My dear sister-in-law has recently discovered that cooking, specifically baking, calms her nerves and puts everything in perspective. Personally, I couldn't agree more. There is something to be said for watching something slowly rise from nothing more than eggs, flour and sugar.
Although in college, she has a working kitchen in her suite and has begun exploring all things food. BRAVO! She told me recently about epically failing at making a Pecan Pie. She must have had an awful recipe because Pecan Pie is one of those things that everyone loves, and should be really easy to make. So this is for her.
Hands down, the best Pecan Recipe I've ever encountered is from the Silver Palate Cookbook. By the way, this should be a staple in everyone's library along with their second book, The Good Times Cookbook. A further nod to the wonderful Sheila Lukins, one of the authors of these great books, who unfortunately just recently passed away. I hope she's enjoying platters of delicious things wherever she may be.
Pie Crust (either homemade or bought. Pre-bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. You don't want it completely cooked, but because the pecan pie is dense, you want the bottom of the crust to get a head start in the baking process)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag raw whole pecans (6oz or between 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
-Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
-Melt butter and set aside
-Whisk eggs very well
-Add sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla to eggs and mix well
-Slowly add butter to the filling while mixing
-Place pecans in the pie crust and add the filling (this is going to be easier if you add the filling while the pie is already in the oven, you avoid that messy walk to the oven while something liquidly is in your hands)
-Bake pie at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to 325 while pie is still in oven
-Bake pie for another 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, not liquidly
*A WARNING! Let it cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Pecan Pie can burn through lead when hot!