Happy (belated) Pi Day!

Happy (belated) Pi Day!

No, that was not a misspelling.  Yesterday was 3-14, otherwise known as Pi Day!  I’ve been ready to post this recipe ALL week long and yesterday I got so busy that I forgot. Bad blogger!  So here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, ready to share my Pecan Pie with you.  That’s right, I said Pecan Pie.  I was all ready to bring you something delicious and reminiscent of spring but Matt requested a Pecan Pie and he so seldom requests something sweet that I just had to comply with his wishes.

The recipe I used is from no other than The Pioneer Woman.  It’s from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays and yes, I had to turn to the Thanksgiving section. I made a few slight changes to ingredients and the order that things are added but otherwise, the recipe is straight from her brain!

Here’s what I did:

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I started with some Lyle’s Golden Syrup in place of light corn syrup.  Lyle’s hails from England and is pretty common there.  It’s not processed as much as corn syrup and is straight cane syrup.  It IS a special order product though, that I found online, so feel free to use the standard corn syrup in it’s place.  I purchased Lyle’s awhile back when I was trying to recreate and English flapjack, a sort of chewy granola bar, and all the recipes called for it.  I had quite a bit on had some I’m trying to use it up!

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Next some granulated sugar.

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Brown sugar. I used Dark Brown Sugar because that’s pretty much all I keep on had these days.  I think the darker the sugar, the better flavor.  Go big or go home, ya know?

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Next I added the beaten eggs.

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Salt of course to balance out all that sweetness.  I added more than PW, too.  Love salt.

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A good splash of vanilla.  Vanilla is one of those things that I very rarely measure.  I love it and the flavor it gives so I just poured in a splash.  It was much closer to one teaspoon than the 3/4 that PW calls for.

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A gave the ingredients a little stir to partially combine then poured in the melted butter.  Then I stirred until everything was very well combined.

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Chop some pecans.  You make make them a rough chop or chop them more finely.  PW likes the finely chopped, I went for a little chunkier.  It’s totally up to you and your preference.

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Put your pecans in the bottom of your prepared pie crust.

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Then pour that luscious filling on top of the pecans.  Sugar and butter, does it get any better than that?

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The pecans will float to the top.

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Lightly tent with foil and place on a baking sheet just in case it boils over.  Cook it for 35 minutes then remove the foil and cook for 25-30 more.  My pie required considerably more time and I believe it took longer to set because of the golden syrup.  You’ll know your pie is done when I knife inserted near the middle comes out clean.  I kept jiggling my pie and it was still jiggly in the middle so I did the knife test instead.

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Remove pie and let cool, on a cooling rack, several hours until no longer warm.  I totally couldn’t wait that long and cut into it when it was still slightly warm but man was it delicious!  I like pie no matter the temperature.

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Here she is in all her beauty!  The extended baking time of my pie really had me worried about my crust.  It was actually way crispier that I’ve ever made one before but it was flaky, delicious and a perfect vehicle for the gooey pecan pie.  I hope you take the time to make this someday.  It was totally worth it!

Pecan Pie

1 cup light corn syrup (or Lyle’s Golden Syrup)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark, your preference

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 heaping cup chopped pecans (not pecans, chopped-there’s a difference people!)

1 recipe for Basic Flaky Pie Crust, prepared and uncooked

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except the pecans, and stir well to combine.  Sprinkle the pecans in an even layer over your prepared pie crust then pour the wet ingredients over the pecans.  Place pie on a baking sheet and lightly tent it with foil.  Bake for 35 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 25-30 minutes more or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Even if your pie is jiggly in the middle, you may want to check for doneness.  When you’ve determined your pie is done, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Cool completely before serving.

Enjoy everyone and thanks for reading!

Until next time, happy baking!

Love,

Callie

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My favorite pie crust

My favorite pie crust

So, I love to make pie.  I love to eat pie.  I love when other people eat pie that I’ve made.  If there were other things to do with pie, I’m sure I’d love doing those, too.  With every good slice of pie, there’s a (hopefully) good crust.  Everyone has their own way of making pie crust, too.  Butter or shortening.  Egg or no egg.  Vinegar. Cold water.  Sugar or not.  This crust recipe comes from Ken Haedrich‘s pie bible: PIE, one of my favorite cookbooks of all time (I had it checked out from the library for months at a time.  I eventually had to buy my own because I got tired of racking up late fees!)  It’s got shortening for flakiness and butter for flavor.  It’s chilled to make it easier to handle and it bakes up like a dream.  I’ll be posting a pie recipe soon and this is the crust I use!

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Start with your flour, sugar and salt.

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Whisk ’em together.

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Cube up the shortening and butter and dot them randomly into your flour mixture.

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Give ’em a toss to make sure all the pieces are well coated.

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Using your pastry blender (or two knives or your fingers) cut the fat into the flour.  You’ll have roughly small pea-sized chunks when you’re done.

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Drizzle the cold water over the mixture.  Start with about half the water and add more as needed.

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Using a spatula (Ken recommends a fork and he’s right, a fork is good for this and it’s what I normally use.  Don’t ask me what I was thinking with the spatula.), toss the mixture around scraping up from the bottom and giving it a toss.  Kind of like folding the dough in on itself and making sure as much of the flour is incorporated as possible.  You may need to add more water when mixing by hand.  I kept sprinkling on a little water and tossing the mixture around until there was no dry flour left underneath and I could compress the mixture into a ball.

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Lightly flour a work surface and turn your dough ball out onto it.  Lightly sprinkle with flour on top.  Knead the dough 2-3 times until relatively smooth.  DON’T overwork the dough or you’ll have a tough pie crust!

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Flatten into a 3/4″-1″ thick disk and wrap in cling wrap.  Now, pop that baby in the fridge for NO LESS than 30 minutes but and hour is really best.  I was in a bit of a rush this time so mine probably only got about 30 minutes.  It wasn’t the end of the world.

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When you’re ready, lay out a sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle lightly with flour.

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Roll your dough out into a 12″ circle.

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Now here’s the fun part: don’t roll the dough around your pin or fold it in quarters and try to get in it your pan, oh no!  You’re going to take your dough, waxed paper and all and flip it, dough side down, into your pie pan.  Get it centered then peel off the waxed paper by pulling it straight back towards you (not up and away).  Make sure you pie dough is tucked into the pan nice and neat.

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Trim the rough edges and use your preferred crust finishing method.  I use my left thumb knuckle and two fingers from my right hand to crimp the edges.

You’re now ready to pre-bake your pie shell or fill it with something yummy and then bake it up nice and golden brown.  Here’s the recipe:

Basic Flaky Pie Pastry

1 1/2 c All Purpose Flour                          1 1/2 t sugar

1/2 t salt                                                    1/4 c (1/2 stick) cold butter, cubed

1/4 c cold vegetable shortening, cubed    1/4 c cold water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together to combine.  Scatter butter and shortening over the flour and toss to coat.  Work the fat in with your pastry blender (or two knives or your fingers) until the mixture resembles small peas.  Sprinkle half the water over the mixture and toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture.  Add remaining water 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl on the upstroke and pressing down on the downstroke.  Dough made by hand often needs a bit more water.  If necessary, add water 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time until pastry can be packed.  Using your hands, pack the pastry into a ball.  Knead once or twice then flatten into 3/4″ disk and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling.

Tips: Refrigerating the dough is super important because it helps the fats solidify again and makes the dough easier to handle.  I probably only chilled mine for a half hour and it ended up working out just fine for me, but I’ve also made a lot of pies and I have a pretty good ‘feel’ for the dough and what it should look and feel like.  If it’s too soft, chill it another 30 minutes and it should be easier to handle.  Ken also suggests chilling your pie shell once you have it in the pie pan so it can set up again and be more sturdy for when you add the filling.  I often do that but this time I was in a rush so I skipped that step.

Stay tuned for a yummy, not-so-springlike pie. 🙂

Keep baking!

See you soon!

Love, Callie

Cooking In General or What I’ve Found To Be True

Cooking In General or What I’ve Found To Be True

Hi there!  I hope you’re having a great start to your week!  I’m dragging today because I watched the Oscars last night and I thought they would never. ever. end.  Also, Noah woke me up a couple of times last night so needless to say, today, I’m tired!

I can’t wait to share my next recipe with you!  I haven’t yet decided what to call it, but last week Stef from The Cupcake Project posted her recipe for Chocolate Potato Chip PMS Pie and suddenly visions of chocolate chip cookies and potato chip pie crust were dancing in my head- with Ruffles of course!  I would love to crank this pie right out and post it today but our kitchen floor is currently being renovated, by Matt, so I won’t have full access to my oven for a few days.  Sigh.  Bear with me, please? It’s coming very soon, I promise, and it will be worth it when it arrives!

Now, on to the “meat” of this post if you will.  I am a self-taught baker and cook. I’ve learned a lot over the years that I’ve picked up from family members, in books or on the internet and from personal experience.   I think that the most important lesson I’ve taken from all I’ve learned is: failure.  Recipes fail due to the recipe or more often that not, my error.  Every thing that I cook or bake will not always be perfect or turn out the way I’d wish.  My chicken may be underdone and then when I cook it more then it will inevitably come out dry, I may forget to add the leavening to a cake, the sauce may not thicken like it’s supposed to or maybe my butter is too soft or too cold for my frosting.   The list really can go on and on.  With every failure comes a lesson to be learned.  I try to listen to my instincts.  They rarely steer me wrong.  Mainly, though, I’m not perfect (though I really try to be when it comes to my cooking and baking).

Here at Babydoll Bakes, I will always endeavor to share the best recipes with you time and again.  If you try a recipe and something doesn’t come out right, let me know and we’ll try to figure it out together.  I would love to hear your feedback!  I also want you to know that I appreciate your being here and sharing in this experience with me.  Without you, I couldn’t be here!

Thanks for reading!  I’ll be back very soon to share more delicious eats!  Until then, happy baking!

Love,

Callie