Next Up: Pecan Pie

I might not get these posts up before the first of the year, but then again you never know! To all those who looked in, commented and heckled this year (I’m look at you, Chris from Down Under) — thanks for helping me through another fun and productive twelve months. A very merry everything to everybody and see you soon! – Joe

60 thoughts on “Next Up: Pecan Pie”

  1. Merry Christmas to you and the entire Pastry family. I can’t wait for Pecan Pie…my teeth are aching already, but in a good way!

    1. Thanks, Brian, and a happy New Year to you! And I know what you mean. I’ll see what I can do to lower the tooth-curling sweetness of the thing.

      – Joe

  2. Best of the season to you And wishes for a happy, healthy and profitable 2015. This place has become an almost daily stop and has really encouraged me to get baking some seriously fine things. Thanks so much.

    1. Same to you, Frankly! I have no idea what 2015 will bring baking-wise, but more of the usual nonsense is assured!

      – Joe

  3. Merry Christmas to you and to those you love, Mr. Pastry. Thank you for another excellent year of education and entertainment. Looking forward to reading you words in 2015 as well.

  4. Merry Christmas to you too, Joe! I haven’t been commenting as much over the last 12 months (or baking, alas), but I’ve been reading faithfully all along. Yours remains one of my very favourite corners of the internet! All the best for pastries and Pastries in 2015 🙂

    1. Hey Jen!

      Nice to hear from you and thanks for all the kind words! I expect 2015 will be a very good year!

      – Joe

  5. My husband’s cousin’s DIL (English doesn’t have enough words for relationships) made a wonderful error in pecan pie: she assumed that syrup meant maple syrup. The pie is spectacular, of course! Other than that it has much the same ingredients in much the same proportions as other, lesser pecan pies.

      1. I did that this Thanksgiving! Thought I had more corn syrup in the pantry than I did, ended up using half dark corn syrup, half grade b maple syrup… It was a glorious accident, and I’ll never do it any other way. Embrace the sweetness, cut small slices.

        1. (The recipe I failed to follow was out of America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook– seemed fairly standard except it said to parbake the crust)

  6. A belated but sincere nonetheless Merry Christmas, Joe. Your nook of the web will remain one of the few daily constants in my online reading time throughout the next year, too.

    1. Same to you Dani! Several days of Christmas remain, so you’re by no means late. I’ll look forward to seeing you after the first. Have a lovely and safe New Year’s!

      – Joe

  7. Merry Christmas Joe, to you, your extremely patient wife and the two little pastries.

    Have a good rest, it will soon be 2015 and another year of challenges.

    1. Ah yes, the long suffering Mrs. Pastry will appreciate that, Warren! Merry Christmas (there are still 9 days left) and a happy New Year to you as well. See you in 2015.

      – Joe

  8. Best wishes to you and your family! Thank you for sharing your passion with readers, inspiring and educating us, and always finding new, exciting baking projects!

    1. What a delightful comment, Antuanete! Thanks for all your participation this past year. I have greatly appreciated it. On to 2015!


      – Joe

  9. Wow! This is my mom’s favourite. Here’s another recipe of yours I’ll be following.

    Oh yes, and Merry Christmas!

    1. “Booze” just happens to be one of my very favorite words, Monica! I’ll be careful not to leave it out. 😉

      – Joe

    1. Thought I might get a rise out of you over that one, CfDU!

      Cheers and have a happy New Year!

      – Joe

  10. Can’t wait! Just finished mini pecan tartlettes this morning from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new book with the bake along. Added Kahlua and it is amazing. Really cuts the sweetness and rounds out the flavor. Others used different alcohol. Wasn’t called for, we sort of strayed and winged it!

    1. I don’t have that book yet but it sounds like another inspired idea from RLB. Thanks, Vicki!

      – Joe

    2. I sub Kahlua, Grand Marnier and other liqueurs for vanilla all the time and I think changing things up makes them a little more interesting.

      I once had a chance to ask Nick Malgieri about it and he thought tripling the amount would be recommended to get the equivalent density of flavor. I worried about that but I haven’t found the increased liquid to interfere much even in cookies. Cakes work very well.

  11. Best to you and yours, Joe. I look forward to another year of your great posts! (And this year, I may actually attempt more than one of them.)

  12. I sent you a Pecan Pie recipe with no syrup in it. It is really good. 🙂 🙂

    Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. I’m looking forward to this, because Pecan remains the one pie that NEVER turns out for me, and I usually use the recipe on the back of the Karo bottle.

    Maybe your recipe will be the turning point for me.

    BTW – I hope you and your family had a great Christmas (and will have a good new year)! 🙂

    1. We did, thanks Andrew! I’m sure I’m not alone in observing how tough it is to get back into the routine after so much time in holiday mode. I need a vacation.

      I’ll do my best here…looking forward to the attempt! Cheers,

      – Joe

  14. Happy New Year Joe and Family!
    Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Thank you for inspiring us to bake. Thank you for showing us step-by-step how to conquer the most challenging of pastries. Thank you for sharing how wars and conquering and inventions and history led to such delicious baked items. Thank you for always caring for you readers. You are a rare gem Joe Pastry and I for one am so grateful for all you do for your readers. You are worth so much more than a million cooking magazines or shows. I hope your 2015 is wonderful and I look forward to reading your blog in the coming year. 😀

    P.S. The tip jar should be a little heavier now. 😀

    1. WOW.

      I’ll tell you, Eva, that made my Monday, my January, and possibly my 2015. Who needs caffeine with a wake-me-up good will bracer like that in my in-box?

      Thank you so very much for that, as well as for the very generous tip (which I just looked up). A proper thank you for that to follow.

      Cheers and here’s to 2015!

      – Joe

  15. Happy New Year, Joe!!!

    Listen though, pecan pie is all well and good but what can you suggest to go with this? This strikes me as the way to get a new year going!

    I suspect the cholesterol of egg yolks and bacon fat may instantly turn my blood into a solid so I may not make it far into the year. =o But what a way to go!

    1. Ha! Nice. It would work beautifully on a green salad with a tête-de-brioche on the side, methinks. Maybe with a glass of dry Riesling on the side? Ooh yeah…I’m getting ideas for the weekend already.

      Thanks Rainey and happy New Year to you!

      – Joe

  16. Mr. Pastry,

    I loved the comments to your pecan pie post enough to read them all. I look forward to your post. I love making and eating pecan pie. I tried Vickie’s twist on the recipe and it was good. Best wishes to you in 2015, I will be watching to see what you bake next.

    1. Thanks, Tracy! Happy New Year to you. I’m looking forward to the posts too — I have no idea what they will be! 😉

      Cheers and onward! Your friend,

      – Joe

  17. I have tried quite a few different recipes for pecan pie that do not use karl syrup. The best one I found was on the King Arthur site. It includes a small amount of flour, milk and vinegar. The filling is really good and does not leak. My question is in regards to the vinegar–What role does it play?

    1. Hey Stewart!

      Very interesting question. My guess is that it simply adds tang and — perhaps — helps cut any fatty/greasy mouthfeel from the crust. I can’t think of any functional role for the extra acid. I’ll have a look. Thanks!

      – Joe

      1. Maybe it’s used to make a sort of invert sugar to prevent graininess? That’s what corn syrup is, right?

        By the way, I always add the zest of one lemon to my pecan pie – although it doesn’t seem like a natural combination, it really brightens up the flavor of the custard.

        1. Hey Nicole!

          I may be in error here, but I don’t think corn syrup is technically an invert syrup. That is to say, its optical rotation probably isn’t inverted the way true “invert sugar” is ( but it performs almost identically…so what da hey. But to your main question it’s possible that the intention of the acid is to create invert syrup, though I don’t think you’d get very much invert sugar at that temperature in the time alotted. Sugar starts to “invert”, which is to say, break apart into its constituent molecules, at about 125 degrees Fahrenheit assuming there’s plenty of acid around, but it takes a long time for the reaction to proceed. Most commercial invert sugars are heated to 140, but it takes about 8 hours before enough of the sucrose is inverted that the resulting product can be legally called “invert sugar syrup”.

          A custard like pecan pie filling gels at around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, so the reaction is proceeding somewhat faster before the pie has to be removed from the oven. Still my feeling is that there probably isn’t enough inverted sugar in the cooked filling to make a noticeable difference in the texture. Might make for an interesting experiment though. Up for the challenge? 😉

          If so please report back with your results!


          – Joe

      2. Cook’s Illustrated used it in their maple pie recipe to balance out some of the sweetness (tried it– we ate the pie but I tossed the recipe. It was still far too sweet, though I’m not sure why I expected anything different out of a maple syrup pie.)

        1. Hey again Hillary!

          Yes the interesting thing is that often corn syrup is replaced with something that tastes quite a bit sweeter. Not necessarily an improvement!


          – Joe

  18. I should have said I have high hopes for this. I love pecan pie but not the over sweet murky nut starved version most people seem to favor. I have my own recipe that is not tooth-hurtingly sugary and has a few extra pecans thrown in. but I sure am looking to see if you an turn that up even more.

  19. I just saw a recipe of a raisin and pecan pie that they say takes some of the tooth aching sweetness out of it but gives it an amazing twist and depth of flavor. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s on my list. I will confess pies are not my favorite thing to make. More prep work than baking in my kitchen. And I prefer the baking. But I will admit to liking to EAT pies. My mom made more of those than cakes and cookies when I was growing up and she was a good pie baker. On a side note I tried a lemon meringue tart on NY’s Eve and had dismal success. I never could get it to stiffen and get peaks. I finally managed after about 12 eggs used to keep making it. I even looked at your meringue recipe to see if it was that much different than the one I was trying and they all seemed the same other than the ratio of sugar to white varied. Maybe you can suggest what could have caused all the trouble. I finally did egg whites with some cream of tartar and a bit of salt and that worked and then I added some of my failed meringue to sweeten it and that worked to get some structure to make the topper. Seemed to be something in the heating of the white with the sugar. On a positive note I came online and looked up “uses for failed meringue” and found a recipe that was either English or Australian called “Meringue Jam Slice” that allowed you to use that puddle of meringue on top of some jam bars. Didn’t matter if they didn’t peak for that. HAHA I love the internet for solutions. Hope you and the family had a great Christmas and New Year’s Day!! Here’s to 2015 being even better!!!

    1. We did, Linda. Hope you did too, other than the meringue problems of course. But the problem could very easily have been in the heating step. I generally avoid that where meringues are concerned since it’s not hard to pre-cook the proteins, and when that happens…well, you know the rest!

      Cheers and thanks for the jam bars tip!

      – Joe

  20. Greyson Bakery Cookbook has a wonderful pecan pie recipe using only one egg and baked in a shallow fluted tart tin. Crispy and delicious, I sub Lyles Golden Syrup for the light corn syrup. Looking forward to seeing Mr. Pastry’s version.

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