Sorry, Cooking For Engineers has reorganized. This page isn't going to display quite right anymore... You will be redirected immediately or click here to be forwarded immediately.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Recipe: Traditional Pecan Pie

After baking the Chocolate Pecan Pie yesterday, I decided to bake a traditional pecan pie. Pecan pie fillings generally have a texture between custard and gooey. They are also very sweet. This is how I make a traditional pecan pie.

I start by turning on my oven to preheat. I'll be baking the crust blind, so I preheat to 400°F. While the oven is warming up, I throw the pecans onto a pan and slip them in for ten minutes to toast, stirring once or twice.

After the pecans are toasted, I set them aside to cool and then chop them up. If you chop them while they are hot, the pecans will crumble. It's best to wait the few minutes for them to cool off.

Once the oven has been heated, blind bake the crust. This can be performed simply by lining the inside of the crust with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Fill the foil or paper lining with pie weights (ceramic beads that keep the crust from rising and puffing up when baked empty). If you don't have pie weights handy, simply pop holes in the crust (bottom and sides) with a fork. (Make sure the crust is thawed if you're using a frozen crust.) Slip the pie crust onto the center rack and bake until the crust is light golden (about 10 minutes). In the meantime, assemble the filling.

The ingredients I use in the filling are 4 tablespoons butter, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup maple syrup. Purists will notice that I am deviating from tradition here. Normally you would use corn syrup, more sugar, and more butter. I like the flavor that maple syrup brings and I think that it's plenty sweet already.

Whisk the ingredients together with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to bring out the flavors.

It takes a bit of muscle to get it smooth because of the eggs, but keep at it until it's well blended. (Or use a mixer.)

Now, fold in the chopped pecans. The filling is ready now.

If everything was timed correctly, the crust should be light golden yellow to brown (ten minutes). Pull it out and reduce the oven temperature to 275°F. We're going to slow bake the pie to ensure the filling bakes evenly. A higher temperature might result in the center of the filling to still be liquid while the outside is overcooked.

Pour the filling into the crust and level it. Slip it into the middle of the 275°F oven and bake for 60 minutes.

The pie is done when you hold the sides and twist gently. The outer filling should not move and the inside should jiggle a little. Take it out and let it cool. This will allow the center to finish cooking and will let the pie set. Serve after fully cooled. I like to give it a bit of a refrigeration as well.

If you want to serve the pie warm, after the pie has been fully cooled, put it in an oven at 250°F for 15 minutes.

Traditional Pecan Pie (makes one 9 in. pie)
Preheat oven to 400°F
9 in. pie crustprebakepour and levelbake 275°F 60 min.
6 oz. pecans, toastedchopmix
4 Tbs. butterwhisk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
Copyright Michael Chu 2004

posted by Michael Chu @ 9/15/2004 05:55:02 PM   18 comments
Toggle Printer Friendly   Toggle commentsPost a Comment  


At 10:16 PM, Alredhead said...

Mr. Chu,

I like the main course and dessert recipes, how about some side dishes? Like veggies or something?

What you've made so far looks absolutely wonderful and you are doing a great job!

At 1:01 AM, Michael Chu said...

I'll work on more sides soon. I promise.

At 3:07 AM, Anonymous said...

Love it. You rule.

Can you also do snacks as well as main courses?

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous said...

Have you tried using "Lyle's Golden Syrup" (a refiner's syrup) instead of maple? I has a very rich, carmel flavor which works very well in this pie.

At 8:53 AM, Stephanie said...

You're amazing...baking pies midweek?! Wish I had that much energy! All my baking seems to be relegated to the weekend....

At 2:12 AM, Cliff said...

I really like the pecan pie in a custard mode. They are the best. I am an engineer with several blogs that may be of interest at:

At 7:42 AM, Liz said...

Great pie rec. and SUPER BLOG !!!

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous said...

I love the novel way in wich you organise the recipes that you talk about in your blog. It makes reading recipies so much easier and more pleasant!

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous said...

i thought that the pie sucked it was very pecany it did not taste very good it tasted like ass

At 9:58 PM, tom said...

i've always had pecan pie with Karo syrup. i think i'd like to try one with maple syurp...that would be a different taste altogether.

At 10:27 AM, MsOktober said...

Last year I made *3* maple pecan pies for Thanksgiving dinner and none of them solidified. I kept thinking I didn't measure right, didn't bake long enough, etc...but the third one turned out just as runny as the first. It had to be the recipe. And guess who's recipe it was? That's right, Martha Stewart! So this year I'll be trying yours and I have a feeling it will turn out just fine :-)

At 10:49 AM, Michael Chu said...


I would still test the recipe first (before you serve it for Thanksgiving). Oven temperature variations, viscosity of maple syrup, relative humidity, and other factors could still cause your pies to not set. Also, make sure your refrigerate your pies for a few hours at least before serving.


At 11:21 AM, jessyz said...

I love pecans and I love maple syrup I tried this recipie out and it is awesomme, I also tried making small mini pies for packed lunches and picnics they were a hit with everyone within a two mile radius

At 4:14 PM, MsOktober said...


Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a test run....and hopefully it won't be runny! :)

At 10:38 PM, Ben FrantzDale said...

I'll have to try this one out. One favorite in my family is cranberry-pecan pie. The tart cranberries cut down on the sweetness a bit making for a more complex flavor. I don't have the recipe here, but if I recall you just throw in a cup or so of raw cranberries (not crasins). Youm may remove some pecans, I forget.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous said...

Two things:

First, I've always used the recipe from the Karo syrup bottle, even when baking the pies in bulk. I have *got* to try this one with the maple syrup. /drooldrooldrool

Second, if you're making several pies (like say, 60) it really helps to measure the pecans into the pans and then pour the custard over them. If you mix them in and then pour the filling into the crusts, it's very difficult to get an equal amount of pecans into each pie. (There's nothing worse than a pecan pie with no pecans :)

(okay, three things)

Third, I wonder how this would taste with some grated coconut in it...

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous said...

does any one know if you can freeze pecan pie?

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate pecans but have made pecan pie several times, it is my father's favorite and I am a totaly Daddy's girl. This is the second recipe I have seen that involves toasting the pecans, the other uses corn syrup like most of them do. Think I'll ask Daddy if he likes maple syrup and perhaps this will be a good way to bribe him into coming over for a visit (I just moved from chicago to Iowa and so am 5.5-6 hours away). I was also wondering if pecan pie can be frozen, I am pretty sure I have seen it in the freezer case at the store, I'll have to look next time I go. I think the mini pie idea would be great for me, I could make a bunch of minies and freeze them since I would never eat any and I'm not sure if he would eat it all in one visit (plus they'd be cute).



Post a Comment

<< Home