two forks. You can also use canned goods in place of a rolling pin - just make sure to wipe off the can first!

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