Southern Pecan Pie


1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
1 cup pecan halves
1 (1-pound) box light brown sugar
1/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
5 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine


Make the pastry: Place flour and salt in a shallow mixing bowl and cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over surface, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix in lightly and quickly with a fork, just until pastry holds together.
Shape gently into a ball on a lightly floured pastry cloth, then flatten into a circle about 1” thick, evening up rough edges. Using a lightly floured, stockinette-covered rolling pin and short, firm strokes, roll into a circle about 3” larger than the pan you plan to use.
To transfer pastry to pan, lay rolling pin across center of pastry circle, fold half of pastry over pin and ease into pan; press lightly. Seal any cracks or holes by pressing dampened scraps of pastry on top. Trim pastry so it hangs evenly 1” over rim, roll overhang under even with rim and crimp or flute.
Make pastry as directed and fit into a 9” piepan; do not bake. Arrange pecans in concentric rings over bottom of pastry.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Blend sugar, flour, and salt, then mix in milk and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, using a wire whisk or rotary beater; mix in butter, a little at a time. Pour filling over pecans.
Bake pie 1 hour and 15 minutes or until filling is puffy and crust golden. Serve at room temperature. And cut the pieces small–the pie is rich.
Processor Pastry: Place flour and salt in work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and snap motor on and off once or twice to blend.
Cut 3 tablespoons very cold butter and 2 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening into small pieces and scatter over surface of flour mixture; cut in using 4-5 one-second churnings of the motor (mixture should be the texture of coarse meal).
Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons water over surface of fat-flour mixture and mix in by snapping motor on and off twice; repeat with another 1½ tablespoons water, then repeat a third time, working in remaining 1 tablespoon water. Mixture will be crumbly, but do not mix further because you will toughen the pastry.
Transfer pastry to a piece of plastic food wrap, shape into a pone ab
Cheese Pastry: Prepare as directed but toss ½ cup finely grated Cheddar cheese into With a slotted spoon lift fish to a deep platter, top with sauce and, if you like, minced coral.


To Bake an Unfilled Pie Shell: Preheat oven to 425°F. Prick bottom and sides of pastry well with a fork. To minimize shrinkage, lay a large square of wax paper over crust and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans (experienced cooks keep a jar on hand, using beans or rice over and over). Bake pastry 10-12 minutes, just until tan. Lift out paper of rice. Cool before filling unless recipes direct otherwise. To Bake a Filled Pie Shell: Follow directions given in individual recipes.




Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 5:55pm


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