Super easy pecan pie – takes around an hour to make when you use puff pastry as the crust, and about 4 hours when you make the crust by hand (but this is mostly waiting for the dough to chill). I took the crust recipe from Serious Eats, and I like what they had to say about why the dough works:
- One round of folding provides eight major layers with minimal fuss.
- Refrigerating the dough after shaping ensures it’s fully chilled and relaxed, preserving its flakes in the oven.
Depending on how much time you have, decide if you want to do a quick crust or a proper crust.
- thawed puff pastry (enough to line your pie pan; 1 packet should do the trick)
- 1/2 and 1/3 cups flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 112 g butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes (this size is important, as smaller pieces will melt too fast)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 200 g pecans
- 400 ml caramel sauce or about 36 unwrapped soft caramels
- 100 g brown sugar (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 3 eggs
- vanilla beans from 1 vanilla pod
- 50 g butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- optional: 1 tbsp rum
- Trim the puff pastry to fit the pie pan.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes with pie weights (baking blind).
- Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Toss the butter with flour mixture to break up the pieces.
- With your fingertips, smash each cube flat. No rubbing or cutting. It should not blend completely with the flour.
- Stir in water, then knead dough against the sides of the bowl until it comes together in a shaggy ball.
- Refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes.
- Roll dough into a roughly 5- by 8-inch rectangle.
- Fold the 5-inch sides to the center, then close the newly formed packet like a book.
- Fold in half once more, bringing the short sides together to create a thick block.
- Using as much flour as needed, roll into a circle to fit your pie pan
- With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by 1 1/4 inches all around.
- Wrap with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes with pie weights (baking blind).
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the caramel, butter, and milk.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Slowly fold the caramel sauce and lemon juice into the egg mixture.
- Pour the caramel mixture in the pan.
- Arrange the pecan pieces in a radial pattern.
- Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes.
- Allow to cool until the filling is set, around 30 minutes.