I picked up an old edition of New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant at Goodwill recently, and last night I got to try its take on pecan pie. They call it "Southern Nut Pie Eudora," and it caught my eye because it's the only pecan pie recipe I've ever seen that doesn't use corn syrup. The sweetness is provided with maple syrup instead. Of course, I had to make it my own by adding whiskey. The filling is more like a custard than other pecan pies I've tried, and it is of course very sweet. It's the perfect pie to enjoy on a rainy evening.
Note on the crust: I used my usual vodka pie crust recipe, but replaced one cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. The result was not as tender or buttery as a white flour crust, but the extra heartiness nicely offset the sweetness of this pie.
Note on measurement: The recipe calls for 1 cup of maple syrup. I filled a liquid measuring cup to within a quarter inch of the 1-cup line with syrup, then filled up the rest of the cup with whiskey. I have no idea how much this actually was, but it is obviously not an exact science. You could definitely leave the whiskey out, or use less, or use rum instead. It's your pie, make it the way you want!
What you need:
Dough for a single-crust pie, chilled for at least 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, well beaten
a little less than 1 cup maple syrup
a little whiskey (enough to bring the maple syrup up to a full cup)
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the dough and place in a buttered pie dish. Spread the nuts evenly across the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, vanilla, and flour. Add the salt, eggs, maple syrup, and cream, and mix thoroughly. Pour the liquid mixture over the nuts in the pie shell. The nuts will float. Push them down into the liquid with the back of a spoon to wet them, so they won't burn during baking.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pie cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Eat your decadent sweet pie.