By now, some of you are sick of pecan pie, but I didn’t think to post this recipe until this morning, when I pulled it out of a well-worn journal of mostly sweet recipes I collected while traveling and began making the Thanksgiving desserts (the others were Sichuan peppercorn ice cream and Dorie Greenspan‘s sour cream pumpkin tart from Baking: From My Home To Yours). I’m pretty sure there are a lot of you out there who, like me, can and do eat pecan pie all year long – this is for you!
This is a variation on the classic you’re used to that I first had at a friend’s house in Paris a few years back and instantly fell in love with. It is richly flavored with honey – make it your own with a specialty honey you really love that will transform the entire pie. The crust is quite nontraditional in its execution as well. Typically, crusts do best with a minimal hands-on approach, but this one calls for a lot of hand mixing and even a touch of kneading. I thought for sure I’d be left with a tough crust the first time I made it, but the folding and rolling technique deployed at the end ensures that flaky, buttery layers will be infused into the crust.
Honey Pecan Pie
Makes one 8 or 9-inch pie.
For the crust (for one 8 or 9-inch shell):
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
3 ounces chilled butter (3/4 stick), cut into pieces
1 tablespoon corn oil
3/4 cup ice water
1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt together and cut in the butter with your hands in quick, smooshing motions until mixture contains coarse crumbs of varying sizes. Add oil and water and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead into a ball. Chill covered at least two hours or overnight.
3. Roll the dough out on a flour surface and then turn 1/4 clockwise, fold over in thirds and roll out again. Repeat 1/4 turn, folding and rolling out three more times. Place in a pie pan and press gently into place, trimming edges where necessary. Chill pie shell for 30-minutes.
4. Line inside of pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or rice / beans) and bake at 350F until edges are slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and continue baking until crust is light brown, about another 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8 ounces), melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bourbon
1-1/2 cup chopped pecan meat and extra whole pecans for the top
1. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and honey. Add butter, salt, bourbon and chopped pecans. Mix well and pour into prepared crust. Arrange whole pecans on top in desired pattern.
2. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350F and bake another 35 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack to room temperature before serving.