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Has someone ever gotten you a gift that was more for them than it was for you?
Years ago, my husband and I spent a romantic weekend just north of Duluth, MN. We rode bikes along Lake Superior, walked in the woods, and ate at Betty’s Pies. That year, for our anniversary, my husband got me a copy of Betty’s Pies Favorite Recipes cookbook.
Yeah, I thought the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong…I love to bake, and I love the cookbook. But I had a sneaking suspicion that this gift was as much for him as for me!
I’ve tried a number of Betty’s recipes, but it’s her pecan pie that grabbed a hold and won’t let go. I haven’t made a different recipe since.
I make them every Thanksgiving. (Except that one year that I thought it would be cool to make some different desserts…we don’t talk about that anymore). Two pecan pies is a must. Other pies are added, but the pecan is non-negotiable.
And it must be served with real whipped cream, slightly sweetened.
Not ice cream.
It’s kind of perfect.
I do not make my own crust. Judge if you must, but I really like Trader Joe’s pie crusts. They are buttery and someone else makes them. Exactly what I’m looking for in a pie crust.
(Tip: Let the crust warm at room temperature longer than the package says, until it’s pretty pliable…goes in the pie plate a lot easier. Then chill the dough in the plate before filling and baking.)
We prefer the pie with chopped pecans, or pecan pieces. If you prefer pecan halves…go for it. (Funny story, every year my parents stop at a pecan store on their way down to Florida. And every year they call me and ask if I want pecan pieces or halves. Dad, Mom, if you’re reading this …it will always be pieces.)
What makes this pecan pie so amazing
Something that’s not an option is the combination of light corn syrup and dark brown sugar. I had someone once audibly gasp when she heard I used light corn syrup in my pecan pie.
Gasp. Audibly. No joke.
Go ahead and gasp, but I’m telling you…this pie is better than any pecan pie I’ve ever had.
The dark brown sugar is the key, if you ask me. It makes the filling rich and dark and caramelly.
I hope this doesn’t offend anyone (or their grandma), but after making pecan pie with Betty’s recipe for so long, I avoid pale pecan pies on buffet lines completely. They just don’t come close.
I will gladly wait to spend my dessert calories on this deeply rich filling, and will make up for the missed buffet-line pie by having pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. (It’s a wonderful tradition… anyone else…just me?)
Buttery crust. Rich, gooey, center. Crunchy pecans. Smooth whipped cream.
Original recipe by Betty’s Pies
This recipe, like all my recipes, is shared in the Meal Plan Monday link up. You can find the link in my sidebar – or right here!