Pecan and Pecan Cranberry Pies

Some recipes are just so good that they are just a standby that everyone expects.  I have been asked many times for my chocolate chip cookie recipe – I refer them to the Nestles package.  The same goes for my standard pecan pie – it’s on the corn syrup bottle or at the Karo website.  I do make a slight variation (on the second one of course) and add some cranberries which gives a nice tartness that cuts the usual sweetness a little.  This year I also decided to make a little change and use some maple syrup in place of some of the corn syrup.  Of course, I do also add extra pecans, pretty much as many as I can fit in the pan.  I usually make two at a time, just double the filling recipe and instead of mixing in the pecans (and cranberries), I put them in the prepared crust, then just pour half the filling over each and mix a little with a spatula to make sure the nuts are all covered.

pecans and cranberries in unbaked crust

pecans in unbaked pie shell

Pouring filling into pecans and cranberry unbaked crust

Pouring filling into pecans in unbaked crust

You start with a crust.  Of course you can buy one, my choice for that is Pillsbury frozen pie crusts you just thaw and put into your pan as the flavor is good and you use your own pan so you don’t actually have to admit to cheating unless you choose to.  For homemade regular crust my pick is America’s Test Kitchen Fool Proof Pie Dough using a little vodka, which seems very odd, but works.  Finally, for a very simple, pat into the pan crust here is a recipe that doesn’t need to be rolled out:
1 1/2 c. plus 3 T. flour
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 T. cold milk
Put the flour, sugar and salt in the pie pan and mix with a fork.  In a cup, combine oil and milk and beat with a fork until creamy. Pour all at once over the flour mixture and mix with the fork or your fingers until completely moistened.   Using your fingers, pat the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan.
Then you pick a the filling.

Filling ready to pour

You can make the Classic Version.
To make the cranberry version, first you make the Classic Version and just add 1 cup of fresh cranberries.
Finally, the maple syrup version is:
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • In a mixing bowl, slightly beat the eggs, then add all ingredients except the pecans and beat until slightly thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in chopped pecans and pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean. (The cranberry version takes an extra 5 minutes or so.)