This is a seriously delicious pecan pie recipe. Let's all thank the Barefoot Contessa for it!
Everyone's favorite dessert at Thanksgiving, Christmas or just about any special occasion, pecan pie is a divine mixture of pecan nuts, sugar, eggs and butter all baked in a pie crust.
No one is quite sure of just where pecan pie originated. Pecan nuts are native to the southern United States, whereas 'sugar pies' were originally made in Europe. Some people say that the French were the first to bring the two together, after settling in New Orleans.
This delicious dessert is now synonymous with the Southern States where its existence is celebrated with National Pecan Pie Day!
Whole pecans or chopped?
This recipe simply calls for 'pecans' - so should you use whole or chopped?
Well, this is a contentious issue with pecan pie aficionados - so our advice is to go with what you like best! Chopped nuts are perhaps a little easier for some people to eat - and it's also much easier to cut a neat slice if the nuts are chopped.
Whole nuts, on the other hand, give you a nicer crunch and are the popular choice for true pecan lovers!
Worried about your pie crust burning?
It's important to bake a pecan pie until the pie crust is properly set - but if you find that this sometimes means your pie crust becomes too dark or even burns, use a pie crust shield and just remove it for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time.
You can either buy a pie crust shield, or make your own with aluminum foil.
Try it - it's a game-changer!
Pecan pie top tip!
For speed you can add your pecan nuts just as they come - but to really intensify their flavor, try roasting them first!
Just spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about ten to fifteen minutes at 350 degrees, until you begin to smell them.
You can get the pastry ready while they're roasting!
Variations on Pecan Pie
This pecan pie recipe from the Barefoot Contessa produces a classic pie with an instantly recognizable flavor. Whilst we think that it's not easy to improve on the original recipe, there are a few variations you might like to try to keep things interesting!
One is to add chocolate - after all, what DOESN'T taste better with the addition of chocolate? Throwing in some semisweet chocolate chips works well, or you can achieve an even deeper, richer flavor with some 70% chocolate, chopped roughly. Try our Paleo Chocolate Pecan Tart recipe too!
Another option is to add butterscotch chips - or better still, butterscotch AND chocolate chips - for a deliciously decadent touch.
But if you want to give your pecan pie a real Southern Kick, then why not try adding a little bourbon? The alcohol burns off as the pie is baked, but the flavor becomes so much more rich and complex. You could even spice things up a little by using Cinnamon Whisky like Fireball instead!