Late night KAW

cat_momNovember 22, 2013

My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner; homemade pecan pies:

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Oh YUM !! Love pecan piiiiiiie ! Beautiful crusts and love the pretty design . I just toss them in willy-nilly :) c

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 2:31AM
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I can tell you spent time getting those pecans arranged just so. A bourbon whipped cream would top those off just dandy.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 4:18AM
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    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 5:13AM
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Ooh nice job cat! Love the design.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 7:24AM
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What a beautiful labor of love! It shows that you so carefully fluted the crusts, and laid in the pecans one at a time, after picking out the prettiest whole ones! Home-made at its very finest! YUMMM!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 7:53AM
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Soooo....where's dinner and what's the address? Looks yummy! My presentations skills aren't nearly as pretty. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:41AM
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they look fantastic!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Those came out beautifully. A question: Because I am always curious about what can be done in advance, do those freeze? How will you preserve them until Thanksgiving?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Those are little works of art! Perfectly fluted and beautifully arranged. I second kitchendetective's question: how will you keep these treasures until Thanksgiving?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:32AM
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You have to keep those until Thanksgiving?? I thought they were just for practice and you could eat them today with coffee! That is what I would do ;)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Oh yum!!!

I could never keep those until thanksgiving; they'd be down the hatch by the end of the weekend, tops. :)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:49AM
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You guys are too kind! Thank you!

I've always picked out the nice whole pecans for arranging on the top of my pies. I just like the way it looks. :) Fluting the crust edges nicely is always hit or miss for me--an addition to my crust (see below) helped a great deal this time I think.

In answer to the question: yes, it freezes very well. I wrap the pie with layers of aluminum foil--using a piece of no-stick foil over the top of the pie, though it's not really necessary (as it is with chocolate cheesecake for ex. which also freezes well!). Then, I put the foil wrapped pie(s) in a large (2 gal) ziploc bag, and suck out as much air as I can (seal bag most of the way, stick a straw in the opening remaining, and suck out the air and then fully seal the bag). I like the pie served warm, so I try to underbake the crust so it doesn't end up too brown when it's popped in the oven for heating--I bake the pies with aluminum pie shields covering the crust and take them off when there's about 10 min baking time remaining. I take the pie out to defrost the night before I want to serve it (sometimes the day of) and just leave it on the counter fully wrapped.

Confession; while I am notoriously bad about overindulging in cookies and stuff when they come out of the oven, once they end up in the freezer, I can pretty much resist them! Also, after all these years of making pecan pies, I don't eat much of them. They're a little too sweet, even for me, and I like sweet!

I tried something new for the crust this time. Usually, when I remember to (!), I add a tsp of apple cider vinegar to the crust--it's supposed to make it easier to work with, and further tenderize it (to that end, I also use 1/2 a cup of cake flour as per Julia Child's recipe). However, this time, I used vodka instead, from a Cook's Illustrated recipe I had printed out at some point. I might have added a drop more flour, but otherwise followed my usual crust recipe/technique, and just added the vodka (replaced some of the cold water with a few TBS of vodka; Absolut if anyone is wondering!).

The addition of the vodka made the crust extremely supple and super easy to work with--if the end result tastes good, and is nice and flaky and tender, I will be adding vodka to the crust from now on!

Speaking of alcohol (!), I like the idea of bourbon (rather than plain ol') whipped cream!!! I had made bourbon whipped cream to go with that summer berry pavlova this past summer and it was sooooo good! Thanks for the idea LoPay!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:49PM
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I've used that Cook's Illustrated recipe for crust several times, and while I'm not the world's best baker, I'm pretty good when carefully following a recipe, but for some reason, that one is hit or miss with me! Sometimes it's come out perfectly and other times, I feel like it is way too wet or something. Anyway, your pies are beautiful. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 1:45PM
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fourkids4us, if I recall, the recipe did mention something about it being a wet dough. I just followed my regular recipe, but swapped out some of the water for vodka (I used ~4 TBS vodka). Otherwise, ingredients, amounts, and technique, were all my usual "recipe."

Usually my dough is drier/more crumbly when I dump it out of the food processor bowl (I sprinkled a little more flour, One thing I always do after lining the pie pans with the dough, is to freeze the dough-lined pans (uncovered). I do not pre-bake my pie crusts. Freezing the dough, combined with covering the crust/edges with pie shields, means the crust is much less likely to over-brown, which always used to happen on pies with long baking times like pecan pie.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Those pies look delicious! I just had some pecan pie on Wed. when we took dh out for his birthday. It was probably the best pie I've ever had.

Cannot wait until I can share a KAW photo. But first is the reveal which I hope is soon. We are so close!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 6:19PM
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Yum, the pies look delicious!

fourkids4us - this might be a silly question, but when you mentioned this, "Sometimes it's come out perfectly and other times, I feel like it is way too wet or something", I couldn't help but wonder if you weigh out your ingredients on a kitchen scale or do you scoop into a measuring cup? There can be a pretty good amount of difference in the actual weight on a "airy" flour vs a more densely packed flour so actually weighing ingredients helps lessen the variation that can take place.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:06PM
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