Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nuts.

Nuts. It's the perfect word to describe not only everything that's been going on around here, but everyone around here. I'm sure we all have that one person in the family we refer to as being a little crazier than the rest of us, right? Well, I think all of them have manifested here. Me included. Heck, I'm fairly sure I have about 6 different personalities going on at the best of times - nevermind the ones that come out to play when I actually have to focus on a task (such as, oh you know... writing this post - coincidentally something that's taken me about 3 days to actually do!).

As hectic as it is over here, though, it's not all bad. If anything, the slew of dinner guests, birthday parties, assorted work meetings, my sister's college visits, my schoolwork, (of course) the Olympics and finally the stepfamily (plus Mom) jetting off to Italy tonight for a two week spree has kept us running in so many directions that we haven't had time to butt heads. Ironically, we even bonded over the men's hockey finals (gold, oh yes!).

But it has been busy. However, I now have two weeks with the house to myself - which coincidentally means I get to let my other quirky habit of OCD cleaning take over, ensuring the kitchen is more or less pristine most of the time. The last time I was left more or less to my own devices, all manner of things happened - including this beauty of a pie. My mom's favourite pie of all time is pecan, real pecan pie. Not the usual, corn syrup and egg custard with a couple pecans mixed in pastry you usually find in the grocery bakery departments, but a pie chock full of as many pecans as the handmade pie shell can hold, with just enough gooeyness to prevent the whole thing from being a crumble of sawdust. Mom used to talk fondly of road trips she'd take with my grandparents down in the USA, where the road signs counting down to the nearest Stuckey's were the only thing that kept the kids going, since they knew that come that rest stop there would be that slice of pecan pie waiting. For her birthday, which she'd be away for "officially" but threw a party for last weekend, I decided I would do my best to give her a slice of the good stuff.

I doubt it's the pie from her Stuckey's jaunts, but I do know that it was one half of her birthday dessert spread that she (and at least 3 others who ate it exclusively) thoroughly enjoyed a taste of.

Mom's Birthday Pecan Pie
Serves 6
Pastry for a single-crust, 6" pie, docked but unbaked
1 tbsp egg replacer, prepared
2 (dry) oz honey
2 (dry) oz corn syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp tapioca flour
2 oz salted butter, melted
1.5 oz (4 tsp) non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
4.5 oz (3/4 cup) chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Par-bake the pastry shell 5 minutes, set aside.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg replacer until frothy.
  5. Add honey, corn syrup, brown sugar and cream, beating well.
  6. Stir in tapioca flour followed by the melted butter, margarine, pecans and vanilla.
  7. Pour into the pie shell, smoothing top.
  8. Bake 30 minutes at 350F, then reduce oven to 300F and bake 15 minutes longer. Tent with foil if needed.
  9. Cool completely before cutting. Freezes well.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 402.6
Total Fat: 28.6 g
Cholesterol: 20.3 mg
Sodium: 196.9 mg
Total Carbs: 37.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 2.7 g