Sunday, January 18, 2009

Comfort Food

I've been a proponent of comfort foods for as long as I can remember. There is no one to blame for this affection/affliction -- it just is what it is. There's nothing quite like the aroma of beef stew and freshly baked bread on a cold winter evening. To top it off, I've discovered a new favorite dessert [at least for the moment]. It's pecan pie. Since I discovered Trader Joe's frozen pie crusts -- only brand I've found that doesn't contain lard!-- I've rationalized more opportunities to put together a pie. Anyway, the aroma of warm pecans is just too compelling to be ignored! Thaw a pie crust -- or make your own if you're better at it than I am -- and line a 9" deep dish pie plate with it. Make some of those pretty little crimp marks around the edge, or not -- your choice. Evenly spread a generous cup of chopped, toasted pecans over the bottom of the unbaked shell. (Trader Joe's carries the pecans too!) Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, 3 beaten eggs, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 Tbs. brown sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup (yeah, I know -- it's so bad it's good!) 1 stick melted butter (uh uhn - this is a once-a-year kinda pie), 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Beat all this to within an inch of it's life then pour over the pecans in your pie crust. The pecans will magically float to the top to make a pretty pie. Bake on the lowest rack in your oven for 50-55 minutes. If the edges of the crust start to get too dark, cover them with strips of aluminum foil. The pie will set-up as it cools. Self-restraint is a requirement when making this pie. It is NOT one you can dig into fresh out of the oven. If you try to cut it before it's completely cooled it will be runny and decidedly not as appetizing. Trust me; your patience will be rewarded! [Note to my blog buddy with gestational diabetes: please forgive me!]

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