Here’s the cranberry pecan pie I made for my friend Roz who was so kind as to proof my last draft. When I lived in Italy, my less-sweet pecan pie triumphantly crossed cultures. “Will you have that American nut pie?” prospective guests asked. When my husband once had a surprise birthday party for me, there was such dismay to find no pecan pie (this being, duh, a surprise party) that we all set to work making pies.
Recently I’ve added cranberries, giving color and a refreshing tartness, besides offering a design option. Here’s my recipe adapted from Cook’s very fine The Best Recipe.And yes, it’s pretty much the best.
1 prebaked pie shell
5 T butter, cut up
¾ C light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ C light corn syrup
1 T rum (or vanilla extract for a sober version)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 C pecans, chopped and toasted (way better toasted)
¾ C cranberries
1. Prebake the pie crust. Best if it’s still warm when you fill it.
2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
3. Melt butter over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the salt and brown sugar (be assiduous) until you have a uniform mass. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then corn syrup, rum (or vanilla) , and lemon rind.
4. Put the pan back over the hot water. Mix until shiny and hot. Stick your finger in or measure 130 degrees F if you’re more finicky.
5. Add toasted, chopped pecans. you can add all the cranberries (OR) save some for a design on the top.
6. I strongly recommend putting the pie crust on a cookie sheet before filling to avoid messes and tears. Fill crust. Add design if you’re making one.
7. Bake at 275 for 45 minutes. Test that the top is soft like gelatin. If it seems too gooey, go another 5-10 minutes.
8. Cool before serving to set.
Note: It would be interesting to try dried cranberries, but you don’t get the color pop.