This old fashioned pecan pie is made with a creamy sweet custard filling and a fluffy baked meringue topping. The pie is made with a prepared baked pie shell.
Use a frozen pie shell, homemade, or refrigerated pie pastry sheets. I used a frozen pie crust to make the pie in the picture, but included an easy food processor pastry in the recipe.
- 1 prepared pie shell, 9-inch, baked
- Food Processor Pie Pastry:
- 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled butter (cut into small pieces)
- 4 tablespoons chilled shortening (cut into small pieces)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (granulated, divided)
- 1 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
- 4 large eggs (separated)
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, toasted*
If you are using a frozen crust or a ready made pastry sheet, follow the directions on the package for pre-baking.
Homemade Pie Pastry
- In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt together until blended. Add the chilled butter and shortening pieces and pulse about 4 to 6 times times for 2 seconds each time. The mixture should have some pieces of fat the size of small peas and lentils. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of ice water as you run the processor, then pulse in very small amounts of ice water until the mixture looks like large crumbs and holds together when squeezed with your hand.
- Remove the dough and shape it into a flattened disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 425 F.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 11 to 12-inch circle.
- Fit the dough into the pie plate and crimp the edges.
- Line the dough with foil or parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. The weights should fill the shell about 2/3 full.
- Bake the crust for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edge is just barely browned. Remove the crust and remove the pie weights and foil or parchment paper. Return the crust to the oven and cook for about 5 to 7 more minutes.
- Remove the pie crust to the rack and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
Pecan Cream Filling
- In a heavy saucepan, cook 1 cup of the sugar and the heavy cream for 12 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, in a stainless steel or glass/pottery bowl (not plastic) with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar gradually, beating until glossy. Set aside
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, salt, and vanilla together. Stir about one-quarter of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and then return yolk mixture to pan and continue cooking and stirring another 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened and smooth and the mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 175 F). Remove from heat. Add the pecans, stir, and pour the hot filling into the pie shell.
- Cover the hot pie with filling with the meringue spreading it to the edges of the crust to seal in the filling. Bake in the preheated 325 F oven for about 20 minutes.
- Cool thoroughly before slicing. This pie is best served the same day. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer in an ungreased skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.
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