Ann's Pecan Pie
1 c butter
1 c light brown sugar
1 c light corn syrup
2 t pure vanilla extract, or other flavoring, see below
1/2 tsp salt if using unsalted butter
1 1/2 c pecans, mostly whole
1 partially baked 10 in pie crust
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until sugar dissolves and ''forms the ribbon''. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla or other flavoring. Fold in nuts. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 425 F for 20 min, then at 375F for another 30-40min, on the bottom shelf of the oven. Pie will puff up and brown, and may jiggle slightly all over, but should be set in the center. If the crust seems to be browning too much, cover the crust with Al foil or a pie ring.
Substitutions and notes: 2 tablespoons Jamacian rum or bourbon for the vanilla. Ann finds dark brown sugar, dark corn syrup or addition of molasses to be too strong and to mask the flavor of the pecans. Only using egg yolks, some authorities recommending up to 8 yolks (!), seems unnecessarily fussy. Save the honey for lebkuchen or tea. Ann has never used Britain's golden syrup or sorghum.
Alternate method (classic pie): Melt, then slightly cooled butter. Whisk eggs well with sugar, then add corn syrup. Whisk in slightly cooled melted butter, then flavoring. Scatter pecans in bottom of pie crust. Pour in egg-sugar mixture. Bake as directed above. Pie is more transparent.
Pecan Tassies: Fit or mold crust into about 12-15 tart pans or muffin tins. Do not prebake. Break about 4-5 pecans into each tart. Fill with pie filling. Bake @ 425 F for 15 min, then 375F for another 15 min, or until done. Serve at or bring to a holiday party with the cookie plate. Caution: None will be left, so be sure to eat one before hand.
Pairs Well With
Ann first discovered pecan pie at Thanksgiving with Ruth and Howard when Jennifer was about 2 1/2. Ruth and Howard were interns at Vanderbilt in Tennessee. She got covered with chocolate dream pie, another Southern tradition, and maybe even ate some. Pecan pie has been a tradition ever since. Last baked in 2011, we used Ruth's recipe for cream cheese pastry, which seemed to tame down the sweetness of the pie. I think it was the best ever yet.