Recipes from Home: Texas State Fair Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie 2

Pecan pie makes me think of my Dad. He grew award-winning pecans – 2nd place in the 2004 Texas State competition! – and started baking pies with them after I left home for college. He shared his favorite recipe with me a few years ago (although credit goes to Bobby Lee, the winner of the 1996 State Fair of Texas pie competition).

I can’t use those same homegrown pecans anymore and I have challenges with getting the pie to set properly (why is mine always so runny? I asked my Dad just that today and he seemed surprised that my pies don’t turn out as good as his), but I still make this pie when I’m missing home….

What? You don’t feel like baking? You don’t have to! Order up a pie from Goode Company , based in Houston, TX – it even comes in a pine gift box with the company’s slogan on it.

Favorite pairings with this recipe?  My Dad would say vanilla bean ice-cream.  I vote for a glass of cold milk!

Happy Baking!  xxoo Brooke


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

1 1/2 cups pecan halves (51/2 ounces)
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs

In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the ice water and pulse until the pastry is evenly moistened. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Form the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry 1/8 inch thick; transfer into a deep 10-inch glass pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold the edge of the pastry under and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork in a few places. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edge. Remove the paper and weights and bake the shell for 15 minutes longer, or until it is lightly golden. Leave the oven on.

In a pie plate, toast the pecans for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, milk, flour, vanilla seeds and salt. Cook over moderate heat just until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Gradually whisk in the hot sugar mixture until thoroughly blended. Spread the toasted pecans in the bottom of the pie shell and pour the filling on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the center is just barely set and the crust is golden brown. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The pie can be baked up to 1 day ahead. Store, covered, at room temperature. The pie shell can be wrapped well and frozen for up to 1 month.