Monday, September 19, 2011

Buttermilk Pecan Pie

I love watching P. Allen Smith on Create TV (we don't have cable or satellite so Create TV is like my Food Network and HGTV rolled into one). When I saw the recipes he was making in this particular episode, I immediately ran for a notepad to write them down - Buttermilk Pecan Pie and Blackberry Jam Cake, both requiring buttermilk and both sounding delicious!

Buttermilk Pecan Pie
Recipe from P. Allen Smith's Garden Home
Note: I searched the P. Allen Smith website for the Buttermilk Pecan Pie recipe but couldn't find it. I wrote the recipe down from the show just as it is written below. If you plan to make this, please see the notes following the recipe.

1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. flour
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 uncooked pie shell (I used a homemade 9" deep dish)
1 c. toasted pecans, coarsely crushed (mine were toasted with a coating of corn syrup and brown sugar)

With an electric mixer or whisk, mix together butter, sugar, buttermilk and flour. Add eggs, vanilla and salt and continue to mix together. pour into prepared pie shell. Evenly sprinkle toasted pecans on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Recipe notes:
  1. P. Allen Smith just mentioned his pecans were toasted with corn syrup and sugar (he didn't specify what kind of sugar). He didn't give a recipe for it. I mixed about 1/4 cup of light corn syrup with approximately 3 Tbs of brown sugar, stirred in the pecans (before they were crushed), and spread the pecans on a foil lined cookie sheet. I placed them in the middle of a 275 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. I didn't keep track of the time, but when I noticed the coating was a golden bubbly goo around the pecans and the smell of toasted nuts filled the kitchen, I removed them to cool completely. I placed them in a zip top bag and pounded them with a rolling pin before sprinkling them on the pie.
  2. P. Allen Smith is in Arkansas. I am in Colorado. I have never made a custard pie in Colorado so I don't know if the altitude affects them at all. After baking the pie for the specified 50 minutes, I noticed the middle was still pretty liquid-y. Even after letting the pie cool completely, the middle had not set. I re-heated the oven and baked it in 2 more 10 minute spurts (for a total baking time of  1 hr. 10 min.). This still did not help set the middle. The pie was cooked completely and it tasted fantastic (enough to make sure this pie is part of every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner from now on), but I'm going to try this recipe again using an additional egg and/or more flour. I do want to note that the P. Allen Smith website, while missing the Buttermilk Pecan Pie recipe, has a Buttermilk Pie recipe that has a very similar filling but has even less flour.

The softness of the middle was only a cosmetic issue and didn't stop us from eating every bite of this delicious pie! The Blackberry Jam Cake is next in line to be tried. I have to use up the rest of the buttermilk!

11/25/2011 Update: I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and added an additional egg and 1 Tbs. flour. I only needed to bake it for 60 minutes. The resulting pie was MUCH more solid and didn't seem to affect the taste at all. The top was a lot browner, though. Will said he didn't mind the goopy-ness of the first version. It was something to "sop up" with his pie crust but we agreed that if we were making it for others, we would definitely make the modified version if only to make the pie easier to serve.

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