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Posts tagged ‘Pecan Pie’

Thanksgiving Preparation

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom for food52

I don’t know where the time went, next week is Thanksgiving. It dawned on me today so I started prepping. I make the same thing every single year, no change there would be a coup if I did. Part of me didn’t want Thanksgiving to get here even though it’s my favorite holiday, it’s my first without Izzy and Nando and I feel sad.  That said I have started prepping, write the shopping list, order the turkey, make what I can in advance, bread cubes are drying in oven as I type this. Took a whole chicken out of the freezer to make stock. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into one meal and I do what I can in advance. Is that what you do? I usually have 8-10 here for Thanksgiving. How many do you have over?

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What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you cook/host the meal or go to friends or relatives. Have you started preparing? Would love to know what everyone does, I know that some of you from other countries do not celebrate Thanksgiving. What is on the menu at your house? Traditional or non traditional or a mixture of both. Here is my menu with links to the recipes.

Butter and herb roasted turkey

Dressing

mashed potatoes- yukon gold, sour cream. butter salt and pepper

brussels sprouts- oven roasted

corn – steamed and served with some butter

homemade potato dinner rolls

cranberry sauce- use the recipe on the ocean spray package but sub fresh squeezed orange juice for the water and add some orange zest.

pumpkin and pecan pie – I usually just use the pumpkin pie recipe on the can of LIbby’s pumpkin, may do something different this year from my good friend Johnny at Kitschen Flavors.

I have a pretty strict time line making as much as I can in advance.

Done in advance:

Make chicken stock (need for dressing)

Make cornbread and air dry (2 days before I make the dressing)

Dry bread cubes for dressing (doing that today)

Cranberry sauce made ahead and refrigerated (making it this weekend)

Make compound butter for turkey (Monday)

Make pie dough and refrigerate (Tuesday)

Day before:

Prep the turkey putting the compound butter under the skin, and refrigerate.

Make dressing cover refrigerate.

Make the bread dough, form into rolls, cover and refrigerate until a few hours before baking them.

Make the pies plus an extra for a friend, the apple and pear tart

Thanksgiving Day:

We eat late around 5:30 or 6PM. I’ve heard that most eat early like lunch time. This is actually the easiest day, I have already done a lot of the work. Set the table, get the wine ready, refrigerate the white, let the red breathe/decant.

Turkey goes in at around noon – I get at 18-20 lb turkey and it’s done in 3 ish hours because of the fast cooking method I use in my graniteware pan.

Peel potatoes and cut and let sit in cold salted water until ready to boil. (Usually around 4PM)

Make the corn and brussels sprouts.

Bake the dressing

Bake the rolls right before dinner is served so they are hot.

Whew, it’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love Thanksgiving!!

Izzy And Nando

Izzy And Nando

 

Classic Pecan Pie With A Twist

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a staple on Thanksgiving at my house. I took a classic pecan pie recipe that I have been using for years (it’s the recipe on a Karo syrup bottle) and I tweaked it by soaking the pecans in cognac (you can use the booze of your choice, bourbon or brandy come to mind) the pecans are then slowly oven dried I also subbed Lyles golden syrup for the clear Karo, I also added an extra egg. The cognac infused pecans are delicious (kept sneaking a nut or two) and for the filling I used vanilla sugar instead of adding vanilla extract and I flavored with cognac. The booze is optional of course you can use this recipe to make a classic pecan pie but the addition of the cognac makes it more festive. Use your favorite pastry recipe. I always use the Julia Child master pastry recipe. I always have a container of vanilla sugar on hand, simply add a split vanilla bean to a container of sugar, cover and let sit so that the vanilla infuses the sugar.

Makes One 9 inch pie

The boozy pecans:

  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup cognac or bourbon or brandy
  • OPTIONAL you can add a cinnamon stick, whole allspice, cardamom pod or whatever spice you like to the cognac for spiced boozy pecans.
  1. Pour your cognac in a saucepan and bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour onto your pecans. Place them in a covered container and let them sit at least 6 hours preferably overnight.
  2. When the pecans have finished their soak, drain (don’t discard the booze it will look cloudy but thats ok, I use it for flavoring, you will need a tsp for the filling) Turn your oven on to the lowest temperature (mine is 170) line small sheet pan with parchment and spread the nuts. Let them dry in the oven for 4-6 hours.

Making the pie:

  • Your favorite pastry crust or store bought dough
  • 4  large eggs at room temperature (or 3 extra large)
  • 1/4 cup dark Karo syrup
  • 3/4 cups Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar or regular granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of your reserved booze or vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup of your boozy pecans
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. In mixing bowl add the eggs, just break the yolks and lightly beat them, now add the syrups, sugar, butter and flavoring. Mix with a spoon just until combined. Add the pecans and stir just to mix it all together.
  2. Place dough into 9 inch pie pan, pour in the filling and bake for 60-70 minutes. The middle of the pie should jiggle slightly when lightly touched. Remove from oven let cool completely before serving.