Friday, July 10, 2009

Recipe Fridays!

As most of you probably know, I attended college in the fabulous city of New Orleans, LA, and the experience has certainly stayed with me long after my leaving in 2001. As an unabashed baker, I was ecstatic to see Brennan's, the family that owns and operates several of the best restaurants in NOLA including the incomparable Commander's Palace, put out a cookbook containing several of their most popular dishes. I have made many things from the cookbook since, including a bread pudding so thick you can slice it and eat it like a candy bar, and this wonderful pecan pie. The pie crust recipe comes from the Martha Stewart cookbook (it is the best, quickest, and easiest I have found), but the filling is pure Louisianna goodness.

Commander's Palace Pecan Pie

makes one 9" pie

6 medium eggs
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups halved pecans

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 to 1/3 cup of ice water
To Make the Crust:
1. Put flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Then, cut up butter and pulse to add into the flour mixture; mix until the dough resembles a fine meal.
2. With the processor running, drip in ice water until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Remove from the bowl of the processor and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerating until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Flour your work surface, and remove dough ball from the refrigerator. Roll out into a circle large enough to fill your pie plate with some hang over. trim the excess and crimp the edges with fingers or a fork. Refridgerate until ready to fill.
To Make the Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk eggs in a medium-sized bowl, and add sugar and corn syrup, whisking until combined
2. Add melted butter, vanilla and salt, and whisk until combined.
3. Remove pie crust from refridgerator and place 2 cups of pecans in the bottom of the pan. Pour filling over the pecans, and gently swirl to evenly distribute filling and pecans, giving the pecans several moments to rise. Place remaining 1/2 cup pecans on top, allowing them to sink slightly into the filling.
4. Allow to bake for 2 hours and 45 minutes, or until filling is baked and set in the center and crust is golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven, allowing the domed surface to sink and level, and serve.

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