The Case of the Missing Pecans

Holidays without pecan pie is a sin, but holidays in Louisiana without pecan pie… you might as well slap yo grandma! Well, to be more accurate, my grannie would probably give me a quick slap on the behind if her beloved dessert were to be forgotten. Whether she is aware or not, Grannie is a nibbler. Complaining of being too full at meals, she wonders why she is never hungry. One holiday evening while making pecan pies, I solved the mystery.  After toasting the pecans in the oven, I allowed them to cool on a cookie sheet on the counter. I created the batter and went to add the final ingredient, toasted pecans. Just as I turned around, I realized that many of the pecans were missing! I was left with one clue, a bouncing head of white hair scurrying out of the kitchen! It was Grannie! This didn’t surprise me a bit because pecan pie was always one of her favorite desserts. Now at meals whenever Grannie says she feels too full to take another bite, I just sit and smile while knowing full well that she nibbled right through her appetite. I’ve allowed the charade to continue for many years. Nowadays when I make pecan pies, I have two piles of pecans, one for the actual dessert and the other for the bouncing nibbler I affectionately refer to as Grannie.

Recipe: Makes 1 11-inch tart

Pie Crust:

2 ½ cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 stick of butter, cold and cut up into cubes

½ cup of shortening, cut up in small pieces

6-12 tablespoons of ice cold water

1 egg, slightly beaten

In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and shortening to the flour mixture. Pulse to combine all of the ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add the cold water, tablespoon-by-tablespoon, pulsing in between tablespoons. Add water until the dough comes together. The dough should not be sticky or crumbly. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

*Note: This recipe only uses 1 disk of pie dough. You can freeze the other for later use.

Filling:

3 eggs

½ cup of brown sugar

¾ sup of light corn syrup

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of toasted pecan halves

Combine eggs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. Once the ingredients are incorporated. Beat in corn syrup and slowly add the butter and vanilla extract. Beat until all of the ingredients are well blended. Stir in the toasted pecans.

To Assemble:

Preheat oven to 350o

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until 12-inches in diameter. Gently place the dough into the tart pan. Cut off the excess dough. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place the filling into prepared tart shell. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the crust has become golden brown and the filling has set (if the crust gets too brown, tent the tart with foil.) Let cool for at least an hour before unmolding from tart pan.

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10 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Pecans

  1. This is your Grannie, & I have no idea what you are talking about my Amberness! lol… loveing the pecan tart!!    SO proud of you baby girl!

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  2. HAHAHA!!! This is so true!!! 🙂 I love this story! Happens every year! I LOVE pecan pie!!!!!!! I think I’ll try to make one soon 🙂

  3. hahahahaha o Grannie! Love her! And that pecan pie, mmmmm that’s probably one of my favorites now just because you made it so deliciously. I didn’t know a 12 year old girl could love pecan pie, I think just cuz it sounded gross to kids..but! You made it look so ‘swonderful and delicious and it tasted even better! Love you!

    • Oh love you too! Pecan pie seems like one of those desserts that you either adore or hate… but,like you, I grew up loving the sweet, salty, earthy complexity of this pie as a contrast to the overly sweet desserts!

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