I've been baking pecan pies for years, with a recipe derived from one that does not have you blind bake the crust.(You bake it initially for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, the reduce the heat for the rest of the cooking time.)

It has never occurred to me to blind bake the crust, because the pie seems pretty darn good, as is. I'm wondering though . . . would it be better if I did blind bake the crust? I'll be using James Beard's classic crust recipe made in the Cuisinart (butter based), most likely. Thanks so much. ;o)



AntoniaJames November 24, 2010
Okay, here's a follow up (for Soozll or anyone else with expertise on the subject) about that press-in (or not) butter and sour cream crust, which I am eagerly looking forward to making tonight . . . . can the crust be kept in the freezer for longer than 1/2 hour before using and if so, are any adjustments necessary? If I could split up the project, so that I didn't have to pre-bake, then fill and bake it, all in the same kitchen session, that would be so helpful, given the other demands on my time for the next 24 hours. Thank you!! ;o)
Soozll November 21, 2010
Antonia..it's very similar to Paula Deen's recipe for the crust of her Peach Cream pie.

1 1/4 cups Flour, all purpose
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (4oz) cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
2-3 tbsps sour cream

In food processor or with a pastry cutter, blend flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and cut it into the flour mixture until it's the texture of course meal with some pea size bits of butter. Add the sour cream and stir it in briskly until the mixture forms moist clumps. Just until it forms clumps..don't mix it too zealously! (by hand this take some patience! Use the food processor or a mixer. No,really! It's tedious by hand!)

Gather the clumps together and press evenly into a 9inch shallow pie plate and crimp the edge, You can chill it and roll it out between sheets of plastic wrap too. It's a softer dough than regular crust, so keep it really cool if rolling. (I actually prefer to roll it now to insure an even thickness in the pie plate)

Chill the pie plate in the freezer for 1/2 hour. Line the frozen crust tightly with foil and weight it with pie weights, par bake at 425 for 20 minutes, reduce temp to 375, remove weights and foil and bake 10 minutes more or until puffy, dry and set and only beginning to darken.. Remove and cool on a wire rack until ready to use. Finish baking as directly by your pie recipe. Cover edges when they are the color you want them to remain.

I've found it's Important to freeze the dough and dock it really well if you don't use weights. It's so soft and it will slump down the sides of the plate if you aren't careful!

It's a delicious crust and I use it alot for cream or custard pies. It tastes like shortbread almost. You can fragrance the sugar by rubbing it with a sliver of lemon or orange zest for a hint of those flavors, too. I love this crust!

AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
hardlikearmour, thank you so much! This is great news. Now, back to my client work (alas . . . but a small price for having my own law practice and the freedom it gives me generally). ;o)
hardlikearmour November 21, 2010
Make it the night before. Once it's fully cool, tightly wrap it in foil and store at room temp. If you want to serve it warm, heat it uncovered at 250 for 15ish minutes.
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
hardlikearmour, that is great information about heating the filling. Foodpickle is the best thing that has happened to my cooking, well, at least since I discovered food52 (one year ago this week!!) Thank you! I'm going to try this. Yipppeeeee!! ;o) By the way, how far in advance can one make a pecan pie? Is the night before okay? I could do it early in the morning of T-Day if I wake up even earlier than usual, but I can probably handle doing it in the evening, too. I've always made our pies on the day they're served. Thank you again.;o)
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
Okay, Soozll, you simply must direct me to that pie crust recipe (or send it if you can't post due to copyright issues). Please! We may doing a bit more experimenting than initially planned. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ;o)
hardlikearmour November 21, 2010
My recipe calls for heating the filling in a bowl set in a skillet of water that is not quite simmering, and heating it to 130 F before stirring in the pecans and pouring it into the crust. I generally use corn syrup, but think I'll try the Lyle's this year. I have some for making ANZAC biscuits, and love the flavor of it. What a great idea!
Soozll November 21, 2010
I use a butter and sour cream, press in crust for my pecan pie and it instructs you to par bake it. I'd par bake any style crust, though.
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
hardlikearmour, my filling isn't hot. It goes in cold. It's a traditional Southern style filling (or so I'm told) with eggs, sweeteners (brown sugar plus Lyle's golden syrup, which I use instead of corn syrup), vanilla plus a few other things, and lots of chopped pecans, then topped with full pecan halves all over the top. I suppose I could heat the filling gently before putting it into the pie. Very interesting idea . . . . thank you!! ;o)
hardlikearmour November 21, 2010
I love, love, love pecan pie, and I always blind bake the crust. Parbake instructions: 375 degrees, 25-30 minutes with foil and weights, then 5-6 minutes without foil and weights. Add the hot pie filling to the hot crust, and finish baking. Keeps the crust nice and crisp.
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
Thanks, drbabs! I have to frame it with foil anyway. But I agree that's an issue; I'd have to keep an eye on it. To answer your question, the pie is tasty, but my obsessive inner engineer is just wondering if it could be even better by blind baking. ;o)
drbabs November 21, 2010
I would think that the edges might burn if you blind bake it first. I suppose you could blind bake the crust and then cover the edges with foil as you bake the full pie, but if your crust is already good, why mess with it?
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