Psst! You, there with the sack of pecans in your hand, c'mere. I've got a secret for you. This must-have dessert for your Thanksgiving table can make an appearance at Christmas and all through the holidays.
You make pecan pies every year, and they taste fine, but the filling always oozes out of the slices and it never seems to set up as tall as you'd like. If you want to fix that, here's the secret: You have to make candy before you make pie! By cooking the sugar, corn syrup and molasses to roughly a "soft ball" stage (that's candy terminology), you'll give it the extra consistency it needs to hold together and stand tall. And it tastes better, too!
When it comes to the corn syrup in this recipe, I use half dark and half light, but you can mix to heart's content.
Another trick: LIGHTLY (and I do mean lightly) toasting the pecans gets them started on their journey to toasty, crunchy deliciousness. Just give them three minutes or so in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. They will not be completely toasted when you take them out ... this is just a kickstart.
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 tbsp. molasses (blackstrap if you can get it)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups pecans pieces, lightly toasted
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
Place sugar, molasses and syrup in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, watching carefully and stirring frequently. Boil for three minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the eggs and slowly stir in the cooled syrup mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in butter, vanilla, salt and pecans. Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until set. If you are baking multiple pies at once, this time may need to be lengthened a bit.