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Valentine’s Day Pecan Pie

12 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! I think the blog universe is playing a little trick on me for taking such a looooong time off from updating and posting on my blog. The last two recipes I attempted to make came out, ahem, less than perfect. To be fair, both desserts still taste good {I think} but the presentation has been sub-par, in my opinion. Ah well. It’s how it tastes that really matters, right? …Right?

Anyway…John had been nagging me to make him a pecan pie since, oh, his birthday. I didn’t make one for his birthday. I didn’t make one for Thanksgiving either. To be fair, though, he had some pecan pie at Christmas when we went back east to visit his mom. John then declared that pecan pie is his all-time favorite. So, I decided that I shall bake him a pie as an early Valentine’s Day present, since he loves it oh so much.

I should preface this by saying that I overcooked the crust {oops} because I fail at reading directions. Sometimes I just like to skip steps, I guess. Minus the well-done crust, the pie is actually pretty good. Hopefully when you guys make this, you follow all  the directions!

{no link, this recipe was taken from the back of the Karo syrup bottle}

Ingredients

1 cup corn syrup {there is light and dark syrup. Light has a light color/flavor, and a more vanilla-y taste. Dark corn syrup has molasses in it and has a stronger taste. You can use whichever you want, it doesn’t matter}

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Prepare pie crust according to directions {aka make sure your pie crust is thawed if you are using pre-made and do not bake before!}

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{I went pre-made. I admit I’m not a fan of making my own crusts}

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix well.

Add pecans and stir together

Pour filling into pie crust.

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Reduce oven to 325 degrees! {This is where I messed up, oops}

Bake for 60-70 minutes.

If you find that even when you reduce the heat of the oven, the crust is still over-cooking, cover the edges of the crust with foil. Pie is done when the middle springs back when you tap the side of the pan.

Let pie cool for at least two hours. Store covered in the fridge.

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Tada!

Even though I over did the crust, the pie was boyfriend approved. This is a pretty sweet pie {in taste, and in awesomeness}. If you’re not into lots of sugar, you could probably reduce the 1 cup of sugar to 3/4, or even less, if you’d like.

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Hope you get to spend some sweet time with your sweets! {as in people. And chocolates}

It’s Fall! …Kind Of

28 Oct

Happy last week of October, everyone! That means it’s officially fall, right? Halloween is coming, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and before you know it, Black Friday will be here and twinkle lights will be popping up on every house. This week means pumpkin-flavored everything is in full force {Currently in my pantry, I have pumpkin coffee, a can of pumpkin for baking, pumpkin pancake mix, and pumpkin butter}, the boots come out of storage, and all your fall clothes make an appearance. Unless you live in San Diego, where it’s been 80+ degrees all week! Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE San Diego and I am ecstatic to be back {I am not envious of the hurricane on the East Coast right now, and the snow storms in winter} but I really, really miss fall. Where the leaves change, the air is crisp, and you can smell when people are starting to use their fireplaces. I miss wearing matching flannel shirts with friends, gray fall skies, and going to the pumpkin patch to eat donuts and drink apple cider.

Thanksgiving 2011 with the Nicholsons. In matching flannel, of course.

Today, in an attempt to get some fall into our lives, John and I ventured up to Julian with some friends. The goal was to get inspired to bake some yummy fall recipes {even though it was 80 degrees outside and I couldn’t wear my cute fall outfit I had planned}. Regardless of the heat, we had a great time. We ate, we drank, we picked pumpkins. Success! Speaking of baking, here are some of the fall recipes I’ve been pinning lately.

Pumpkin Rolls

Source: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com via Abra on Pinterest

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Source: kathiecooks.blogspot.com via Abra on Pinterest

Homemade Nutella

{that last one isn’t fall related, but homemade Nutella? What?!}

Any thoughts or suggestions on fall must-bakes this season? Happy Fall!

Marvelous Lemon Meringue Pie

29 May

My dad was in town last week for graduation {YAY BU COM!} and he brought a ton of lemons for me from his backyard in California. Why, you ask? Just because So I could make him lemon meringue pie. My dad actually taught me how to make this delicious dessert years ago, but since then, the student has surpassed the master, aka I make a bangin’ pie and my dad’s attempts have been…well, not impressive, to say the least (Sorry Dad!). This is probably one of the harder recipes that I have made, since it requires a lot of attention, many steps and everything has to be just right in order for the entire pie to work. But the result is scrumptious. I love this pie–it’s the perfect summer recipe because of it’s light, fresh flavor, but I make this pie year-round as well {my family often has this in addition to or instead of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving}. Lemon meringue rivals the other, absolutely favorite dessert, blackberry pie–always homemade in the summer from my dad’s backyard blackberry patch.

The happy graduate

 

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post…this pie went quickly, but I managed to get a picture of the last piece {desserts tend to last longer when I’m home alone and the only one eating them. M&Ms, on the other hand, are a different story}.

the last piece…

Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t turn out exactly perfect, it takes time and practice!

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 eggs, separated {one bowl for eggs yolks, one bowl for egg whites}
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (just a pinch!)
  •  1 1/2 warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 9-inch pie crust

For Meringue

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Pie Filling

  • If you are using a pre-made pie crust, prepare according to package directions (each one is slightly different). If you are making from scratch, follow from recipe book. I’m lazy and never make my own pie crust–the store bought ones taste just as good to me!
  • Pre-heat oven to (number) degrees
  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously {no lumps!} until sauce thickens and boils. This should take about 20-25 minutes. The sauce usually starts to boil along the edge of the pot–I like to be able to see a couple bubbles before I’m satisfied.
  • Remove pot from heat.
  • Pour a spoonful of the warm sauce into the egg yolks, beating quickly to avoid lumps {this process is called tempering–if you poured all the egg yolks into the warm sauce, the yolks would cook. This way, both the eggs and sauce become roughly the same temperature)
  • Pour the remaining egg mixture into the sauce. Return to low heat.
  • Stir egg mixture until thicken, but do not boil {one or two bubbles is ok, but once you see a boil starting, turn the heat off!}
  • Mix in butter. When butter is combined, pour filling into pie crust

Meringue

  • Pour egg whites into a large bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer
  • Add salt
  • Beat until soft peaks form {when you take the beaters out, the egg whites should stand up but then bend over immediately, you don’t want them standing straight up yet–those are stiff peaks}
  • Slowly add it sugar, beat until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.

Assemble

  • Spread meringue over the pie filling. Using a spatula, distribute evenly and create decorative peaks.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until meringue is golden.
  • Let cool overnight {if you can!} Otherwise you can cool the pie in the fridge for several hours. Refrigerate leftovers

the finished pie

For whatever reason, this pie was h.e.a.v.y on the meringue. I think maybe it was from using the KitchenAid and its super powerful mixing powers. Either way, my dad ate a piece every day he was here, and isn’t that the validation us bakers constantly strive for?

Happy happy Memorial Day Weekend! Remember–it’s a cake walk!

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