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Gone are the days of watermelon and rosé. It’s practically fall and that means new autumn flavors to savor and the perfect time to bake.
This is the time of year where everyone goes crazy for pumpkin-flavored everything: Starbucks started serving their pumpkin spice latte again, The Cheesecake Factory brought back their pumpkin cheesecake, Cheerios has even released a limited edition pumpkin spice flavor… I think you get the picture. But fall is more than just pumpkin; there’s flavors like maple, pecan, apple, caramel, & chai/cinnamon/spice that deserve just as much love!
Now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of classic pecan pie recipes out there, but I wanted to switch things up and have some fun with it.
I started with a pretty long list of flavors (six to be exact) and asked everyone I knew (friends, family, coworkers, random man reading my notes on the subway…) to vote on what sounded best to them. And so I set out to create the three types of pecan pie that had the most votes:
1) Salted Caramel Pecan Pie
2) Bourbon Pecan Pie
3) Maple Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pecan Pie (without corn syrup)
Simplicity. You only need 8 ingredients for each type of pie!
Pie filling texture. While each pie is different in taste, they all have one thing in common: an amazing texture. I’m talkin’ nice & toasty pecans on top while the nuts underneath get this chewy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The best pie crust. These pies are made with the new nut pie crusts from my friends over at Diamond. I’ve been using their nuts for years, so when they asked me to come up with a recipe using their new ready-made pie crusts, I jumped at the chance. The nut crusts baked wonderfully and kept the prep time for each variation of pecan pie super short. Talk about a win-win!
Pecan pie is one of the easiest pie recipes to make. It’s one bowl, one spoon, and you just pour it into a crust and bake. And trust me when I say there’s nothing hard about these pecan pie variations either. If you can mix and stir and pour, you can make any of these pies!
HOW TO MAKE SALTED CARAMEL PECAN PIE
This pecan pie is most likely not the pie you grew up with, but it might become your next favorite Thanksgiving pie tradition. You’ll start off by making the caramel using the dry method (which means no worrying about crystallization). Simply heat the sugar in a large pan over medium heat until it completely melts, stirring occasionally. Once all of the sugar has melted, you’ll carefully stir in the butter, heavy cream, and salt; the caramel will need to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before you mix in the eggs and the rest of the ingredients so plan ahead to have that extra time.
After the caramel cools down a bit, you’ll stir in the light corn syrup, vanilla, eggs, and pecans and TA-DA!! You’re ready to pour your pie filling into your ready-made nut pie crusts and head straight to the oven! If you’re looking for a less-traditional, delicious twist on Thanksgiving pie, this is it.
HOW TO MAKE BOURBON PECAN PIE
This is grown-up pecan pie and probably my favorite of the bunch! The bourbon is bold and cuts through some of the sweetness, but isn’t too overwhelming. I like to whip out the booze during the holiday season, both in baking and in drinking, especially bourbon; it’s just one of my favorite libations to bake with.
To make this pie, you’ll whisk together the granulated and brown sugars, melted butter, and dark corn syrup. Once those are combined, you’ll whisk in the eggs, bourbon, & salt and then stir in the pecans. After that, you guessed it, it’s baking time! If you’d like to indulge just a little more this season, treat yourself to this bourbon pecan pie as it will surely be a hit.
HOW TO MAKE MAPLE CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR PECAN PIE (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)
I feel like the most common question about pecan pie is: can I make a pecan pie without corn syrup? The short answer is… YES! While corn syrup is NOT the same thing as high fructose corn syrup, it’s not an ingredient that most people just have in their pantry. Classic pecan pie recipes call for corn syrup to be used in order to both sweeten and thicken the pie. I’ve made this particular pecan pie variation without corn syrup, however, opting for maple syrup in its place. Pure maple syrup is a thinner liquid than corn syrup, but has the most remarkable flavor, as you know… the syrup plus one tablespoon of flour make this pie thicken just as it would if you used corn syrup! It’s practically magic…
To make this pie, you’ll start by whisking together the brown sugar, melted butter, and maple syrup. Once that’s combined, you’ll add the eggs, cinnamon, salt, and flour, then finally stir in the pecans and bake! Simple, pure, & delicious flavors give us this maple-infused cinnamon brown sugar pecan pie; seriously a game-changer.
Light and dark corn syrup can be used interchangeably, so use whatever you have on hand!
When you pull the pie out of the oven, it should be only slightly jiggly (think jello). If it’s overly jiggly, keep it in the oven for a little while longer. BUT… be careful not to burn the pecans. Seriously, they can burn if you turn your back for five seconds.
Be sure to allow your pie to cool completely before cutting. A warm pie won’t be set, and your slices won’t hold a clean edge.
I hope you give one of these pecan pie recipes a try! At the very least, pick up a Diamond Nut Pie Crust for whatever you happen to be baking up this fall. They’re delish and would make a great shortcut for all your favorite fall pies.
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