The basis for a successful pecan pie is a tender crust, and the addition of a little vinegar (which evaporates during baking) ensures this one is just that. The secret to the filling is trifold: a combination of white and brown sugar and Lyle’s Golden syrup (though light corn syrup works in a pinch) adds depth of flavor, while a little dark rum gives the pie a festive endnote. I suggest baking the pie on a rack in the lower third of your oven, so that the top doesn’t overbrown. And while I can’t promise everything will go smoothly for your Thanksgiving dinner, even if your turkey is overcooked, this pie will guarantee things will end on a good note.
Note: I added a decorative border of pecan halves around the edge of the pie. These pecans were in addition to the amount of pecans in the filling.
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8
- 1 1/2 cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 9 tablespoons (127 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (59 grams) ice-cold water
- 4 large (200 grams) eggs
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed (144 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (340 grams) Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups (250 grams) pecan halves, coarsely chopped*
*Note: always taste your pecans before adding them to the filling to ensure they’re not rancid. I’ve come across rancid pecans even in freshly opened bags, and they will ruin your pie.
Make the pie crust:
- Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Mix the vinegar with the ice-cold water, add it to the flour mixture and process until it just starts to come together. (Don’t allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust may be tough.)
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape it into a thick disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to two days).
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
- Lightly flour a large work surface. Place the dough disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round about 1/8 inch or slightly thinner and about 13 inches in diameter. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it carefully over the pan. Press the dough first into the bottom of the pan and then against the sides. Patch any holes or cracks with dough scraps. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about 3/4 inch of overhang. Tuck the edge underneath itself and crimp the edge decoratively with your fingers. Refrigerate the pie crust while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are blended. Whisk in the sugars, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar in the mixture. Whisk in the Lyle’s syrup, melted butter, dark rum, vanilla and salt. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake the pie for 55 to 65 minutes, until the center is puffed and just set but still slightly quivery (but not liquid). Cool the pie completely on a wire rack before serving with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.