Thursday, November 23, 2006

hickory pie

This is pecan pie, New England style--a family tradition in my family, where my dad shells hickory nuts every fall/winter and makes maple syrup early every spring, thus supplying the basic ingredients. You could make this one with pecans if that's what you have, though.

I got the pie crust recipe from the New York Times. If you've seen my peach pie recipe (or even if you haven't) you may note that this one has more butter than usual. A lot more. And you know what? It's really, really, good, and easier to manage than the other one. So you can choose, but know that this is good.

Here's what you need:

for the crust:
10 tbl. very cold butter (up to 3 tbl. can be shortening if you prefer; I think I actually only ended up with 8-9 tbl. in all, 2-1/2 of shortening and the rest a very nice Irish butter).
1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2-5 tbl. cold water

for the filling:
5 eggs
2 tbl. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cups maple syrup
2 cups hickory nuts (or pecans)

Cut the butter/shortening into 1/2 inch bits. Pulse the flour and salt briefly in the food processor, then add the butter/shortening. Pulse until the butter is in pea-sized or slightly smaller pieces. Add water slowly through the feed tube until the dough starts to come together. Dump it out of the processor, form into a ball, flatten into a disk, and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate until you are ready to make the pie. (Overnight is fine.)

Roll out the pie crust* and fit it into a 10 inch pie plate, preferably glass or pottery. Place the nuts in the crust.

Mix together the eggs, butter, syrup, vanilla, and sugar until the eggs are beaten and the sugar is mixed in, but the mixture is not yet frothy. Pour over the nuts in the pie shell.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 35-45 minutes, or until the top puffs up. (If the crust looks like it's browning too fast, cover it with a narrow ring of aluminum foil or one of those things designed for that very purpose. Hmm, that looks like a useful gadget!) Cool and serve with whipped cream.

*Rolling out a pie crust used to scare me to death. They didn't hold together, they stuck to things, I couldn't get them the right size. Then I bought a pastry cloth and rolling pin sock, et voila! Much easier. (The more butter thing helps, too!)

1 comment:

Mom said...

I hope you sorted the nuts carefully to eliminate the bits of hard shell! A tooth-breaker proves it's hickory nuts, but ouch!