As soon as the fervor of Thanksgiving starts sinking in, you start freaking out about the Dinner menus and the party decor. Are you one of those who are hosting a Holiday dinner at your place, and need Pie recipe inspiration? Or are you invited to a dinner party and feel like taking something special for your friends? Holiday Pies are a great way to indulge in a fuss-free dessert, especially if you start with pre-made pie crust! And if you are tired of the same old Pie flavors, and in desperate need of a change, try this Orange Pecan Pie – you will be surprised how a single ingredient can transform an old-fashioned recipe into something totally new!
This traditional Pecan Pie, which comes from the Woman’s Day Kitchen [photo by Annie Schlechter], gets a fruity makeover by addition of grated orange peel to the filling. Orange pairs beautifully with Pecans; also, any citrus flavor will get enhanced with time, so this is a good recipe to make a day ahead of time and refrigerate. For the more adventurous, add a cup of chocolate shavings on the top before baking to make a Chocolate Orange Pecan Pie, or better yet, add a shot of Grand Mariner for a truly decadent dessert.
Orange Pecan Pie – Traditional Pie with a Citrus Twist
For the Crust
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (1⁄2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 Tbsp ice-cold water
For the Filling
3 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp grated orange peel
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves
1 tbsp Grand Mariner (optional)
Whipped cream – for Garnish
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until dough begins to come together. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Making the Pie
Heat oven to 350ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll disk into a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-in. pie plate, easing onto bottom and sides of the plate. Cut the dough along the edge, leaving a 1-in. border. Fold the edge of dough underneath itself to create a thicker 1/2-inch border that rests on the lip of the pie plate.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, grated orange peel and salt; fold in the chopped pecans. Add the grand mariner, if using it, then evenly fill the crust with this mixture.
Bake until the center of filling is set, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let it cool completely, before trying to cut into wedges. Garnish it with some whipped cream and serve.
Some people like to keep it traditional, especially when it comes to Holiday dinners. But this recipe puts a lovely twist on the traditional Pecan Pie, so be sure to give it a try – after all, Variety is indeed, the spice of life!