There is a place in Texas that makes a mean pecan pie. Not just everyday good, but so good that nut haters can be turned to pecan pie fans in a single bite. Don’t believe me? Ask Hubby. He has always avoided nuts on anything. Other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he avoided all nut products at all costs. Until the fateful day he tasted his first bite of a Goode Company Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie. He tasted it because I begged him to. For years my home-sick rants always included a longing for one more bite of this amazing pecan pie. There is something about this pie that was special. So special that pecan hatting Hubby should try it.
He gave in and now I’ve spent the past few years trying my best to recreate the magic. I’m pretty close; I now make a mean pecan pie myself. It’s not a duplicate, and I’m okay with that because it’s my own pie – not theirs. It’s damn good. A few years of testing have taught me a few lessons too. Here’s my six tips to get a perfect pecan pie:
- Even though instincts are to load up on the rich dark flavors of brown sugar and molasses in a pecan pie, lighter syrups and sugars actually produce a better pie.
- Bourbon is good, but overpowering in a sugary dessert like this. Unless all your guests are bourbon fans, serve it on the side – not in the pie.
- Chopped Pecans don’t look as nice, but they do cut easier, and make for a better finished texture.
- Your pie will only be as good as the crust you use. My suspicion is that the Goode Company’s secret is actually in the crust; not the pie at all. Your pie will rock if you use a rocking pie crust recipe (Like Lula’s Pie Crust). Whatever you do, DON’T use a store bought crust (unless you have to, then check out the results of this taste test from Cooking Light).
- Corn syrup is okay; it’s not evil – not in pecan pie at least. Corn syrup gets a bad wrap, but in the end it’s all about moderation and a little corn syrup as a special holiday treat is not an unforgivable sin, and it makes a great pie.
- Cook the pie until it is just set in the middle; about 220 degrees. Under cooking and over cooking your pie is a sure fire way to mess up a good thing.
If you follow these six easy rules, your pie will be a centerpiece, worthy of the best holiday table. Enjoy!
UPDATE 11/21/15: We bought a Goode Company Pecan Pie via mail order and had it shipped last year for the holidays and served it along side one of my own homemade pie. While both pies were delicious, my homemade pecan pie was a favorite over the famous pie by all in a blind tasting!