Introduction: Baby Pecan Pies!
I'm just a southern girl at heart (hate country music, but you feed me some grits and I'm happy). So, of course, I love pecan pie. These tiny versions are based on the way my grandma (who was a Southern belle from Georgia) taught me to make pecan pie - but I prefer to make this miniature version (who doesn't love tiny food, right?).
If you've got concerns about consuming or cooking with booze, you can omit the whiskey, but really, why would you want to?
Step 1: Making Crust. . .
To make your own, you'll need. . .
- - one large bowl
- - muffin tins (I use one 3 cup by 4 cup, and two smaller 3 cup by 2 cup - because that's what I have)
- - measuring cups and spoons
- - a round cutter (I use one that's intended for biscuits - it's about a 3" diameter and has a scalloped edge which makes the tops of the crusts look rather nice)
- - 3 cups flour (all purpose) - additional will be needed when rolling out for dusting board and rolling pin
- - 1.5 teaspoons salt
- - 2 tablespoons sugar
- - 1 cup and 2 tablespoons butter (cut in cubes and kept nice and cold)
- - .5 cup cold water
- - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (no, seriously)
- - parchment paper
- - plastic wrap
- - a rolling pin (I prefer a French rolling pin (i.e., one with tapered ends)
- - your hands (for mixing)
Step 2: This Could Get Messy. . .
- Cut your butter into cubes and put it on parchment and back in the fridge to keep it cool
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl and mix it around a bit with your fingertips
- Form a little well in the center as shown
- Add the water (cold) and vinegar to the well
- Plop in the butter cubes
- Push up your sleeves and begin mixing with your hands. Try to mix in the liquid, but also break up the butter and get it combined with the flour
- Once it's pretty evenly mixed, turn out onto a piece of parchment and mix a bit more, but only until it's all come together
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour
Step 3: Making the Crusts. . .
- Divide your dough into four portions and work with one at a time, keeping the others wrapped to prevent them from drying out
- Sprinkle flour onto a sheet of parchment and dust rolling pin as well
- Place dough in the center of your work surface and roll from the center out to form a sheet about an eight of an inch thick (or up to a quarter, but thinner is better)
- Cut out rounds using the cutter and place each into the cup of a muffin tin, squishing them down into the edges gently
- Ball up the scraps of the dough after cutting as many as possible and repeat
- Repeat with remaining 3 sections of dough
- After cutting out all the dough, place the muffin tins in the fridge to keep the cool while you make the filling
Step 4: Making the Filling
- - a large bowl
- - a spoon or wire whisk
- - 1.5 cups chopped pecans or pecan pieces
- - .75 cups dark corn syrup
- - .75 cups dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
- - 1.5 tablespoons butter (melted)
- - 2 large eggs
- - 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- - 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- - 1 teaspoon each fresh grated ginger and nutmeg
- - about a half a shot of good whiskey (can be omitted, but why would you want to?)
Step 5: Making the Filling (Part 2)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Melt the butter and add the brown sugar
- Mix well
- Add corn syrup and the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
- Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and whiskey
- Gently mix in the pecans
Step 6: Bake, Cool, and Eat
- Spoon filling mixture into the chilled crusts
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops of the crusts are golden brown and the pecan mixture has started to set up
- Allow to cool slightly and remove from the muffin tins. If the filling has oozed up a little, run a small knife around the edges of the cups and they should pop right out
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