Growing up, my sister always claimed to have room in her toes for anything sweet. I'm always wishing I had bigger toes (or at least a stomach to match my eyes) when it comes to dessert after a home-cooked Southern meal. Whatever technique you employ, you'll want to save room for the Lee Bros.'s Sorghum Pecan Pie.
Sorghum Pecan Pie
- for 6 people -
- 1/3 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup pure sorghum molasses, cane syrup, or molasses
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 Sweet Pie Crust (makes 1 pie shell or 1 top for a double-crust pie)
- 1 1/2 cups sifted bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold lard, cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar with the eggs using a hand mixer or a whisk until they're just incorporated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the butter, the cornstarch, and the salt and mix until thoroughly combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour the sorghum and pecans into the bowl and stir to incorporate (the pecans will float on the surface of the filling, which is fine).
Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake on the middle rack until the center has risen and is quivery, like gelatin, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour.
Serve warm, topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream or with a scoop of ice cream. Alternately, let the pie cool to room temperature, about another 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator (if you do, heat it in a warm oven for 15 to 20 minutes before serving). It will keep for several days.
For the Sweet Pie Crust: Takes 1 hour to chill, 5 to 8 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes to bake.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the pieces of lard and butter over them and place the bowl in the refrigerator for}o minutes. Dust your work surface with flour. If prebaking, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut the lard and butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with a scattering of pea-sized pieces throughout. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork to combine after each addition, until the pastry holds together when pinched (you may not use all the ice water).
Gather the pastry together into a round disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to use.
With a floured pin, roll out the dough on the floured surface to a 12-inch round. To make a pie shell, transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Fold any excess dough that hangs below the rim of the pan on top of the rim so you have enough material to crimp. Cut off any egregious excess and use it to patch any holes or tears. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before filling or prebaking.
To prebake the crust, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the dough and carefully scatter pie weights, dried beans, or pennies in the pan. Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and the foil, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the bottom of the crust appears dry.
Note: To make the top of a double-crust pie, simply slide a baking sheet under the 12-inch round and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to use.